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Flat Top

Length: 3 miles round trip Time: 1.5 - 3 hours Best season: May - September
Trail Image 1 Trail Image 2 Trail Image 3 Trail Image 4 Trail Image 5 Trail Image 6
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First trail image

View from the parking lot. The trail begins at these set of stairs.

Second trail image

Flat Top. The path along the mountain's left is an alternative route, which is far more loose and steep. I recommend using the main, more obvious route.

Third trail image

The trail to Flat Top is very well maintained. Up ahead, the left and right trails join before the real climb up begins.

Fourth trail image

Steps are built right into the path along much of the trail.

Fifth trail image

My friend Souane almost at the top. The trail gradually becomes more rocky and steep. Watch your footing; this last section is a bit more difficult.

Sixth trail image

After reaching the summit, the landscape changes abruptly to a flat expanse of loose rock, about the size of a football field.

Trail description:

Flat Top is one of the most frequently hiked trails in Alaska, mostly due to it's convinient location just outside of Anchorage. Flat Top's name comes from it's broad flat peak; shaped by the grinding action of ancient glaciers. The trail starts from a wooden stairway. The first section makes it's way through scattered trees and only has a moderate inclination. The trail soon splits into left and right trails; these rejoins once the base of the mountain is reached. From here, the trail heads consistantly uphill over several switchbacks and man-made steps. The top is a rather abrupt change from the climb up, a mostly flat expanse of loose rocks, with a few man-made rock structures which serve as wind barriers.

Difficulty:

This is a pretty moderate hike. The trail is nearly all uphill, but provides switchbacks for most of the way. The last short portion of the hike also involves scaling some rocky sections, though nothing overly dangerous.

Directions:

Head towards South Anchorage on the New Seward Highway. Take the O'malley exit and head towards the mountains. Follow O'malley for a few miles and turn right onto Hillside Drive. Turn onto Upper Huffman on your left shortly afterwards. This road T's-off; turn right onto Toilsome Hill Drive. This eventually becomes Glen Alps Road, which winds it's way up to the Glen Alps parking lot, where the trail begins. A shuttle service is also available.

Additional Information:

The parking lot requires a $5.00 daily parking fee or a seasonal parking pass.