Flattop is a 3.3 mile roundtrip hike up and down a sometimes steep and very well trafficked mountain that starts at the Glen Alps Trailhead, provides an excellent feel for scrambling in the Chugach, and finishes on top of what is most likely Alaska’s most summated peak.
There are many trails that get you to to summit Flattop. But today, we’re going to be covering the most popular.
From the parking lot, you’ll immediately begin uphill on a firmlyly packed trail winding around the Tsuga Mertensiana, or mountain hemlock, that adorn the trail.
After clearing treeline you’ll start the journey around Blueberry hill, which, like the name implies, is home to a berry or two in the fall.
Make sure to turn around occasionally to check out some incredible panoramic views.
Once you make it around Blueberry hill it’s time to start the ascent.
If you thought you enjoyed the stair stepper at the gym, you’re going to love it here. The railroad tie stairs are pretty uneven, so watch your step – and be courteous to other hikers who may be less sure footed than you.
About halfway up the steps, you’ll find a great wooden platform to sit and collect your breath – – before making another push up to the saddle.
Walking along the edge of the saddle provides excellent views of Powerline Pass to the North and is s great spot to turn around if mild exposure makes you too uncomfortable or if you’ve got bad ankles.
For those willing to push through, don’t worry, it’s not as scary as they say and if you’ve made it here – you’re close to being done anyway.
The final push up the mountain is very little more than a light scramble, and there are plenty of rocks to help you get your balance as you edge closer to the summit – don’t be afraid to use your hands for stability.
But sooner than you know it, you’re up – and if it’s your first time on the summit, you’ll understand pretty quickly why they gave Flattop it’s name.
From here you can enjoy 360 views of the Chugach, Cook Inlet, Anchorage, and some very tall peaks in the distance (weather permitting).