Flattop Mountain Trail [CLOSED]

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Flattop Mountain Trail is a 13.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and offers a number of activity options.

Distance: 13.2 km Elevation Gain: 875 m Route Type: Out & Back

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
3 days ago

hiking
off trail
snow
2 months ago

Hiked this on 3/7/2020. Once the trail gets above the tree line the trail goes off the actual path on an ascent directly up the mountain. Deep snow above the tree line, but we managed with just spikes. Very windy at the top. Stunning views.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

This is always a nice trail with great views but today the snow was deep and the winds were strong making the trail difficult to find. Didn't make it past the second mile because of the wind and the blowing snow.

snowshoeing
snow
3 months ago

Went up just past tree line. It was a beautiful sunny day and the views are gorgeous. Snowshoes are a must right now. Lost the trail a few times as it's a popular ski trail and there were multiple trails. Definitely have an app or something to let you know if you're on the trail. Also, about 1/2 mile in to the trail, the snowpack was suspect on the slope. Be avalanche prepared and check in with the rangers before heading up.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Skinned up to the top of Banana bowl and skied back down to the fern trail and then to the lot.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked past tree line but it was difficult without snowshoes. Absolutely worth it though.

snowshoeing
snow
4 months ago

Spectacular conditions. The snow was deep powder most of the way. The views were magnificent. I turned around just after tree line because the snow was blowing fiercely. I had the trail all to myself until about a half a mile from the trailhead.

hiking
4 months ago

We only made it about 2 miles up before dropping into a snow drift about 4 ft. deep. Weather was not in our favor today.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked on the morning of 1/12. We were the first ones up and there was few inches of fresh snow. Once the trail really started going uphill (after the fern lake/flattop mountain fork) snowshoes were a must. We hit treeline after ~3 hours of breaking trail in the dark and then lost the trail and turned around. I will say it was my first time up the trail, so maybe someone more familiar with it could have kept going. The first few hundred yards of the above treeline portion were largely manageable with microspikes, save for a few bigger snowdrifts, and I'd imagine that trend continued to the summit. Hope I can come back on a milder day and finish the job.

snowshoeing
snow
4 months ago

Excellent winter trail, so please don't post hole without skis or snowshoes. It does make it dangerous for skiers.

hiking
5 months ago

Snow was packed pretty good all the way up. I used snow spikes and was able to make it to the summit and back down in under 5 hours. The summit is very windy so I would advise carrying some sort of mask.

hiking
snow
5 months ago

We went today (12/15/19) and the views were beautiful. Do not make the same mistake we did and go without snowshoes/skis in December. We expected some snow but it was more than we thought it would be. Close to 4 feet of snow on trail but we were able to get pretty far up (about 2.5 miles) thanks to the trail being packed some by skiers. Fell through the snow a few times and it was very strenuous because we kept sinking in the snow every step. The views make the struggles worth it, but i strongly recommend others come more prepared than we did.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Challenging (for this flatlander who lives at 600’) because it tops out at about 12,000 feet (approx. 3,700 meters). The trail was easy to follow, but rocky in places. There are huge cairns marking switchbacks above treeline. There was no ice or snow when I climbed in August, but I can imagine winter snow drifts and blowing snow make those cairns a lifesaver keeping you on the trail. It grew increasingly windy as I climbed. When close to the top even my rainhood would not hold down my wide brimmed hat. Had to put it in my pack. I watched a raven attempt to fly over several times before it turned back. My group of 4 were all wearing hooded shells over a number of mid and base layers for the wind and cold. Guesses: 50 mph gusts and 45 degrees F. Aptly named, Flattop is several acres of roughly level surface mostly covered in rocks. Without the surrounding peaks for reference it would be easy to get disoriented. We had some great conversations with other folks on the trail. RMNP is a world wide destination. We spoke with a group of Japanese. Most spoke little or no English but one apparently was living in the US and interpreted. Cool girl with awesome tattoos, black hot chili shorts and hiked much of the trail barefoot! Tons of fun!

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Hiked Saturday 11/9. Yacktracks/Spikes a necessity, definitely icy in lots of areas. Trail gets a bit hard to find after tree line and definitely lost it a couple times, All trails map and following footsteps in the snow was helpful. Cairns nearing the top were helpful. Insanely windy but still bearable, wish I had a face mask or ski goggles but wasn’t suffering without them. Lost my yacktrack at the top, though - which meant I had to deal with all the icy spots that was essentially the first third of the trail. Otherwise, it was a ton of fun and the views were gorgeous! Would definitely do again!

hiking
6 months ago

Did this trail two days ago. Great hike but be prepared for a constant incline to the summit. Once above tree line it gets super windy, lots of snow, traction devices needed. But the views at the top are worth it. Took us about 5 and half hours to complete but we stopped several times to take photos. Bring layers, water, and snacks.

hiking
icy
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Could not complete as it is too windy after 3.5 miles Oct 25, 2019

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Completed with my 15 year old daughter last week. Started out at 7 am and round tripped in 4:45. Micro spikes are a must for the ice and above the tree line, it gets really cold and windy. The views were unbelievable. Well worth the considerable effort.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
7 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Once up top, be sure and go right (north) and check out the cliffs over Helene. Epic views. Will know summit when you see sign post. Would avoid in winter. Skiers will be flying down Helene (intersection) trail and force you to jump out of way. Also skiers cut tons of tree downhill lines off flattop and make it impossible to stay on trail going up.I have done this trail many times in winter and have never seen the same winter trail twice.

hiking
7 months ago

Once you get to the top you can see the tip of Granby and Estes Park. The glaciers are a lot closer together from here. Get amazing views from the top down of glacial carvings. Pikas, Marmots, and Ptarmigans are easy to spot.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

The trail was about 80% snow packed. We recommend crampons. We forgot to pack ours and it was slow going on the way down. The wind at the top was gusting about 45mph. Wear layers and bring a camera for the amazing Emerald Lake outlook. This hike has great views of several lakes and beautiful vistas.

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