Flattop Mountain Trail

HARD 152 reviews
#17 of 147 trails in

Flattop Mountain Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2857 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Directions from Estes Park: Follow Hwy 34 west past the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station to Bear Lake Road. Follow this road to the parking area for the shuttle bus to Bear Lake. The trailhead is located at the end of Bear Lake Road.

hiking
1 month ago

First time winter hike in Rockies on snow pack. I hiked this trail during the summer but his trip was completely different. Views were even more magnificent with snow features! Also my first hike where I needed my micro-spikes....glad I had them. A few people were also wearing snow shoes. The snow was well packed if you walked in the middle of the trail but one misstep to either side and you would easily sink 12” or more. Plenty of snow until we got above the tree line then it was very thin to none in spots. A few skiers we saw were very disappointed. We accidentally ventured off the trail twice and paid the price with a steep hike directly up. Stay on the trail! As always, the views did not disappoint. Enjoy and hike smart!

hiking
1 month ago

It was a pretty good workout for a 58 year old that wasn't in great shape. Getting next to a couple glaciers was neat and eating lunch on Continental Divide was something that not everyone has done. Now I have! After breaking above treeline, you think the top is getting close but it is another mile (approximately) and several rest stops away. Excellent views all around from the top! Forgot to mention that I hiked this trail at the end of August, 2017.

2 months ago

I hiked this yesterday. Microspikes were all that was needed. The wind above tree line, however, had everyone turning around. I got blown over twice on the ice and had all the gear possible, ski goggles, balaclava, two coats, gaiters, blah, blah, blah. Still too cold at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Exciting hike, definitely recommend. Started around 5am for the sunrise and added Hallett Peak. Violent above tree-line this morning and the wind concealed any remnants of a trail with snow. Be sure to leave your own mini cairns for the way down, it can be tricky finding your way back with the wind and “found” several areas of waist high snow. Surely worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great physical workout. Beautiful views, for sure. Wore micro-spikes, but I probably could've fared without. Didn't make it to the top due to the trail being blown over and difficult to find, plus I was short on time. However I know others did summit. I would do this trail again and add Hallet with it.

hiking
2 months ago

So gorgeous. Made the extra 0.7 miles to the top of Hallett and it was definitely worth it! I was fine with just microspikes and the trail is a mix of ice, deeper snow, hard pack, and rock. Found a lone yaktrak contact me at rachelsaggau@gmail.com if you lost one!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike up to the summit. Started before sunrise, and made it down by midday. The trail is icy at lower altitudes and the snow gets deep above the tree line if you stray from the trail (which is fairly easy to do). Try to spot the cairns, and when in doubt just keep climbing upwards. I’d recommend spikes and gaiters. The wind was pretty nasty up high as well, so proper cold weather gear is a must.

2 months ago

Very challenging! Did Flat Top to Hallett Peak. Started early in the mornin and was back down by lunch but man - great workout! Epic views!

hiking
3 months ago

It is a gorgeous hike. The trail is covered with packed snow and ice. Snow gets deep above tree line.

hiking
4 months ago

Not technically tough but it's long enough and with enough gain to get beat down some. GET AN EARLY START to be sure of a parking place; it will fill up early. PRE-DAWN start if you can. As with all hike-climbs similar to this, it's a lot colder and windier on top so plan accordingly.

hiking
4 months ago

Attempted to summit today (10/13). Lost the trail in the snowfield at 3.5 miles in and 11,600 ft (about a mile from the summit). We were a few hundred feet past the treeline and the snowdrifts we're so high you couldn't clearly see the Cairns anymore, let alone the trail. We came upon an ice/snow field that we no longer felt comfortable crossing and saw no visible attempts made by others to that point. Started at 6:30am and had beautiful conditions until the sun started peaking over the northern side and stiring up wind. We were the first party heading up today, passed about 6 groups on the way down who were also going to attempt to summit. Very Icy the entire way starting from about 1 mile in. This might be the last weekend for attempting to summit.

This was a fantastic trail, the views of the nearby 12,000 to 14,000 footers are amazing, as are the numerous lakes, Trail Ridge Road, Estes Park, etc. Just seems like we were about 2 weeks too late this season. Estes Park had 8" of snow on Monday so Flattop probably had 3 feet. Looking forward to attempting this trail again sometime.

hiking
4 months ago

Went out today, was gorgeous and warm out, at least at the bottom. A bit of ice on the trail once you leave Bear Lake, amazing views from the Dream Lake and Emerald Lake overlooks. 1-2 ft of snow above the treeline with an icy crust. Once I got maybe half a mile past the treeline the wind started to pick up, and by about a mile past the treeline it was blowing ice in my face at ~40 mph and I had to turn around as I didn't have a face mask. Definitely would recommend spikes, and probably gaiters too.

hiking
4 months ago

Went on 9/29, beautiful day, clear skies. Trail not too heavily trafficked. Last mile or so was tough, mostly covered in snow and seemed to go on forever, and we wondered how different the view would be from the summit, but it was well worth it, with a spectacular view of Hallett Peak and the rest of the park from above the clouds.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked on 9/25. Icy and snowy, but a great hike

hiking
4 months ago

Due to the moisture unfortunately couldn't didn't experience any of the views. Awesome hike otherwise... snowy at the top.

5 months ago

Well maintained trail with great views. Very rough and rocky hiking towards the top. Strong lower legs and good boots recommended.

hiking
5 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. It was harder than I anticipated at the beginning, and the climb up to the end of Flattop is no bargain either. Then you have the scramble up to Hallett to look forward to. All in all, a very rewarding and fun hike.

hiking
5 months ago

The views are well worth the effort. Has overlooks of Dream and Emerald Lakes. Also views of Grand Lake on the other side of the Continental Divide.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty neat trail. We didn't see many people out there - especially the farther we got into hike. We hiked up and trail ran down; great run, quite technical though. Beautiful scenery - ran into a couple deer and some critters. Definitely go to the end of trail and up to scenic lookout area. Incredible views!! Would go again.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty difficult climb.. depending on your pace I guess. The tree line only covers about half the climb.. after that you'll be exposed to high winds. When I went up yesterday.. there was about a 20 degree difference between the bottom and top. With the added winds it was pretty cold at the top. Didn't go to Hallet because it was covered in clouds.. which of course burned off after I started my descent. A little bit of a later start may increase your chances of a clear Hallet and a bit warmer conditions. The views though.. amazing!

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