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Flattop Mountain Trail is a 8.2 mile 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: 8.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,870 feet Route Type: Out & Back

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Reservations to enter the park will go on sale through Recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, May 28. Reservations will be available to enter the park from June 4 through July 31. The next release will be on July 1, for the month of August and any remaining days that have not been booked for July. On August 1, reservations will be available for the month of September and any remaining days that have not been booked for August. On September 1, reservations will be available for the month of October and any remaining days in September that have not been booked. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability between 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. This process will facilitate advance payment of entrance fees, minimize contact between park entrance station staff and visitors and limit congestion in parking lots. The permit system will apply to all areas of the park. In the initial opening phase, the park will open approximately 60 percent of the park’s maximum parking capacity or 4,800 vehicles (13,500 visitors) per day.

hiking
rocky
9 days ago

The trail today (06/30) was almost completely clear and dry, until the end when you hit the summit there is a small snow patch that is easily passable. Bring a good jacket, gloves and a beanie at the very least it’s still getting quite chilly past tree line.

hiking
10 days ago

The difficulty to views ratio on this one is just a little bit off, still it's cool to start at Bear Lake and hike above the tree line. The day I hiked it, the wind was brutal, especially above the treeline. Definitely bring hat and gloves. If you don't want to do the hike, you can get similar views from the main RMNP road to Grand Lake.

hiking
bugs
icy
no shade
snow
11 days ago

1st time hiking to Flattop, we actually got a late start 9am and hit the summit a little after noon. From Tree line to the top it rained lightly and hailed hard on an off. Was very cold on top but so beautiful. Was definitely to cold to attempt Hallet. If you are a seasoned hiker this should be a great hike! Non seasoned (like myself) once we reached tree line was very taxing on the legs. It didn’t help that we hiked 6 miles the day before. Sights were amazing, wildlife that we saw were snakes, Marmots, chipmunks, squirrels, and a few birds. Definitely still a snow wall right before you summit, but very passable. Take your time and enjoy this hike.

hiking
13 days ago

Flattop is always a favorite! We left the Bear Lake trailhead at around 5:30a and cruised up through the forest. Lots of mosquitos make for great motivation! The trail is wet in spots from snowmelt but overall dry and easy. A few patches of snow start around the Dream Lake overlook -- easily crossable -- and then it's dry from treeline until the hitchrack. The giant snowfield (that's always on top through July) is definitely doable without spikes but if you get nervous with snow footing, bring a pair for confidence. We crossed the saddle for breakfast but had to forego Hallett in order to get to work. Windy and chilly so bring layers! Great conditions and a great morning above treeline.

hiking
snow
15 days ago

Hiked 6/22 as a loop with a descent down Andrew’s glacier and out glacier gorge TH. Snow was patchy and manageable below the treeline (first 2.5 miles) and didn’t find it again until a large snowfield ahead of the peak. Great views from flattop. Be sure to approach Hallett and get a shot of Tyndall Glacier.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike and views. Wind and cold forced a retreat, but highly recommend.

hiking
snow
19 days ago

hiking
fee
snow
26 days ago

Nice trail. Snow in trees made it hard. Very old trail(which I remember) sometimes melted before new one so you could get lost in places. Trail fine above trees. Flowers out including forget me nots. An early start to avoid post holing and slipping a good idea. Took me 6 hours including stop but I am No longer young. Saw skiers at the top.

hiking
bugs
icy
off trail
snow
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Hiked on 5/29/2020. I'd give this a 5-star rating, if not for the snow. We arrived at Bear Lake and were told by the Ranger that we would not be able to summit Flattop Mountain or Hallet Peak due to snow. We thought we'd keep going until we no longer saw footprints, and we were able to summit both; however, snow pack ranges from 1-5 feet deep for 75% of the trail. Beautiful route, but definitely not recommended right now unless you have spikes and poles, or maybe even snowshoes. If you make it to Flattop, it's definitely worth the extra time to go to Hallet. Took us 8 hours round trip and we got lost briefly on the way down. Trail is very difficult to find with the snow.

hiking
icy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

hiking
off trail
snow
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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

snowshoeing
snow
5 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
5 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
5 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.

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