Flattop Mountain Trail
The east part of the trail makes a moderate climb through a dense spruce forest. You can see Bear Lake below through the trees. Longs Peak comes into view as you leave the heavily forested area. The trail makes several switchbacks on its way to the alpine zone. You get a great view of Dream Lake from the end of one of the switchbacks. Hallett Peak comes into view at various points along the trail. You'll pass another overlook giving you a view of Emerald Lake 1300 feet below. The trail soon passes through an area of shorter spruce trees and into the krummholtz zone. Here the vast panoramic views are spectacular, well worth the effort to get this far.
The trail becomes more strenuous as you climb higher. It follows a north-facing slope giving you great views of the valleys and peaks to the north. There is a hitch rack just below the last leg to the summit. This is a good place to rest or eat lunch. You get a magnificent view of Hallett Peak and Tyndall Glacier from this vantage. From here the trail makes a gentle climb over the top and down to the North Inlet Trail / Tonahutu Creek trail junction. There is a trail to Tyndall Glacier and Hallett Peak marked with rock cairns. Winds can be quite high at times making the hike even more strenuous. Do not hike in high winds when snow is on the ground as white out conditions will prevail. Take plenty of water as there is none along this trail. Although the slope of this trail is moderate, its elevation and length make it strenuous to hike.
|Length:||3.64 miles (5.86 kilometers)|
|9,983' - 12,324'|
|Elevation change:||2,486 feet|
|Season:||June 30 - Oct 1|
|Difficulty:||Moderate to strenuous|
|USGS maps:||McHenrys Peak|
No pets are permitted
|Suitable for mountain bikes:||No (not permitted)|
|Suitable for horses:||Yes|
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