Flattop Trail is a hiking path around one of the most iconic mountains in Alaska. The trail begins in a forested area before reaching the timberline, the height at which trees stop growing. Hike the steep path for 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) to reach the mountain peak for views of Anchorage and the scenic natural landmarks of Chugach State Park.
Make your way through Blueberry Hill to get to the foot of Flattop Mountain. At this point, the path becomes noticeably steeper, passing fields of rocks on the way to the peak. The trail has an elevation gain of 1,280 feet (390 meters). Note the painted markings near the summit that distinguish the route. Snap photos of the Alaska Range, Cook Inlet, Chugach Range and the city of Anchorage from the peak.
The hike to the summit is fairly strenuous and should take about an hour. Continue along the steep incline to reach the mountain top. Take breaks along the way to catch your breath and appreciate the views of the mountainous terrain. Chat to other hikers you cross on the way to the summit and back.
Spot moose and other wildlife roaming around the snowy track. Bears rarely make an appearance. In late summer and fall, pick blueberries from the thick groups of bushes.
Go backcountry skiing or paragliding around the mountain, which is popular for being the most accessible to Anchorage.
Bring enough water and snacks to last the afternoon. Watch your step in late September, when the terrain turns icy. Be careful of dislodged rocks during your ascent and bring warm clothes for the harsh conditions at the summit.
Spend a few nights under the stars at a campsite. Camping is only permitted at least half a mile (1 kilometer) from the trailhead. Fees vary depending on the campsite and parking lot.
Drive southeast from central Anchorage for 15 miles (24 kilometers) to reach the parking lot of the Glen Alps Trailhead, where the Flattop Trail commences. It is in the western end of Chugach State Park. You can also ride the Flattop Mountain Shuttle from downtown Anchorage to the trailhead between May and October.