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“Flattop without Post-holing in May!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Flat Top Mountain Trail

Flat Top Mountain Trail
Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO
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Ranked #13 of 43 attractions in Estes Park
Type: Trails
Attraction Details
Chesapeake, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Flattop without Post-holing in May!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Flattop Mt in Rocky Mountain NP (Bear Lake area) at 12,500' normally requires snowshoes on Memorial Day but this year the snowfall was low and it was possible to summit without post-holing (every step up to your thighs in snow) with normal Vibram-soled boots and poles! Come prepared for changing conditions with extra clothing layers in your backpack, sunglasses, a hat and emergency equipment. Any trek to in late May or early June to Flattop Mt will normally be on 4-12' of snow, so dress and pack accordingly, with multiple layers, and plenty of water (4oz/mile/person MINIMUM!) & food. Elevation is well above 10,000' so allow more time to hike and be prepared. There's a picture every few steps, so bring a big memory card for your camera as well. Enjoy! I ALWAYS do!

Visited May 2013
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40 reviews from our community

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tulsa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Easy trek to Continental divide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

This is not a difficult hike IF you expect the alitude to make it hard to breath as you get higher and are in decent shape. Basically just a long uphill walk at altitude. Absolutely the easiest hike o the continental divide. Tip: once on top, to the easy, quick to the top of Hallet's

Visited October 2012
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Colorado Springs
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Tough, gorgeous climb”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

This hiking and pack trail from Bear Lake Road to the tundra of RMNP is not for the unacclimated. It is a substantial elevation of around 4,000 feet, so give yourself plenty of time and start as early as possible in the morning...nothing more ominous than thunder clouds building rapidly and no where to take shelter from the possible lightening! As is always the case when taking even a seemingly simple day-hike in the mountains, take layers of clothing including a waterproof jacket, and ALWAYS be prepared to spend at least one night in the backcountry. People are lost and some die every year who fail to follow such wise precautions. Respect the tundra...stay on the trails, and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. After all, this isn't a national park for no reason!

Visited December 2012
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Western Springs, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2012

The views along the hike were amazing, but couldn't compare to the views once you finally reached the top. We were a little disappointed that there wasn't anything at the top that pointed out the location of the continental divide. Or it was just too cold and windy the day we went for us to poke around for more than a few minutes. Definitely worth pacing yourself to make it to the top.

Visited October 2012
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Worcester, UK
Top Contributor
185 reviews 185 reviews
64 attraction reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
“Excellent hike on a good trail, fairly tiring”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We hiked the Flat Top Mountain trail, starting quite early in the morning from the Bear Lake trailhead.

This was recommended by a Ranger after we said we wanted a fairly tough hike.

It is an 8.8 mile round trip and also 3000 feet of climbing (and then 3000 feet of descending which I found tougher). It goes over 12'000 feet, so if you aren't used to altitude this can be tough.

There were some lovely views and lake overlooks. As you ascended the vegetation around changed from lots of Aspen by the lake, then more firs, then small shrubby trees until at the top there is very little at all, other than some patches of snow and a little glacier.

We also saw some nice wildlife, Marmots, Deer and Pika.

The round trip took us 5 hours and 20 minutes, taking plenty of photos, admiring the views and pausing for food / drink.

We would recommend proper sturdy footwear and to come equipped for bad weather conditions if it the weather changes while you are on the mountain.

Visited October 2011
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