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Flattop is Alaska's most frequently climbed mountain. Located 13 miles from downtown Anchorage, the Glen Alps Parking lot in Chugach State Park is the jumping off point for many outstanding hikes but Flattop is by far the most popular. This 3-mile round-trip hike begins at 2,200 feet. The 1,350' elevation gain to the 3,550 foot summit is easy at the begining, moderate with railroad tie steps in the middle, and steep with firm footing on the headwall just below the top.
On average it takes one hour to reach the top and 45 minutes for the descent.
There is a second, third and even a fourth peak beyond the flat top peak.
On a clear day the view stretches from Mt. McKinley in the north, to Cook Inlet and the Anchorage bowl below, to Redoubt Volcano in the south.
Hiking to Flattop's "broad summit has long been the classic afternoon hike near Anchorage." 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, page 144.
If you drive to the trailhead there is a $5 parking fee. For those who don't have access to a car, the Flattop Mountain Shuttle provides transportation to the trailhead from downtown Anchorage and back for $22 per person.