The quintessential day hike, Flattop offers routes for all abilities, and throws in mountain vistas even before you’ve arrived at the trailhead.
Flattop is widely regarded as the most climbed mountain in Alaska. And while the trail to the summit is rocky and steep, there are a number of loop trails below perfect for beginners or those with physical limitations. In fact, many sightseeing tours of the city include a stop at Glen Alps for views of the city and the mountains.
A short, paved, wheelchair accessible 0.3-mile loop gives a taste of the views in store. With the city below on one side and the surrounding mountains stretching out to the east, this is where Anchorage meets the wild.
From trailhead to the rocky top of Flattop, it’s approximately 3 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation gain. The path around Blueberry Loop is hard-packed earth, and leads to stairs constructed from railroad ties. If you’re not up for the climb to the summit, look for a wide bench after the first set of stairs; it offers phenomenal views. The last stretch to the top is a rocky route; don’t be afraid to use your hands for stability.
Whichever path you choose, start the hike at the Glen Alps Trailhead. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage. Flattop Mountain Shuttle can provide transportation from downtown to the trailhead and back.
There are a number of other great hikes that begin at Glen Alps including Powerline Pass and Williwaw Lakes.