Flattop was one of the first hikes I did after moving to Anchorage. The Glen Alps Trailhead is right at the edge of town and easy to reach. You could even take a taxi or Uber if you happen to be in town without a rental car. Flattop Trail is short enough to enjoy time in nature without investing an entire day. The views of the water, mountains, and skyline are more than worth the minimal effort to reach this Anchorage hiking trail. On a clear day, you can even see Denali far to the north.
Climbing the popular but worthwhile Flattop Trail
The Flattop trail is a well developed and easy to follow Anchorage hike. Most of the hike is relatively easy, aside from a steep final pitch that’ll get your heart rate up. The last climb is on a north-facing aspect and can retain snow well into summer, which can make things slippery. When I went on a late May afternoon, I found hard-packed steps in the snow left by an endless stream of previous hikers. The top is a broad flat expanse (hence the name) where you can also camp overnight. Flattop is also the site of an annual summer solstice celebration where hikers get to take advantage of almost 20 hours of daylight.
Hikers with an appetite for more hikes near Anchorage can follow the ridge to the southeast to bag two more peaks. Here you’ll find the less creatively named Peak 2 and Peak 3 in the front range of the Chugach mountains.