Flat TopChugach State Park
One of the most popular day hikes for residents of Anchorage. During the summer, many of us climb it as a cardio workout.
Basically it’s a nice quick hike to an almost flat summit (the result of a glacier shearing its top off). If you’re only in town for a few days on business and can’t really get out or if you have some extra time on your travels up here, I highly recommend it for its views of Anchorage, the Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, and the Chugach Mountains. Otherwise, the trail can be crowded and is not the rustic hike so famous up here (i.e. trail markers, hand rails, very maintained trail, etc.). However, if you’re seriously urban and you’re a little freaked out by the wilderness, this could be just the ticket for you.
If you have the time, I urge you to push ahead and explore Peak Two and Three. There is a visibly marked trail (be careful on the ridge between Two and Three) so you should have no problems navigating to them.
Be very careful going up and especially going down when you are near the top. It is quite rocky and slippery.
There are no water sources on the trail. Make sure to bring some with you.
It can be quite windy up top so you may want to consider packing a windbreaker. There are rock shelters to sit in if need be.
The Glen Alps Parking Lot requires a $5 parking fee (bring exact amount). The price for an annual parking pass is $40. You can purchase a pass at the Federal Building at 4th and F or the Atwood Building on 7th and E, 12th Floor.
Here are the directions for getting there: take the Seward Highway to the O’Malley exit and head east. After a few miles, follow the signs to Glen Alps. Make a right on Hillside Drive then a left on Upper Huffman. Turn right on Toilsome Hill. This road will twist and wind up the hills for about two miles.
On the night of the summer solstice (June 20), people camp up at the summit overnight in celebration.
There is a short hike that loops from the parking lot with a viewing deck overlooking the Anchorage bowl.
You can also just hike to Blueberry Hill (you may find some freedom), the first part of the Flat Top Trail. If you come in late August, early September, bring some Tupperware to hold all the blueberries that you’re going to want to pick.
Flattop Mountain Shuttle/Downtown Bicycle Rental currently shoots to run a shuttle at 1 p.m. The Shuttle goes up when 7 or more people sign up. The cost is $22. It’s a new business and will probably add more shuttles as it grows.
There are a lot of great hikes around this area. Don’t let the proximity to Anchorage deter you from this wonderful place. For hikes in this vicinity, go to the Powerline Pass hike page.