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“Worth the effort”

Flattop Mountain Trail
Reviewed 19 August 2016 via mobile

We hiked up Flattop Mountain to get to Hallett Peak. The elevation and steepness of the trail did cause me stop to take a few breaks along the way (although my hiking partner from Houston was fine). But I never felt like the hike wasn't something I couldn't complete.
About half the trail is above the tree line and we were hit with strong winds as soon as we reached that point. We were glad we wore pants and took jackets. I wore a hat but ended up taking it off when we were fully exposed on top of the mountain due to the wind. I could have used an ear warmer at the very top but was ok without it.
The views above the tree line are amazing though and worth the whole hike. We started around 7 am and saw one marmot on the way up but about a dozen on the way down. We saw two pika on the way down too. Towards the top we saw snow fields which was amazing to see in July to two Texas girls. Definitely take time at the top to soak in the views.
While rated moderate, the trail is well maintained. I had hiking boots but my hiking partner wore tennis shoes and had no problems.
Starting in the morning, it was still cool on top of the mountain for us, especially when we had the headwind. As far as food and nutrition, I used a camelbak with 2L capacity, 3 extra 16 oz bottles, a packet of Skratch Labs for one of the bottles, 2 Bonk Breaker bars and some beef jerky.
It started raining on us right as we reached the parking lot at about 1:30. There were definitely more people on the way up than down when we finished. I highly recommend starting early to avoid the crowds and the afternoon showers. We also saw a lot of people who only had a plastic water bottle for hydration who were struggling above the tree line. The sun is strong and if you don't start early you will feel it quick.
The Bear Lake/Nymph Lake/Dream Lake/Emerald Lake hike is the best way to see quintessential Rocky Mountains but if you have a few days or like to go off the beaten path I would definitely recommend this hike.

5  Thank jenhaddock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2016

I really enjoyed my hike to Flattop Mountain and then continued on the Hallett Peak. Flattop Mtn is about 9 miles round trip winding through trees, rocks, and open fields. There may be snow before mid July and after October. Start by 7 to get off the top by noon when the thunderstorms roll into the RMNP. Continue on the Hallett Peak which adds another mile total as it is well worth it. 4-5 hrs with breaks and lunch at the top.

1  Thank AlexanderDelarge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2016 via mobile

It is a strenuous hike for visitors (like me) but the views at the top are breathtaking! If you are up for a challenge, do it.

1  Thank klkuhlman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2016

The Flattop Mountain Trail begins at Bear Lake Parking area. You wind your way through aspen, eventually coming to an overlook where you can look down upon Emerald Lake. If you are going to the top of Flattop, be aware that there are many "false summits" but once on top, the view is 360 degrees of beauty. This is a good trail to "skin" up in the winter months and ski down.

1  Thank bdawgwrangler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2015

Was rated as extremely difficult by a ranger I asked for information. The trail is indeed a bit rugged and climbing all the time. Do not do this as a first hike unless you really want altitude sickness. On top of Flat Top the view is OK but for the ultimate experience (without technical challenges) continue 45 minutes up to Hallett Peak. It is worth it.

3  Thank Jan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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