Top left: marmot near the summit
Top right: overlook of Emerald Lake
Bottom left: view of the Tyndall Glacier
Bottom right: view of Flattop Mountain trail
Distance (round trip): 8.8 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft.
Beginning at the Bear Lake Trailhead, the trail to Flattop Mountain is almost entirely uphill and covers 3,000 feet in elevation. The trail overlooks both Dream Lake and Emerald Lake, and in the distance you can also see Sprague Lake, Bierstadt Lake, and Mills Lake. The trail has views across Glacier Gorge with Longs Peak to the Southeast.
After breaking treeline, the trail gets rockier and there are lots of pikas and marmots running busily around. Before reaching the top, the trail meanders up to and past Tyndall Glacier. Hallett Peak towers another 0.6 miles from Flattop, and the Continental Divide trail winds past it. This hike offers excellent views which are well worth its rough ascent.