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"two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In and around Anchorage: Anchorage to Flattop and Glen Alps Trailhead

The name and location of the most-climbed mountain in Alaska may surprise you. It’s Flattop. By Alaska standards, it is certainly not tall—only 3,510 ft. It’s only a few minutes’ drive from downtown Anchorage, within Chugach State Park. Chugach itself spans about 500,000 acres, and is one of the largest state parks in the U.S.
Alaska's Chugach State Park extends over about 500,000 acres

In addition to being accessible from Anchorage, the trail offers a moderately challenging, steep climb shy of the summit. Lower areas of the trail are easy to follow and include railings on stairways, steps and some switchbacks. The overall 1.5 mile climb to the summit, a 1,280 ft. rise, leads to some very ground and loose rock. Additionally, even well into June and July, there can be snow and ice on the trail. Hikers are advised to wear appropriate shoes and when in doubt, return to the trailhead and sit it out.

The view from the Glen Alps Trailhead, weather permitting, permits some stunning photo opportunities of a distant downtown Anchorage and the Cook Inlet. Parking at the trailhead has a nominal fee. At the time of our visit, summer 2012, it was $5. 

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