Thing to Do

Hike Flattop Mountain

rocky rugged flat area
Flattop Mountain

NPS Photo / Kim Grossman

  • Distance: 8.8 miles round trip (from the Bear Lake area)
  • Elevation gain: 1,215 feet
  • Trail type: Out and Back, Strenuous

Hike to the top of the Continental Divide! Although the trail is well marked and well used, this trail is one of the most difficult designated trails in the park. Along the trail you'll get incredible views of Dream Lake and Hallet Peak, as well as the unique opportunity to stand on top on the nation’s dividing line!

From the top of this trail, you can continue onto Hallet Peak or Tyndall Glacier. 

Be aware: the Upper Tonahutu Creek Trail from Flattop Mountain west to the junction of Onahu Trail at Tonahutu is closed.

Note: Due to the extreme popularity of the Bear Lake area, you might want to arrive early. This trail is very busy, especially in summer and on fall weekends. Parking often fills by early morning. Roads are congested. The park’s free shuttle bus is here to help! You can ride the shuttle to stunning destinations and popular trailheads, all while avoiding the hassle of dealing with traffic and searching for parking.

Altitude Warning: Altitude sickness affects many visitors every year. Symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, and even unconsciousness. Altitude can also aggravate pre-existing conditions like heart and lung disease. Take your time, drink water, eat, and rest. The only cure for altitude sickness is to go down to a lower altitude.

Storm Warning: Weather in Colorado can turn in an instant! Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Check the forecast before heading out. Lightning can strike anywhere in Rocky. Watch for building storm clouds and return to the trailhead immediately if you hear thunder. As a rule of thumb, try to be back at the trailhead by noon.

Pets Allowed
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Bear Lake Trailhead

From May 27 to October 10, 2022, Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required to enter most areas of Rocky Mountain National Park between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. To access the Bear Lake Road Corridor, Timed Entry Permits are in effect from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Timed Entry Permit Reservations are only available to be booked through One Timed Entry Permit Reservation is $2.00 and non-refundable. 

Timed Entry Permits are vehicle permits. One Timed Entry Permit will cover one vehicle and all passengers in the vehicle. Timed Entry Permit Holders must enter the park during their reseved 2-hour reservation window. 

To learn more, visit the park's Timed Entry Permit Reservation webpage at

Accessibility Information
This is not a paved trail. It is extremely rugged with an elevation gain of 1,215 feet.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Last updated: July 20, 2022