Chugach State Park is the third largest state park in the nation. The half million acre park borders Anchorage and there is an abundance of hiking trails within 20 minutes of the city limits. We checked the weather and headed out for what we thought was an easy hike up Falls Creek trail. With the name Falls Creek we assumed that we would be hiking up to a water fall.
After hiking on a very steep trail and with no falls in sight we decided to head back to the trail head and go back to Flat Top Mountain again and see if we had better luck with the weather.
On the way to Flat Top Mountain we saw this guy along the Seward Highway.
The clouds thinned out and we decided it would be a good day to hike up to the top of Flat Top Mountain, a short 3 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of about 1700 feet. Previously the weather hadn't cooperated but now it looked favorable. We we drove to the trail head and there were a few clouds but the sun was poking through. Liz and Bill opted not to hike with Nancy, Sadie, and I.
At first the trail seemed very will maintained but there were signs warning that the last part of the trail was "difficult". The trail is described a a great trail for families so I was sure the difficult part was the normal "CYA" warnings. What the guide books don't tell you is that the last few hundred yards are straight up, rocky, with lose gravel, and you need to be a mountain goat to get up and down. Yes, it is a great place for families, especially for children because they love rock hopping.
Once we got to the top the vistas were spectacular.
The Flat Top Mountain trail from the top.
Vistas looking south
The hard part was picking our route down the mountain. I spent a lot of time scooting down on my back side. At this point I was hoping the clouds didn't bring any rain.