Hiking and Viewing at Flat Top in Anchorage, Alaska

Whenever I’m asked for places to see in Alaska (or more specifically Anchorage) Flat Top makes the cut.  The main viewing area can be accessed by car (driving directions below).  Depending on the weather Mount Susitna (Sleeping Lady) and Mt. McKinley and its foothills can be seen across Knik Arm.  Also, Anchorage in its entirety can be seen.  I went up at sunset Sunday night which should have been just before 11:00 pm.  I got there at 9:30 pm and stayed until 11:30 pm.  While I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was breezy and neither Sleeping Lady nor Mt. McKinley glowed like they often do.  Regardless here are a few of my photos.

Note:  The weather was a complete bust for photos, but I wanted to share anyway.

Downtown Anchorage

Downtown Anchorage View from Flat Top Viewing Area

Mount Susitna (Sleeping Lady)

I love the legend of Sleeping Lady and it is the mountain that reminds me of home the most (aside from Mt. McKinley).

Sleeping Lady View from Flat Top Viewing Area

Here is an explanation of Sleeping Lady’s legend from Borealis Broadband:

Legend tells us that a millennia ago, the Great Land known as Alaska was inhabited by a race of giants.  Among these people was a beautiful young maiden and a handsome young man whose devotion to each other was admired by all the villagers.  Wedding preparations were underway when word reached the village of a warring tribe approaching from the north.

After a village council it was decided that the young man would bring gifts to the invaders to show the peaceful and friendly intentions of the villagers.  Keeping herself busy while waiting for the young man’s return, the maiden eventually grew tired and laid down to rest.

Soon after, word reached the village that the invaders rejected the offer of peace and a battle ensued in which the young man was killed.  The villagers, gazing at the sleeping maiden, did not have the heart to wake her.

So there she rests today, still waiting for news of peace and the return of her love.

Mt. McKinley Desperately Trying to Peak Through

Mt McKinley Hiding at Sunset from Flat Top Viewing Area

Mt. McKinley Foothills

Sunset over Mt McKinley Foothills View from Flat Top Viewing Area

Sunset over Mt McKinley Foothills View from Flat Top Viewing Area

Flat Top

Flat Top can be easily hiked, even this time of year.  As the trail approaches the top it gets a bit more difficult.  The view at the top is even more spectacular.  It’s amazing to be on top of a mountain that is completely flat.  I didn’t make it up this trip because I got there so late, but I’ve done it many times.  I highly recommend it.

Flat Top

Driving Instructions

There are signs pointing the way once you get on O’Malley.  It’s much better marked than I remember.  It costs to park at the viewing area, but it’s only $5.00 which is very reasonable.

  • Head south on Seward Highway.
  • Exit at O’Malley and head east.
  • Turn right on Hillside.
  • Turn left on Upper Huffman.
  • Turn right Toilsome and follow the signs to the parking area.

More About My Trip

To see all posts about my Alaska/Canada Road Trip click here.

2 Replies to “Hiking and Viewing at Flat Top in Anchorage, Alaska”

  1. Pingback: The Landscape of Denali National Park and Preserve | Travel, Photography, and Other Fun Adventures