Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I drive to the Trailhead myself and hike Flattop for free?
Yes. There is a $5 self-serve parking fee. The address to the trailhead is 13101 Glen Alps Road.
Click here for directions on how to drive to and from Flattop
Click here for a live webcam of the parking lot and the mountain.
Unless it is rush hour or ride shares are in high demand, It costs between $35 and $45 to get from downtown to the trailhead so between $70 and $90 roundtrip.
2. What are some other ways to get to and from Flattop?
Rent a bike and ride it 16 miles on a bike-friendly route to the trailhead, hike, then bike back. The first half of the bike ride is flat. Then there is a one-mile-long steep hill climb. After that first hill, it's slightly uphill for the next two miles. However, after that, the last three miles are very steep. To bypass the last section of the steep road, at the intersection of Hillside and Upper Huffman, hold up a sign that says "FLATTOP" and make a happy face out of the O. You will immediately get a ride from a pick-up truck or a car with a bike rack on its back (every other vehicle in Anchorage) the rest of the way to the trailhead from a healthy, active, positive, outgoing, helpful person.
B) Electric Bike
Rent an ebike from us for between $42 and $60 and ride it to the trailhead. Rent an electric mountain bike if you want to return on mountain bike trails.
C) City Bus to south Anchorage for $2 then Uber or Taxi the rest of the way to the mountain. The number 35 bus is a straight shot from downtown to the Dimond Center. It will cost about $22 to Uber, Lyft, or taxi the rest of the way to the trailhead.
3) If less than 7 people sign up for your shuttle and those that have signed up are unwilling to make up the difference in revenue ($175) you need to run, what are my/otherur other options?
In addition to the answers in FAQ 2, you could split the cost of an Uber, Taxi, or Lyft with the other hikers waiting here. You will make new friends and if there are four people it would be about the the same as what you would have paid for our shuttle. If there are six people wanting to go everyone is almost always ok paying another $4 (especially since there is so much more elbow room in the van.) If there are five people they would need to pay $10 more or $35 per person so for that price five people usually opt to split the cost of a Ride Share.
4. What footwear is best for this hike?
In May when there is still snow, hiking boots are needed. From June - September trail running shoes or sneakers with good traction are the best choice for most people although some people still prefer higher ankle support.
4. What should I wear?
Light layers and a breaker that you can peel off as you heat up during the hike. It's better to over-pack than under-pack because you can assess the weather at the trailhead and leave behind in the van whatever you decide you don't actually need on the hike. Be prepared for cold, wind, and rain but also be prepared for hot and sunny in which case all you'll need is a t-shirt and shorts.
5. Do you loan out hiking poles?
Yes. We have three or four sets and pass them out after arriving at the trailhead.
6. Can I store luggage at your store or in the van while I hike?
7. Can you pick me up on your way out and/or drop me off on the route back?
Yes. On the outbound route we pick you up in midtown at the water fountain on the south side of the Z.J. Loussac Public Library. It is on 36th between A and Denali. A second outbound pickup spot is the Alaska Airlines Sports Arena at UAA. Driver will text you when he departs downtown. After leaving Flattop the driver can drop you off anywhere in midtown on the inbound route.
8. If all of the shuttle's seats are reserved is there a wait list?
Yes. If someone who has signed-up doesn't show-up we trigger our wait list between 12:10 and 12:15.
9. After I check in what can I do while waiting for the shuttle to launch?
To bide time before departure here are some fun, free things to do.
1) Take glass elevator across the street to the top floor of the parking garage where there are great views and you'll see Flattop. Be back at bike rental no later than 12:05
2) Stretch. We have four large stretching mats and lots of room in in the spacious mall where we're located..
3) Our mall is home to a 1964 Earthquake exhibit that is on many city tours. Read/walk through the exhibit.