Flat Top Mountain Is Calling!
Howdy folks! Brandon here, bringing you this weeks Ski Haus trail report. This week I wanted to do something I haven’t heard much talk about this summer. If you live in, or spend a fair amount of time here in The Boat, you hear a lot about the Flat Tops Wilderness. However, you don’t hear a lot of talk about Flat Top Mountain itself. So my boy Blue and I went on a little adventure to bring you some information.
How To Get To Flat Top Mountain
If you’re coming from Steamboat Springs, you’ll take HWY 131 to Yampa. From there you’ll turn westbound onto County Road 7 (Bear River Rd.). Then you’ll take it all the way to the end until you hit the Devil’s Causeway/Trappers Lake Trailhead. There will be bathrooms there at the trailhead. It will take about 1hr. 20mins. to get there from Steamboat.
Once you start on trail, you’ll walk about 100 yards until you reach a fork in the trail at Stillwater Reservoir. If you were to go straight, it’d take you toward Devil’s Causeway. You’ll want to go left which takes you around the reservoir along the levee. Eventually you’ll run into a trail sign. Take the “North Derby Trail” and follow it along some beautiful ponds and alpine meadows. Eventually you’ll find yourself slowly going up towards the saddle.
Once you reach the top of the saddle where it flattens out, look directly to your left and you’ll notice a faint trail. The only way I can describe this next section is like walking up a very large handicap ramp. It’s very mellow and just gradually inclines up its flat, angled slope all the way to its rocky summit in the middle of a talus field. Along the way it may be tricky to stay on the “trail”. To be honest most of this section is very little to no trail at all. You will however notice rock cairns along the way to keep you on the path, but when in doubt, just go up!
My Experience Summiting Flat Top Mountain
Blue and I camped alongside CR 7 leading up to the trailhead. You’ll find many campsites with tables and fire pits along the way, but these require a fee. However, blue and I were lucky enough to spot a little dispersed area with a small fire ring and a perfect view of Flat Top Mountain. I had a perfect view of my journey I’d embark on the following morning. We hit the trail at 6:30 a.m., made it to the summit, hung out for a bit and enjoyed the views, and we were back at the Jeep by 11:00 a.m.
All in all, this was one of my favorite hikes to do with my pup. Once we got to the saddle there was ample space for him to just free range and have a blast as we slowly worked out way up to the summit. I do want to mention that there is a sign near the trailhead informing hikers that there are sheep grazing in the area until September 20. The ranchers do leave their Livestock Protection Dogs to stay with the flock. So please take the 60 seconds it’ll take you to read the rules and regulations in order to keep you and your dog safe. Lucky for Blue and I, we didn’t encounter any open grazers out there. I glassed the area from the saddle and we were fortunate enough to have it all to ourselves!
Pocket Rocket 2 (Stove): $44.95
Black Diamond Speed 22 Pack: $99.95
LEKI Legacy Trekking Poles: $119.95
Ruffwear Palisades Dog Pack: $149.95
Pup Cup: $8.95
Icebreaker Longsleeve Merino 200: $75.00
Patagonia Trail Shorts: $65.00
Altra Lone Peak 4.0 (Trail Running Shoes): $130.00
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: $23.00
Nat Geo Map: $12.95
As usual, if you’d like to take a couple of minutes to watch the visual trail report, CLICK HERE. Also, all of the gear mentioned above, as well as just about everything else you can think of that you’ll need for you next outdoor adventure, we sell here at Ski Haus. The Labor Day sales on all the spring goods have hit the racks, and all of our winter goods are on sale across the street at The Attic above the liquor store. As usual, be smart, stay safe and get out there and crush it!