The Flat Tops rise in a broad plateau, a massive upsurge of volcanic rock, planed level over the ages, and broken in places by mountain spires rising nearly a thousand feet.
An Oasis to Explore
A relatively undiscovered gem, the Flat Tops provide great hiking and solitude – with elevations from 7,600 to almost 13,000 feet, large subalpine meadows, forests of aspen, spruce, and fir, and a high but gentle landscape that offers many diverse routes.
Elk, deer, mountain lion, mink, ptarmigan, marmot, and moose can all sometimes be seen wandering the high landscape… and an array of wildflowers from columbine to Parry Primrose carpet the extensive subalpine meadows of the plateau.
A Land of Rushing Water
This is a land of alpine lakes and quiet ponds, with over 110 glacially-carved bodies of water gracing the broad valleys below the Flat Top Plateau. This expansive wilderness is also a land of flowing rivers, over 100 miles of them, with trout abundant in both.
We offer four backpacking treks including the four-day White River Traverse which ascends the incredible South Fork of the White River. We’ll traverse the verdant meadows along the massive Flat Tops Plateau and camp by high mountain lakes and streams.
The Flat Tops Classic is an ideal choice for families. We use one breathtaking campsite for three nights, allowing us to explore on day hikes with only light day packs on Days 3 and 4. This hike follows a series of alpine lakes just below treeline.
We establish our base camp near the shores of a pristine alpine lake where we camp for three nights. We keep our eyes peeled for wildlife, snap amazing photos, eat like royalty, and sleep under one of the clearest night skies ever seen!
Check out our Flat Tops Explorer trek, a more challenging and intensely scenic experience in Colorado’s deep back-country. This 5-day trip ascends a breath-taking, glacially scoured valley, through meadow and forest habitats, and into lake-strewn high country.
Then we climb Big Marvine Peak and explore as we want; gentle mountain ascents and side trips to remote, unnamed lakes. We see the effects of ﬁre and ice on the landscape as we walk: glaciers and volcanoes have shaped the landscape of the Flat Tops Wilderness.
Join us for one of the more magnificent and wild journeys in the Rocky Mountains!
—Robin Guthrie, Colorado Program Manager and Passionate Explorer