|Flat Top from Montrose
|Estimated net time||1½-2 hours|
|Drinking water||The only source of running water is a stream crossing the gravel road, but this stream carries a lot of sand and is not likely to be very suitable for drinking.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (July 2013).|
|Parking||Room for one or two cars at trail head.|
|Start height||1778 metres|
|Vertical metres||175 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||5.1 km|
From the intersection of roads 50, 90 and 550 in Montrose centre, in westerns Colorado, drive road 50 1.2 km north-east in the direction of Gunnison. Turn left onto San Juan Avenue, and then turn right onto 6530 Road after 500 metres. Drive this road 4.1 km and park around the 4-way junction at a small hill top.
Start your walk by following the gravel road towards right. Follow the gravel road 1.5 km, to the foot of Flat Top, and leave the road by heading straight up a wide path. Turn left onto the gravel road when the path re-joins the road after 150 metres. Stay on the road for 200 metres and do another short-cut just before a left bend; a vague path runs up to the summit plateau, and then continues east towards the summit, parallel to the road. When the path merges with the road continue east on the road, to the unmarked summit at the far end of the plateau.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
NOTE - You're likely to be able to drive all the way to the summit with a 4WD, and most cars are OK to drive to the foot of the mountain, 1.3 km from the trail head.
27. July 2013
We were due to spend a number of hours in the car this Saturday, and my only real chance for a hike was by heading out before breakfast. I had scanned the maps the night before and found Flat Top to be a ranked mountain worth visiting, and which wouldn't consume a lot of time.
The whole hike was done in less than one hour, and was a fine morning stroll in very dry territory. The only others out this morning was a hare, and a woman walking her three dogs when I was descending.
After the hike it was a quick shower and then breakfast at our Montrose hotel (Black Canyon motel), before we spent a little more than an hour at the very good sports centre while Sigurd was doing his skate boarding. Then a long drive to Leadville, including several stops.