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Flattop Tundra Trails

1980's to Mid 1990's

Name of Ski Area: No official name.  Called "Flattop Tundra Trails" or "Flattop Trails" by some.
Location: Alpine tundra fields to the north of Flattop Mountain, east of Blueberry Knoll, in the Glenn Alps area of Chugach State Park on the eastern edge of Anchorage, Alaska.
Type of Area: Early season cross country ski training trails on natural alpine tundra fields.
Dates of Operation: 1980's to Mid 1990's


Facilities: None, with the exception of a bush to hang your warm-up jacket on.
History: During the 1980's and early 1990's this location was often the first place that Anchorage cross country ski racers would train.  During this time period the Powerline Pass Trail was not maintained as well as it is today.  The Powerline Trail was rockier and much wetter prior to drainage improvements the Chugach State Park would eventually make.  Because of the rough shape of the Powerline Trail, the tundra fields on the bench to the northwest of Flattop were usually ski-able before the Powerline Pass Trail was.

Skiers would ski on these smooth alpine tundra fields and remnants of old jeep trails that were made here before this area became a state park.  Often skiers would bring shovels to scrape snow into the bare spots on the trail.  In 1986 the only skiing in the Anchorage Bowl was at this location from October 10th to December 10th.  High school ski teams would have practices here.  The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) ski team would also train here as would local Anchorage xc ski racers like Tim Miller, John Mucha, Bill Spencer, Dan Fleener, Tim Kelley and many others.  Time trial ski races were once held here by UAA.

As work on the Powerline Pass Trail made it smoother and drier, the Powerline Pass Trail would become ski-able with the same amount of snow that would make this tundra field area ski-able.  So the need or interest in skiing on the tundra field trails waned.  People still ski in this area.  But the days of skiing-in classic tracks and ski racers doing loops here seem to be over.

Sources of Information:

Tim Kelley


Does anyone have old pictures of skiing on the Flattop tundra field trails that they would like to contribute to ALSAP ?

~  PHOTOS  ~

2008 Photos of the Flattop Tundra Fields from the Summit of Flattop Mountain
[Photo credits: Tim Kelley]

The above panoramic photo, taken from the summit of Flattop Mountain, shows the location of the Flattop Tundra Fields xc ski training tracks

Here is a zoomed in view of the location and layout of the old ski training loop.  The Powerline Pass Trail can be seen in the base of the valley.

~  MAPS  ~

This map shows the location of the old Flattop Tundra Trails xc ski training site east of Anchorage.


Here is a zoomed in view of the site where the Flattop Tundra Trails used to be.  The Glenn Alps parking lot can be seen to the northwest of the red circle.


And here is a topo map of the area.  The red arrow indicates where the ski trails were located.


Research Correspondence 




Do you have further information, stories or pictures that you would like to contribute about this ski area?