Elevation: 12,713 Feet
Roundtrip Distance: 10 Miles
From the Tiny Town Cabins and Manor RV Park, look West then just left of Flattop Mountain, the flattest peak nearby, to spot Hallet Peak.
WIlliam Hallet, was one of the early residents of the Estes Valley, and key in forming the first mountain club in Colorado known as the Rocky Mountain Club. William was an avid outdoorsman but made his living by ranching cattle.
The trail for Hallet Peak begins at Bear Lake Trailhead. Follow the Flattop Trail signs as you will, in fact, summit Flattop Mountain before Hallet Peak. The trail flows through a beautiful conifer and aspen forest as you make it up a series of switchbacks to treeline. During winter snow depths vary from a few inches to over a foot. This well-loved trail is often hard-packed through this section, so traction devices are recommended.
From treeline, views of Longs Peak and Glacier Gorge are to the South and the Mummy Range to the North. Tip: Time your trip to arrive at treeline as the sun is rising, and catch the amazing alpenglow — it is quite an experience to see first light on top of any mountain.
As you continue your ascent across the vast, sloping alpine tundra, follow the cairns. You will soon run into a hitch rack right below the summit. Once you reach the crest above the hitch rack, the slope flattens and leads to the sign marking the summit of Flattop Mountain. The view of Hallet Peak from this angle is exciting.
From this junction head South to the western slopes of Hallet Peak. While there are a few cairns to follow, the trail can nonetheless be difficult to discern in winter. Tip: Find what feels to you like the path of least resistance, heading upward.
Hallet Peak reveals hundreds of miles of views, including the Grand Lake area to the West and Estes Park to the East — a vast and beautiful place to spend a morning!
You can follow the trail back to the trailhead or make your own descent down Flattops Eastern slopes. This area is frequently skied, but I found my snowshoes a fun and safe way to make it down to the trail below. Once on the trail, head south toward the Flattop trail and continue your descent to the Bear Lake Trailhead.