Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.45200°N / 79.583°W
Additional Information Elevation: 4001 ft / 1220 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Flat Top panorama, taken from...
Summit of Flat Top from Sharp Top.

Flat Top Mountain is the highest of the three major peaks in the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Its nearby neighbor peak, Sharp Top, was once believed to be the highest mountain in Virginia, but is actually much the shorter of the two. However, Sharp Top is a more exposed summit and it does have the illusion of being higher.

Flat Top's name also belies the extreme topography of the peak, and from certian angles it is every bit as "sharp" as its aptly named sister peak. It is not hard to understand how Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill became major tourist attractions during the early history of the USA. Rising well over 1,600 feet above the gap at its feet, Flat Top offers daunting slopes on which to hike and climb.

Getting There

The trailhead to the summit of Flat Top can be reached either at one terminus at the dam on the Abbott Lake Trail (behind the Peaks of Otter Lodge at milepost 86), or at the Flat Top Parking Area near milepost 83 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Red Tape

Flat Top
Flat Top.

No red tape.

When To Climb

Climbing carefully to the...
Short climb to the summit.

All year. Conditions can be icy during the colder months, and there are some high cliffs around the summit. Care should be taken under icy conditions.


There is an official campground across the road (43) from the Peaks of Otter Lodge. However, it is closed from November through March. I know of no prohibition on camping either in Jefferson National Forest, or within the Peaks of Otter Recreation Area.

Mountain Conditions

Check the weather for Bedford, Virginia. Subtract five to ten degrees for the higher ridges. Check the road conditions at the Blue Ridge Parkway site here.

External Links

  • Peaks of Otter Lodge.
    Official website run by the concessionaire who opeartes the Peaks of Otter Lodge for the National Park Service. Good information about the area.



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Blue Ridge ParkwayMountains & Rocks