Trailhead: Byers Peak Trailhead
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking
Closest City / Town: Winter Park / Fraser, Colorado
- At the stop light by the Safeway Store in Fraser on US Highway 40, turn west onto County Road 72.
- Take the second right onto the Fraser Parkway, which will bend around by the Fraser tubing hill.
- Then turn left (west) onto County Road 73.
- Follow the dirt road through the Fraser Experimental Forest towards St. Louis Creek and Byers Creek Campgrounds.
- Take a sharp right at the Byers Peak sign and follow this dirt road for 2 miles to the gate and the Byers Peak Trailhead parking area.
Hiking Distances: 8.8 miles (roundtrip); Elevation 12,804′
Description: The Byers Peak Trail is a great day hike with its major attraction being the panoramic views atop Byers Peak. It is relatively close to Denver and just 20 minutes from Winter Park.
The trail starts at the gate and follows the road to the trailhead of the single track hiking trail. This section of the trail can be used by both hikers and mountain bikers. At the single track hiking trailhead, there is a spot to leave mountain bikes. Nothing like a little high altitude biathlon to get the juices flowing!
From here to the top of Byers Peak, the trail is a steep1.8 miles, with some boulder scrambling required near the summit. The steep sub-alpine slopes do not provide any camping and hikers should be prepared for a stiff wind at tree line that generally blows atop the mountain. Remnants of snow fields usually remain along the trail until the first or second week of July.
Worth Noting: There is good fishing in the few small lakes just below Byers Peak along the Byers Peak Trail although they require some strenuous cross-country hiking. The altitude is no joke!
Check out Nomad Colorado for more info about what to do if you’re vacationing in Winter Park.