Standing at 12,804 feet, Byers Peak overlooks a Wilderness rendered unique by the fact that about one half of the area consists of alpine tundra, the land above the tree line. Most of the entire Byers Peak Trail, which traverses the area north to south from Bottle Pass to Saint Louis Peak, rises above the shadow of the Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, or lodgepole pine that cloak the lower elevations. Though Byers Peak Wilderness is small in acreage, only the undeveloped head of the Fraser Experimental Forest separates this Wilderness from Vasquez Peak Wilderness, making it a part of a much larger roadless region of Colorado. Although it lacks the size associated with many Colorado Wildernesses, Byers Peak contains several scenic lakes and 23 miles of trails offering panoramic views along some of the finest ridge hiking in the state. Views worth the effort are available from atop the peak itself, accessible via the Byers Peak Trail, a distance of 8.6 miles round-trip from the trailhead. Mule deer, elk, ptarmigan, and marmots are common sights, but the main lure of the place is the peace and quiet afforded by one of the Rocky Mountain's most obscure Wildernesses.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Byers Peak Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.