This is probably my favorite hike in the Fraser Valley. I love it for many reasons but primarily because I watch the sun hit its peak every morning as it rises over the Divide from my living room. After not hiking it for several years, my 7 and 8 year old put this climb on their 2016 summer bucket list. They are tough mountain critters and we made it door to door in about 6 hours. I expect that in 2 more years, that number will be more like 4 hours.
This hike is a black diamond in my book and most hiking guides: DIFFICULT. While its not a long hike in miles, it is quite steep in many sections. But it is a CLASSIC and a MUST DO hike in Grand County for anyone in decent, high altitude condition.
The trailhead is approximately 10 miles from the town of Fraser. Take Hwy 40 to CR 73 and stay on 73 for 7+ miles. The road is well maintained and signs mark the way to the trailhead. The road is closed and there is a parking area about 1.8 miles before you hit the trailhead. This is where my family chose to bring our mountain bikes and do some cross training. The road is narrow, rocky and certainly a very difficult climb on a bike but our reward was the ride down to the car when we were done. There is a bike rack at the trailhead so bring a lock if you choose to ride then climb.
The trail is super scenic through the forest where you can see Bottle Pass at many breaks in the trees. When you get to the treeline and meadow, it’s deceiving because my 7yr old said “are we at the top?” There is still a mile of steep climbing and bouldering (at the very tippy top) but the view is so worth it. You can see the Gore Range, Bills Peak, Longs Peak, Indian Peaks, Williams Fork reservoir, Lake Granby and so much more from a 12,804′ perspective.
My tired old knees wished I had invested in some hiking poles for the hike down. We missed the peak of wild flower season but still viewed plenty of great “nature” as my daughter calls everything outside.
You’ll see many references to the name Byers around Grand County. There are streets, the mountain, the canyon and other landmarks named for William Newton Byers. Byers had a history of developing cities, newspapers (The Rocky Mountain News), political shenanigans and founding the Hot Sulphur Springs resort and town which is still the county seat of Grand County.