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Byers Peak. At 12,804 feet, Byers Peak is one of the tallest mountains overlooking Fraser, and the highest point in the Byers Peak Wilderness Area. The trail climbs the northern ridge of Byers through lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce forests before entering the spaciousness of the alpine tundra at around 11,200 feet. Climbers are rewarded with views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Gore Range, and Middle Park. The trail is only 1.5 mi, but it climbs 2,400 feet. If you aren't used to it, high altitude can catch you off guard. Take plenty of water with you and slather on the sunscreen. In summer an early morning start is best. Afternoon thunderstorms are frequent, and you should never be above the tree line during a storm with lightning. Plan on three hours for the round-trip hike. Sulphur Ranger District, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, Winter Park, CO, 80442. 970/887-4100. www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf.
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