This trail offers a less crowded alternative to the New Byers Peak Trail and makes a nice loop with the New Byers Peak Trail. This route is easy, but requires more navagational skills than the standard route. Much of the trail is pretty faded, but easy to follow as it stays close to the ridgetop.
If you plan to ascend one trail, and return via another, it is recommended that you ascendthe Old Byers Peak Trail and decend the New Trail. The reason for this is that its easy to miss the turnoff to the Old Trail while descending because the junction is not marked.
Byers Peak and Bills Peak as seen from near Bottle Pass. The Old Byers Route more or less follows the left hand ridge of Byers. Both the New and Old Byers Trails meet each other near timberline.
There are a few routes to get to the trailhead, but this one may be best. From Highway 40 at the shopping center near the canter of Fraser, turn south on County Road 72 for 0.2 miles. Turn right on Fraser Parkway for 0.8 miles. Turn left on County Road 73 and follow it for 7.0 miles. There are a few side tracks, but stay on the main road. Make a right and follow the road 3.0 miles to the gate and trailhead. The road has a few potholes, but is suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles.
Note: The beginning of this trail is not shown on the topo map.
From the gate, follow the closed road up for 0.7 miles to the actual beginning of the trail. From the beginning of the trail, follow the trail marked for Bottle Pass up the hillside. This part of the trail is newly constructed as the trail switchbacks up to the ridge through the forest. Once the ridge is reached, there is a trail sign/junction.
Turn left (south) along the Old Byers Peak Trail. This trail isn't used nearly as much as the New Byers Peak Trail, and offers solitude. Parts of the trail are a bit faded, but fairly easy to follow, since the trail stays close to the ridgetop. The trail more or less follows the ridge and reaches the New Byers Peak Trail at timberline.
The new trail is then followed to the summit. There is some easy class 2 scrambling on the last part of the ridge. If you plan to ascend one trail, and return via another, it is recommended that you ascendthe Old Byers Peak Trail and decend the New Trail. The reason for this is that its easy to miss the turnoff to the Old Trail while descending because the junction is not marked. The summit via this route is 3.1 miles with 2200 feet elevation gain.
The summit via this route is 3.8 miles with 3000 feet elevation gain.
A good pair of boots is needed.