To get to the trailhead from Anchorage, take the Park's Highway north to the parking area at Little Coal Creek Trailhead at milepost 163.9. It also gives you those views in the shortest amount of time, about 1.5 hours, of any of the access trails to Kesugi Ridge. Kesugi Ridge, Alaska. This trail is the northernmost trail that provides access to Kesugi Ridge. You will first pass the end of the trail when you see a Veteran’s Memorial sign. Allan Spangler, 4:56:22; 5. 2) Crow Pass. K’esugi Ridge Trail (Little Coal Creek Tr. Chad Trammell, 4:58:27; 6. Racers will also need to retrieve any vehicles at Little Coal Creek after they finish. Participants should notify the race director by Aug. 26 of their choice for a refund or deferral. The Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse (about 14.2 miles) ends a short distance uphill from this junction at a rock formation called “The Doors.” After their race, Half Traverse participants take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. This 27.5 mile through hike is a relaxing overnight backpacking trip. This 27.5 mile through hike is a relaxing overnight backpacking trip. Travis McWhorter, 7:19:12; 28. To receive an official finish, Half Traverse racers must arrive within 4 hours, 5 minutes. We have a group area at Byers Headquarters for Friday and Saturday nights of race weekend. Jacob Case, 6:58:28; 24. We'll match you with a local itinerary expert to help you plan your trip. Keep driving for another 15 miles and you’ll find a parking lot on the right-hand side of the highway called Little Coal … About. Mike Monterusso, 6:31:18; 20. The full mitigation plan will be shared once it is created and approved. Brian Okonek had the idea to use Kesugi’s lateral moraine instead of some of the surrounding high country. The 2020 Kesugi Ridge Traverse Trail Run 30 Miles had 56 total finishers. Participants can socialize and camp at a scaled-down finish but it won’t be the party, awards ceremony and barbecue of years past. Full Traverse finish cut-off for an official finish is 9 hours, 10 minutes. Benjamin Matheson, 7:14:36; 26. This is the south­ern­most trail that leads to Kesu­gi Ridge. The sweepers already are busy enough with Full Traverse participants. Jump to. Published: January 1st 2017. It gently climbs 1100 feet up to the lower bench of Curry Ridge and provides access to the rolling tundra terrain of the Lake 1787 area. If you intend to leave the trail at the Ermine Hill trailhead, this is where you'll turn off. Sections of the course are extremely technical and can be swampy. [citation needed] When the weather is right, visitors can see Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. A traverse can be made of any length (see below) and/or direction with Kesugi Ridge and the Upper Troublesome Creek Trail. It took 3-4 years to put in the basic trail. Discover the optimal month due to daylight, temperature, and rain. To get to the trailhead from Anchorage, take the Park's Highway north to the parking area at Little Coal Creek Trailhead at milepost 163.9. Becky on Kesugi Ridge above Chulitna River. Starting from Anchorage, take the Glen Highway north for about 50 miles towards Wasilla. Bear habitat. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. Stacy Miles, 7:51:02; 17. There is no Half Traverse in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Edit Blog Post. Little Coal Creek trailhead is located at milepost 163.9 on the Parks Highway/AK-3. This is not a race for beginners. Kesugi Ridge, a 35 mile-long north/south alpine ridge, borders the Parks Highway. [citation needed]The trail is 36.2 miles (58.3 km) long. Lupe passed a couple of scenic small tarns. Wan­der through spruce and birch trees on the north side of the lake and enjoy big views, 2019 UPDATE: Trail, day use area, kayak tours & rentals, and pub­lic use cab­ins are open, but the main camp­ground will be tem­porar­i­ly closed begin­ning in 2019 due to the dan­ger posed by trees infest­ed with spruce-bark bee­tles. This trail also starts in the parking lot. If you need a shuttle from Talkeetna to complete the trip, it will increase the cost. Racers need to be aware of wildlife such as bears and moose. This is one of four trails that lead to Kesu­gi Ridge. The trail varies from lowland birch, spruce and cottonwood along Troublesome Creek to alpine tundra on Kesugi Ridge. Denali State Park rangers (907-745-3975) may also be a source of information. Melanee Stiassny, 7:37:41; 16. Jeff Young, 6:09:06; 16. Jennifer Smith, 9:12:20. When the weather is right, visitors can see Denali, the highest mountain in North America. The ridge trail is 27.5 miles from end to end from Coal Creek to Byers Lake and can be made in a multi-day backcountry camping trek or broken up into longer day hikes. It gently climbs 1100 feet up to the lower bench of Curry Ridge and provides access to the rolling tundra terrain of the Lake 1787 area. There will be mandatory pre-race meetings shortly before each of the two wave starts. Dogs are also able to use this trail. What gives K'esugi Ridge its incredible views - extended periods of time in the alpine - also leaves campers and hikers exposed to wind and weather in the event of a large storm. You'll see a lake to the northwest of the main trail; look to the west of this lake for the trail to Ermine Hill. State parks plans to reopen the camp­ground after the haz­ardous trees have been removed. Past races have featured rain, snow, cold, and limited visibility. Views of the Alaska Range … There are various companies offering shuttles that can drop you off and pick … The highlight of this trail system is the fantastic view of Denali and the Alaska Range the hiker gets on a clear day from the alpine areas of Kesugi Ridge. While there are many Hiking trails in Alaska, Kesugi ridge views and unique geological features. However, Patterson extended his advantage from there. Probably. Black Diamond rate. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. Because due to COVID-19 a mass-start for all participants was not feasible. Thomas Ritchie, 6:05:19; 15. Full Traverse racers must reach the Ermine Hill Checkpoint within 4 hours, 5 minutes. The gain is made a bit easier through plenty of switchbacks. Its about a 12 miler or something to the ermine lake intersection. Kesugi is a long race in the backcountry with minimal support, precisely the kind of event that can be held safely during the pandemic. Travel on a set itinerary with lodging and tours booked in advance. 7-10 days is the most common. Mandatory gear carried from start to finish includes: windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, pants or tights, winter hat, gloves, sustenance, race bib, and water bottle. Joseph Ofeldt, 8:28:00; 35. Alaska, United States, North America. Participants must sign a waiver before the start confirming their good health and lack of COVID-19 symptoms. Views of the Alaska Range and Denali are spectacular from many points along the trail. See Alaska's highlights by railroad or motorcoach in a group of up to 50, Travel in small groups, stay at exclusive wilderness lodges, and spend more time outdoors, All-inclusive multi-day vacation packages at a remote wilderness lodge, Travel with a professional photographer to the best photo locations around the state, Trips range from backpacking, rafting, to upscale remote lodge retreats, Cruises depart Juneau or Sitka. There was a problem with your submission. Singletrack ... 5 in Trail Running; The K’esugi trail system traces the K’esugi Ridge and is the centerpiece of the park, with miles of rolling alpine terrain offering incredible views of Denali’s south face and the heart of the Alaska Range. The COVID-19 pandemic mitigation plan will be shared once it is developed. The Curry Ridge Connector will continue this work connecting to the existing K’esugi Ridge Trail around the point that it crosses Upper Troublesome Creek. Kesugi Ridge Trail is around 28 miles long, perfect for a few days of backpacking. Nate Boltz, 8:46:15; 36. McKinley). It gently climbs 1100 feet up to the lower bench of Curry Ridge and provides access to the rolling tundra terrain of the Lake 1787 area. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. The point-to-point Kesugi Full Traverse starts at Little Coal Creek Trailhead and finishes at Byers Lake Campground. Kesugi ridge trail is a through hike in Denali national Park, Alaska, USA. Racers are fully responsible for their own transportation because official shuttles are not possible. If you're lucky and get a clear day, you can see Mount McKinley (Denali) without the hassle of Denali National Park's bus sys The highlight of this trail system is the fantastic view of Denali and the Alaska Range the hiker gets on a clear day from the alpine areas of Kesugi Ridge. 147 people follow this.  ...more, One of four trails that lead to the high Kesu­gi Ridge. Clare Cook, 7:09:28; 13. Cell coverage is spotty at best. Racers cannot bring dogs. Kesugi Ridge is an ideal vantage point from which to view this massive mountain and its neighbors. Here is why. If you're continuing on, this low pass is a nice, protected place to camp. Trip Location: Denali State Park, several miles south of the Hurricane Gulch on the Parks Highway. There will be two wave starts 30 minutes apart. Ben Marvin, 5:20:15; 7. This trail is often closed due to flood­ing as well as bear activ­i­ty for the safe­ty of its hik­ers. Mariah Graham followed in 5:56:44 for third place. McKinley) - without the cumbersome permitting process. Patterson, a 2018 Olympic cross-country skier, ventured to Denali State Park for Saturday’s Kesugi Ridge Traverse trail run and shattered his own record in the rugged 30-mile race. From the Denali State Park camp­ground at Byers Lake also has several popular cabins available for rent. If you like wide open tundra, high country hiking, endless exploration, alpine lakes and jaw dropping views then this trip will leave you satisfied! The trail varies from lowland birch, spruce and cottonwood along Troublesome Creek to alpine tundra on Kesugi Ridge. The Full Traverse is capped at 85 entrants; no Half Traverse will be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamie Solberg, 8:26:45; 18. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the race director. Photo looks W. Glancing back at Pass 3500 (L). Kesugi Ridge Trail - stunning finale to our time in Alaska « Previous Entry . Course conditions vary year-to-year. Entry Fee: $65 on-line (registration fee is included). There will be no official shuttles in 2020. In other years, volunteers have shuttled finishers to Byers Headquarters (or to Little Coal Creek if necessary). The trail begins in a forest­ed area and ends up above the tree line look­ing down on muli­ple drainages. Please check with Alaska’s Depart­ment of Nat­ur­al Resources to make sure that the trail is open to hik­ers before start­ing this trip. The view at the top is won­der­ful, so bring a cam­era! We hope that will again be the case after 2020. We wanted to get the full Kesugi ridge experience, so we didn’t think of taking the cutoff at the time; but, if I were to do it again, I would hike past where the two trails intersect, check out the rock formations, backtrack to the Ermine Hill trail and finish the hike. But doing so will result in a DNF. Yes, there will be an item of Kesugi swag for every participant and volunteer. Look for Cascade Trail/Byers Lake on trail signage. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. A standard race pack has plenty of room for food, drink and emergency gear. During our week long trip to Alaska, I was most excited for the Kesugi Ridge Trail in Denali State Park. Kesugi Ridge is a 27.4 mile point-to-point trail from Little Coal Creek to Byer's Lake in Alaska's Denali State Park. Rot­ting trees have been top­pling. Brian Atkinson, 5:59:22; 14. On a clear day Kesugi Ridge hikers have an unencumbered view of Mt McKinley and the Alaska Range to the west. Black Diamond rate. Views of the Alaska Range and Denali are spectacular from many points along the trail. Because the race was moved back to late August, snow is not expected. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. Headphones are discouraged. The Curry Ridge Trail is an out and back trail with slow but steady elevation gain to an incredible plateau with views of Denali and the Alaska range. Trail Type . The course ends in the Byers Lake Campground (elevation 800 feet) with food, drinks and awards. Carpooling is imperative due to limited parking. Racers must stay on trail and not travel overland or cut switchbacks. Organizers will help arrange a ride back to Byers Lake from the Ermine Hill Trailhead. (Participants will then travel 3.5 miles at their own leisure to the Parks Highway via the Ermine Hill Trail). Cara Hesselbach, 9:05:43; 21. There will be no waitlist in 2020. Message to Racers June 20 — Registration and COVID-19 Details, Message to Racers Aug. 3 — Mitigation Plan/Refunds & Deferrals, Message to Racers Aug. 16 — Transportation/Camping/Hydration, Message to Racers Aug. 17 — FB events page/Wave Starts, The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and Healthy Futures program. 704 check-ins . The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. From the Little Coal Creek trailhead, there's a tough climb of more than 2,000 feet in the first four miles to access the ridgeline and the high point of this trail system. The Curry Ridge Trail began construction in 2016 as part of the first phase of the South Denali Project. Bears and moose have been observed during the race. This is one of four trails that lead to the high Kesu­gi Ridge along the Parks High­way about an hour north of Tal­keet­na. K’esugi Ridge Trail. MP 137.6 Parks High­way. ...where we reached the Kesugi Ridge Trail, part of a 35 mile-long north/south alpine ridge which is the backbone of the eastern half of the park. Add Rating. While there are many Hiking trails in Alaska, Kesugi ridge views and unique geological features. Mark Martin, 7:32:16; 31. Traditionally the area was used as caribou hunting grounds. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. If the weather looks particularly bad, plan to camp at lower elevations where possible. Easy/Intermediate. Entry fees still apply and AUTO-ENTRANTS MUST STILL REGISTER during the week-long registration period (those with free entry will be emailed). The highway will bend west / northwest toward Wasilla. Community. Registration filled in 30 minutes in 2019 prompting the implementation of a lottery. The entry fee also includes the Ultrasignup registration charge. If you're leaving the trail at the Byers Creek Campground and trailhead, as recommended here, this is your turnoff. Rate Quality . Byers Lake/ Cascade Jct. The K’esugi Ridge Trail is located in Denali State Park, just a few hours north of Anchorage. This trail is the northernmost trail that provides access to Kesugi Ridge. The Curry Ridge Trail began construction in 2016 as part of the first phase of the South Denali Project. Kesugi Ridge Trail is a through hike in Denali State Park, Alaska, United States. Original Trail up K'esugi Ken Curry Ridge Trail 3.2 mi 5.1 km • 1,036' Up 315.8 m Up • 32' Down 9.88 m Down. There is no charge. No obstacles. The Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse is a USATF sanctioned event. Photo looks WSW. The trail south on the rigde from the byers lake trail intersection is a nice hike to the backside of kesugi and into the troublesome creek trailhead. Those who win the lottery and have an approved qualifier will be charged the race entry of $65 (this includes the registration fee). Due to COVID-19, anyone who chooses not to participate (regardless of reason) will receive a cash refund ($60 of their $65 entry fee) or deferral to 2021. A 15-mile training run on the Turnagain Arm Trail (roundtrip between Potter and Rainbow trailheads) in 3:45 or faster has been added as an acceptable qualifier. Booking a ride with them may simplify your logistics. Patterson, a 28-year-old Olympic skier from Anchorage, completed the rugged 30-mile course from Little Coal Creek to Byers Lake in Denali State Park in 4 hours, 19 minutes and 39 seconds. T2 Mountain Hiking . Weather on K’esugi Ridge can change fast. A fancier option is Mt. Less likelyhood of grizzly bears. Be pre- pared with proper clothing and navigation tools in case low clouds move in. Some 25 miles from where you began, you'll come to another trail junction. However, those training on the course should expect sections of snow until at least mid-June. Racers need to be aware of wildlife and should not wear headphones. Consider bringing bear spray and know how to use it. McKin­ley). Once you reach the ridge, you'll be rewarded with gently undulating terrain, spectacular views, and occasional alpine tarns. Photos. Which one is right for you? Bib pickup will be race morning only at Little Coal Creek Trailhead. Kesugi Ridge, Difficulty Rating. No. The Full Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours, 5 minutes for the Ermine Hill Checkpoint, and 9 hours, 10 minutes for the finish. Views from the ridge are an outdoor lover's dream! The Kesugi Ridge Trail, an easy-to-navigate route just outside Denali National Park, no reservations or bushwhacking required. If you don't have access to a vehicle to be the shuttle, if may be possible to hitchhike from your ending point back to Little Coal Creek trailhead along the Parks Highway. Men will start first because they are slightly faster so there will be less passing than if the women went first. Bib transfers are still not possible in 2020. Kesugi Ridge is located directly across the Parks Highway from Denali National Park. It means the Ancient One in Dena’ina. Cody Priest, 4:43:32; 4. The trail starts from the Little Coal Creek Parking lot, and slowly heads uphill out of the surrounding forest. Reviews. This new segment will provide better access on an increasingly popular area. Flat. Low clouds and rain can obscure the views. Kesugi Ridge Trail is a through hike in Denali State Park, Alaska, United States.While there are many hiking trails in Alaska, Kesugi Ridge offers views and unique geological features. It is approximately 14.2 miles. Description: Come join us for a 27 mile traverse of Kesugi Ridge in Denali State Park, from Little Coal Creek to Byers Lake.Located in Denali State Park, the Kesugi Ridge Traverse point-to-point course starts at the Little Coal Creek Trailhead (Parks Highway Mile 163.9) and finishes 30 miles later at Byers Lake Campground (Mile 147). Participants are also responsible for retrieving vehicles at Little Coal Creek after the race if necessary. The Curry Ridge Trail is an out and back trail with slow but steady elevation gain to an incredible plateau with views of Denali and the Alaska range. Patterson, a 2018 Olympic cross-country skier, ventured to Denali State Park for Saturday’s Kesugi Ridge Traverse trail run and shattered his own record in the rugged 30-mile race. Christy Pierce, 8:28:42; 19. Somewhere in this area, Ermine Hill trail tees into the ridge trail. Galen Hecht, 5:44:01; 11. Ridgeline hiking is easy. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. Visit Anchorage PR | Flickr. Alpine Trail For 2020 the refund policy has been modified. Rent a car and travel independently on a set itinerary, with lodging and tours booked in advance. The Alaska Railroad is your transportation method. The new Kesugi Ken Campground (Mile 135.4) allows reservations for tent camping, RV camping and public use cabins. Alaska Railroad: Adventure Class or Goldstar Dome Car Service? The Palmer native clocked 5:37:06, a time slower than her 2018 record (5:27:36) but still comfortably ahead of runner-up Denali Strabel (5:54:04). My vision for this hike was to spend the first night at 10 Mile Tarn, the second at Skinny Lake, and the third at a large unnamed lake just before the junction with the Cascade Trail down to Byers Lake Campground and our (hopefully) awaiting truck. Footing and route-finding is occasionally difficult on the Troublesome Creek Trail due to creek bank erosion. State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources - Denali State Park, Starting Point: Little Coal Creek trailhead: 62.89223, -149.74754, Ermine Hill - K'esugi Ridge Trail Junction: 62.79459, -149.86834, Ermine Hill trailhead: 62.82752, -149.90431, Ending Point - Byers Lake Campground: 62.74535, -150.11820, Troublesome Creek trailhead: 62.63013, -150.22572. Guide to K’esugi Ridge Trail System North & Guide to Upper Troublesome Creek Trail for more information). Christy Marvin set the women’s record of 5:27:36 in 2018 en route to finishing 2nd overall. DNF – Jennifer Barnard. Help us keep our trail information current. When visibility allows, views of the Eldridge Glacier and Denali, the largest peak in North America, are prominent. Carpooling or getting dropped off is required due to limited parking. Soren Wuerth, 6:14:09; 17. Scott Patterson shattered his record at the 8th Kesugi Ridge Traverse while Christy Marvin celebrated her birthday with another victory in one of the first trail races to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some uneven terrain. More down hill than uphill coming from byers intersection to troublesome trailhead. One other major change was the cancellation of the 15-mile Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse from Little Coal Creek to Ermine Hill, though race organizers hope to bring it back in 2021. 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