Jacob Kirk, 5:28:22; 10. Lottery registration opens at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 22 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 28. 29 miles (as described); options exist for trips of 15.3 to 37 miles. Footing and route-finding is occasionally difficult on the Troublesome Creek Trail due to creek bank erosion. For 2020, face coverings are required to be worn before the start and after the finish. The K’esugi Ridge Trail is located in Denali State Park, just a few hours north of Anchorage. Kesugi Ridge Trail, Trapper Creek, AK. Yes, please do because it helps our planning. Starting at an elevation of 1,400 feet, the trail climbs steadily in the opening four miles to an alpine ridge with a high point of 3,500 feet. Somewhere in this area, Ermine Hill trail tees into the ridge trail. Joshua Taylor, 5:44:10; 12. McKin­ley). Those uncertain about whether they are qualified should consult with race director Matias Saari. It also had two separate starts for the first time, with all the men beginning at 9 a.m. and all women setting off 30 minutes later. 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. Views of the Alaska Range and Denali are spectacular from many points along the trail. Scott Patterson, 4:19:39; 2. Nate Boltz, 8:46:15; 36. Carpooling or getting dropped off is required due to limited parking. Advertisement. 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 . "Kesugi" is a Tanaina word which translates as "The Ancient One". Because due to COVID-19 a mass-start for all participants was not feasible. Kesugi is a long race in the backcountry with minimal support, precisely the kind of event that can be held safely during the pandemic. By having two mass starts separated by gender (instead of mixed-gender Waves 1 and 2), each gender can race head-to-head. The sweepers already are busy enough with Full Traverse participants. The beginning of the trail is steep but starting at Little Coal Creek Trailhead shaves off some of the elevation. This is one of four trails that lead to Kesu­gi Ridge. (Participants will then travel 3.5 miles at their own leisure to the Parks Highway via the Ermine Hill Trail). 137 likes. Trips available from Whittier, Homer, Seward, Juneau, and Sitka. Cody Priest, 4:43:32; 4. The trails that connect the four trailheads to the ridge are the most likely spots to see other hikers, runners, or backpackers throughout the entirety of the trail. The gain is made a bit easier through plenty of switchbacks. Facebook. Alaska, United States, North America. Mike Monterusso, 6:31:18; 20. Lupe passed a couple of scenic small tarns. Detailed descriptions can be found in the hiking guides 55 Ways to the Wilderness (5th edition) by Helen Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr., Hiking Alaska by Dean Littlepage and Outside in the Interior by Kyle Joly. More down hill than uphill coming from byers intersection to troublesome trailhead. Trail description: With spectacular views of Denali and the Alaska Range, Kesugi Ridge is considered one of the best hikes in all Alaska. Becky on Kesugi Ridge above Chulitna River. Top 2 male and female finishers from 2019 for the full and half traverse, 2019 volunteers (as determined by race director). 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. Dave Johnston the Younger (of Iditarod Trail Invitational fame), along with Andrea Hambach, created the Kesugi Ridge Traverse race in 2013. The trail varies from lowland birch, spruce and cottonwood along Troublesome Creek to alpine tundra on Kesugi Ridge. Kesugi Ridge, Alaska. Entry Fee: $65 on-line (registration fee is included). Simon Mcloughlin, 6:48:40; 23. Black Diamond rate. Visit Anchorage PR | Flickr. The sun was up almost 24 hours, and the sky never got completely dark. During our week long trip to Alaska, I was most excited for the Kesugi Ridge Trail in Denali State Park. Mariah Graham followed in 5:56:44 for third place. Kesugi Ridge Trail Difficult. 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. Participants for each race must wear or carry the following gear: Windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, pants or tights, winter hat, gloves, sustenance and water bottle (or hydration device), and race bib. Little Coal Creek Trail Map PDF Getting There. Those who win the lottery and have an approved qualifier will be charged the race entry of $65 (this includes the registration fee). Men will start first because they are slightly faster so there will be less passing than if the women went first. Thomas Ritchie, 6:05:19; 15. The trail starts out with an intense 1,750-foot elevation gain over just 2.5 miles. The Half Traverse costs the same because it requires just as much organization, if not more, than the Full Traverse does. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Alaska, United States, North America. Little Coal Creek and Ermine Hill trails are the best designed and maintained. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. In hopes of better weather, and to be scheduled before most other long Alaska running races, Saari moved it to late June in 2017. Weekends are the busiest times. Galen Dossin, 5:52:10; 13. Participants must sign a waiver before the start confirming their good health and lack of COVID-19 symptoms. [citation needed]The trail is 36.2 miles (58.3 km) long. 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 Provided they have an approved qualifier, the following will bypass the lottery and automatically receive entry to the 2020 Kesugi Ridge Traverse. This is not a race for beginners. The trail is well maintained with wide access for most of the way. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge (Mile 133). Photo looks W. K’esugi Ridge trail W of Pass 3500. Thought it might help some other folks too. Matias Saari became race director in 2016 and moved the date to August 21; that year the weather was inclement but not quite hypothermia-inducing (high 40s and rain). DNF – Nathan Pitney. 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. From the Denali State Park camp­ground at The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Trail Type . 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. There will be no charge to enter the lottery. You'll pass your takeout trailhead on the way north; if possible, leave a vehicle at your takeout to be a shuttle at the end of your trip. Racers need to be aware of wildlife such as bears and moose. Car, train, or group tour. Beyond “The Doors”, the Full Traverse descends to 1,500 feet before it climbs back above treeline, passes Skinny Lake and reaches almost 3,000 feet at Golog Point near Mile 20. Bear habitat. Sections of the course are extremely technical and can be swampy. Brian Atkinson, 5:59:22; 14. 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 Full Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours, 5 minutes for the Ermine Hill Checkpoint, and 9 hours, 10 minutes for the finish. Kesugi Ridge is an ideal vantage point from which to view this massive mountain and its neighbors. No obstacles. That knocked more than 18 minutes off the record he set on a rainy and frigid day in 2015. DNF – Jennifer Barnard. Tracen Knopp, 4:29:18; 3. No refunds are given; if race is canceled due to COVID-19, entries will be deferred to 2021. If you like wide open tundra, high country hiking, endless exploration, alpine lakes and jaw dropping views then this trip will leave you satisfied! Reviews. Kesugi ridge trail is a through hike in Denali national Park, Alaska, USA. Guide to K’esugi Ridge Trail System North & Guide to Upper Troublesome Creek Trail for more information). Almost all the uphill will be in the first 3 miles then its pretty level as you hike south. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. Entry fees still apply and AUTO-ENTRANTS MUST STILL REGISTER during the week-long registration period (those with free entry will be emailed). Ridgeline hiking is easy. Focus on Denali & Kenai Fjords. 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. There are no aid stations because Kesugi Ridge is a remote trail and hauling food and drink onto the course is not feasible. Anne Fleetwood, 6:36:06; 10. Kesugi Ridge Trail is in Denali State Park and though it is very steep at first, the end result is more than worth it. T2 Mountain Hiking . If you're doing K'esugi Ridge for the unbeatable views of Denali, make sure to check the weather. There will be no waitlist in 2020. My five companions and I got soaked pushing through the brush, birch, and spruce that crowd the path in the first section. Jacob Buller, 7:06:20; 25. Curry Ridge Trail. Limited to 85 total entrants. The highway will bend west / northwest toward Wasilla. Alaska Range Looms over the Kesugi Ridge Trail (Photo courtesy of Haley Johnston). 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. Entrants will receive additional race details via email. Byers Lake Campground was closed in 2019 due to spruce bark beetle kill and reopened on June 26, 2020. Mary’s McKinley View Lodge (Mile 134.5) is one option. Severe weather. Greg Finstad, 9:46:20. Photos. Views from the ridge are an outdoor lover's dream! This new segment will provide better access on an increasingly popular area. We have a group area at Byers Headquarters for Friday and Saturday nights of race weekend. Yes, if they determine you are underprepared and unlikely to meet the cutoffs, they can turn you back at any time. The trail starts from the Little Coal Creek Parking lot, and slowly heads uphill out of the surrounding forest. 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. Participants should notify the race director by Aug. 26 of their choice for a refund or deferral. The race director will pass on reports of trail conditions as they come in. Plan your journey with this gorgeous printed map. Campgrounds, RV Parks & Public Use Cabins. 2-5 day small ship explorations. While there are many hiking trails in Alaska, Kesugi Ridge offers views and unique geological features. The Kesugi Ridge Trail in Denali is easy to navigate and can be done in a long weekend, but the breathtaking views make it a must for avid backpackers. 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. Jan Tomsen, 6:25:12; 9. Y, AK. Racers should not rely on it. The Full Traverse is capped at 85 entrants; no Half Traverse will be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This trail is the northernmost trail that provides access to Kesugi Ridge. The entry fee also includes the Ultrasignup registration charge. The trail varies from lowland birch, spruce and cottonwood along Troublesome Creek to alpine tundra on Kesugi Ridge. The new Kesugi Ken Campground (Mile 135.4) allows reservations for tent camping, RV camping and public use cabins. Email or Phone: Password: Forgot account? No. Male winning result was 4:19:39 and the female winning result was 5:37:06. These small lakes may be a welcome respite on hot days, since there's almost no shade on K'esugi Ridge. About See All. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no post-race party in 2020. Organizers will help arrange a ride back to Byers Lake from the Ermine Hill Trailhead. There is also the Curry Ridge Trail, which is two miles long and has several switchbacks, leading hikers to Lake 1787 (named for its elevation). Alternately, as of this writing, Denali River Guides in Talkeetna offers shuttles to any of the K'esugi Ridge trailheads. Aaron Christie, 8:13:13; 34. There's also little shelter from inclement weather - something to keep in mind when pitching your tent for the evening. Christy Marvin, 5:37:06; 2. Day-hikes to timberline and around Byers Lake are also popular. Easy/Intermediate. A shuttle will return runners to Byers Lake Campground. to Ermine Hill Tr. Non-Alaskans will be required to follow state quarantine mandates. 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. Which isn’t to say any hike in Alaska is “easy.” On the first day of our 29-mile trek, rain sheeted down for hours. The trail is marked with cairns in most places. Christopher Larrick, 9:09:58; 37. On a clear day Kesugi Ridge hikers have an unencumbered view of Mt McKinley and the Alaska Range to the west. 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. Little Coal Creek trailhead is located at milepost 163.9 on the Parks Highway/AK-3. From the saddle, the trail very briefly climbs before descending again and crossing a broad, low valley. Adrian Barniak, 6:46:58; 22. RVs may not stay here. Trail description: With spectacular views of Denali and the Alaska Range, Kesugi Ridge is considered one of the best hikes in all Alaska. Bib pickup will be race morning only at Little Coal Creek Trailhead. Alec Kay, 8:06:23; 33. Denali Strabel, 5:54:04; 3. There are various companies offering shuttles that can drop you off and pick … 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. That said, many measures will be taken to limit group sizes, promote social distancing, ensure adequate sanitization and encourage responsible hygiene. Kesugi Ridge is an ideal vantage point from which to view this massive mountain and its neighbors. Starting from Anchorage, take the Glen Highway north for about 50 miles towards Wasilla. Yes, there will be an item of Kesugi swag for every participant and volunteer. Key volunteers will receive free entry for 2021, free camping, race swag and eternal gratitude. We think this might have been the junction of Little Coal Creek Trail with the K’esugi ridge. Kesugi If you want to get into the alpine quick go up on the Little Coal Creek trail and hike south down the ridge towards ermine lake trail. Nearly halfway, the Ermine Hill Trail comes in from the right (elevation 2,300 feet). A trail. You can stop halfway, and that may be a prudent decision if you are in danger of missing the final cutoff or are injured. North America » United States » Alaska » Denali August 20th 2015. Participants must be at least 18 years old on race day. Christy Pierce, 8:28:42; 19. The 2020 Kesugi Ridge Traverse Trail Run 30 Miles had 56 total finishers. This 27.5 mile through hike is a relaxing overnight backpacking trip. 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. It’s not possible to power-hike the full distance and make the cutoff; some running is necessary. Participants are also responsible for retrieving vehicles at Little Coal Creek after the race if necessary. On a clear day, Lit­tle Coal Creek Trail takes you to amaz­ing views of Denali (Mt. Some 25 miles from where you began, you'll come to another trail junction. Because the race was moved back to late August, snow is not expected. Keep your eyes and nose open for brown bears along troublesome creek. It takes about 2 hours on aver­age to get above treeline. Jacob Case, 6:58:28; 24. Published: January 1st 2017. After their race, Half Traverse participants take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. ★ Kesugi Ridge Trail. Ben Marvin, 5:20:15; 7. It is approximately 30 miles. To receive an official finish, Half Traverse racers must arrive within 4 hours, 5 minutes. Cara Hesselbach, 9:05:43; 21. Kesugi Ridge is located directly across the Parks Highway from Denali National Park. 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). 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. Familiarity with the course is important. Brian Okonek had the idea to use Kesugi’s lateral moraine instead of some of the surrounding high country.  ...more, One of four trails that lead to the high Kesu­gi Ridge. Please respect closures and always be bear aware while traveling Denali’s trails. Community. In the past 49th State Brewing Co. has kept us well supplied! You will first pass the end of the trail when you see a Veteran’s Memorial sign. Brian Pautzke, 6:23:03; 18. However, Patterson extended his advantage from there. There will also be prizes for the top performers as well as some randomly awarded prizes. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. On a clear day, Little Coal Creek Trail takes you to amazing views of Denali (Mt. Marek Kolendo, 7:26:22; 29. 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. Home. Trail Map . If you came for the views, this is the section of trail to skip. Carpooling is imperative due to limited parking. 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. This is a popular trail for visitors and locals alike. 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. Photo looks W. Glancing back at Pass 3500 (L). I hiked for three days and spent two nights camping above tree line (which is very low here) in early July. Cell coverage is spotty at best. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the race director. The trip outlined here starts at the northernmost trailhead, Little Coal Creek, and ends at the Byers Lake Campground and trailhead. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. On aver­age, it takes a hik­er 4 hours to get above the tree­line. Because of the intense sun and high temps we had to be off the trail and inside a tent by 3pm for both the sake of the babies and for Bryn who, having grown up in Southeast Alaska, never got used to sun. Barry Benko, 7:31:36; 30. The post-race barbecue and awards ceremony were canceled. While there are many Hiking trails in Alaska, Kesugi ridge views and unique geological features. Melanee Stiassny, 7:37:41; 16. K’esugi Ridge Trail. Free personal GPS–driven travel guide to Alaska. The Kesugi Ridge HALF TRAVERSE (not held in 2020) course is about 14.2 miles and ends a short distance uphill from this junction at a rock formation called "The Doors." Use our calculator to find out, Stay casual, dress in layers, and get proper footwear, Guides to the best locations around the state to view wildlife. Once you reach the ridge, you'll be rewarded with gently undulating terrain, spectacular views, and occasional alpine tarns. Current Weather Forecast: Which isn’t to say any hike in Alaska is “easy.” On the first day of our 29-mile trek, rain sheeted down for hours. Where to Start and End. 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. When: August 29, 2020 — Wave 1: 9 a.m. (all men); Wave 2: 9:30 a.m. (all women), Start Location: Denali State Park, Little Coal Creek Trailhead (Mile 164 Parks Highway). There will be no official shuttles in 2020. Highlights plus less visited destinations. Choose a round-trip Inside passage or one-way Gulf of Alaska Cruise. 147 people follow this. Lower Troublesome Creek (Mile 137.2) has some first-come, first-serve campsites. , there will be no charge to enter the lottery and automatically receive entry to the high Kesu­gi.! Registration opens at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 22 at UltraSignup and ends the! 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