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. Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 10.8 miles Elevation Gain: 900 ft. (north to south) Difficulty: Moderate Ermine Hill Trail: Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1300 feet Difficulty: Moderate Connecting the Trails: 17.8 mile traverse from Little Coal Creek Trailhead to Ermine Hill Trail-head.  ...more, One of four trails that lead to the high Kesu­gi Ridge. Racers are fully responsible for their own transportation because official shuttles are not possible. Jacob Buller, 7:06:20; 25. There are also many pullouts along the highway where camping is possible. Le Kesugi Ridge Trail, un itinéraire facile à naviguer juste à l'extérieur du parc national de Denali. It was greatly improved in 2020 and now has increased space that is suitable for car/camper camping and tent camping. The post-race barbecue and awards ceremony were canceled. In hopes of better weather, and to be scheduled before most other long Alaska running races, Saari moved it to late June in 2017. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge (Mile 133). Allan Spangler, 4:56:22; 5. On a clear day Kesugi Ridge hikers have an unencumbered view of Mt McKinley and the Alaska Range to the west. 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 North­ern­most trail that pro­vides access to Kesu­gi Ridge. Trail Description. This trail is often closed due to flood­ing as well as bear activ­i­ty for the safe­ty of its hik­ers. Photo Notes: These photos are from a July 4th trip to Kesugi Ridge with Yvonne, Isabelle, Bryn, Louis and Aven.We camped for two nights and endured temperatures in the 80s. Mike Schroeder, 6:26:29; 19. By having two mass starts separated by gender (instead of mixed-gender Waves 1 and 2), each gender can race head-to-head. Lower Troublesome Creek (Mile 137.2) has some first-come, first-serve campsites. to Ermine Hill Tr. Christy Marvin, 5:37:06; 2. Briana Sullivan, 6:01:11; 6. Racers will also need to retrieve any vehicles at Little Coal Creek after they finish. There will be no charge to enter the lottery. This trail is the northernmost trail that provides access to Kesugi Ridge. Knowledge of the trail is vital. The trail varies from lowland birch, spruce and cottonwood along Troublesome Creek to alpine tundra on Kesugi Ridge. Christy Pierce, 8:28:42; 19. This 27.5 mile through hike is a relaxing overnight backpacking trip. Where to Start and End. Be aware this is not a race for beginners. The Half Traverse was canceled to simplify the race plan during the pandemic and because parking at Ermine Hill is extremely limited and official race shuttles would not have been possible. The Curry Ridge Trail began construction in 2016 as part of the first phase of the South Denali Project. Men will start first because they are slightly faster so there will be less passing than if the women went first. Its about a 12 miler or something to the ermine lake intersection. The race director will pass on reports of trail conditions as they come in. 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 description: With spectacular views of Denali and the Alaska Range, Kesugi Ridge is considered one of the best hikes in all Alaska. If you're doing K'esugi Ridge for the unbeatable views of Denali, make sure to check the weather. 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. The classic Alaska Cruise, offered by such companies as Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. A fancier option is Mt. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. When the weather is right, visitors can see Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Any racer arriving thereafter must take the Ermine Hill Trail down to the Parks Highway (even if they’re one minute past the cutoff and were slowed by taking a bunch of pictures). Trip Location: Denali State Park, several miles south of the Hurricane Gulch on the Parks Highway. T2 Mountain Hiking . Ridgeline hiking is easy. We think this might have been the junction of Little Coal Creek Trail with the K’esugi ridge. 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. Flat. Non-Alaskans will be required to follow state quarantine mandates. Past races have featured rain, snow, cold, and limited visibility. Miles Raney, 5:25:03; 8. 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. The trip outlined here starts at the northernmost trailhead, Little Coal Creek, and ends at the Byers Lake Campground and trailhead. Tara Schmidt, 6:52:40; 12. Course volunteers are equipped with DeLorme inReach devices and satellite phones. The Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse (not held in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic) starts at Little Coal Creek Trailhead and finishes just beyond the Ermine Hill Trail Junction. Photo looks W. Glancing back at Pass 3500 (L). Note: The 3.3 mile long Little Coal Creek Trail is the northernmost of several access routes to the K’esugi Ridge Trail in Denali State Park. 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. OBriensOpenRoad. Probably. Jump to. When visibility allows, views of the Eldridge Glacier and Denali, the largest peak in North America, are prominent. There will also be prizes for the top performers as well as some randomly awarded prizes. Consider bringing bear spray and know how to use it. Kesugi Ridge Trail is around 28 miles long, perfect for a few days of backpacking. Photo looks W. K’esugi Ridge trail W of Pass 3500. Knopp finished in a stellar 4:29:18, a 19-minute improvement from Knopp’s run in 2019 and now the second-fastest run in race history. The Half Traverse is expected to return in 2021. Kesugi Ridge is located directly across the Parks Highway from Denali National Park. Adrian Barniak, 6:46:58; 22. Book entire boat for your family or group, or opt to bunk with other guests. It can be stretched to as long as a week if you take your time and go at the right time of the year. Cruises and land tours are great ways to see Alaska. Jan Tomsen, 6:25:12; 9. When the weather is right, visitors can see Denali, the highest mountain in North America. However, those training on the course should expect sections of snow until at least mid-June. Marvin, meanwhile, turned 40 years old on Friday and proved a day later that she’s still a force in any mountain or trail race she enters. If you're continuing on, this low pass is a nice, protected place to camp. Racers need to be aware of wildlife such as bears and moose. The Full Traverse is capped at 85 entrants; no Half Traverse will be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jennifer Smith, 9:12:20. Rot­ting trees have been top­pling. 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. The Curry Ridge Trail began construction in 2016 as part of the first phase of the South Denali Project. Weather on K’esugi Ridge can change fast. The event’s COVID-19 mitigation plan required that face coverings be worn by participants before and after the race but not during. All racers must stay home if they have a hint of COVID-19 symptoms. Kesugi Ridge is an ideal vantage point from which to view this massive mountain and its neighbors. Car, train, or group tour. Your must-have activity guide + map while in Alaska. No refunds are given; if race is canceled due to COVID-19, entries will be deferred to 2021. MP 137.6 Parks High­way. Aaron Christie, 8:13:13; 34. Ben Muse, 6:33:08; 21. Organizers will help arrange a ride back to Byers Lake from the Ermine Hill Trailhead. Accessibility Help. 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. This trail is the north­ern­most trail that pro­vides access to Kesu­gi Ridge. 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. About See All. Headphones are discouraged. Travis McWhorter, 7:19:12; 28. Brian Atkinson, 5:59:22; 14. Let us simplify it for you, How much does an Alaska summer vacation cost? Joshua Taylor, 5:44:10; 12. 29 miles (as described); options exist for trips of 15.3 to 37 miles. Traditionally the area was used as caribou hunting grounds. The K'esugi Ridge trail system offers many options for starting and ending points, as there are four trailheads along its length. On aver­age, it takes a hik­er 4 hours to get above the tree­line. Photo Notes: These photos are from a July 4th trip to Kesugi Ridge with Yvonne, Isabelle, Bryn, Louis and Aven.We camped for two nights and endured temperatures in the 80s. On a clear day, Little Coal Creek Trail takes you to amazing views of Denali (Mt. Cara Hesselbach, 9:05:43; 21. These small lakes may be a welcome respite on hot days, since there's almost no shade on K'esugi Ridge. 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. After leaving Talkeetna, we reconnected with the George Parks Highway and drove north on the strong recommendation of our nephew Shannon Shue to hike the Kesugi Ridge. 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. Soren Wuerth, 6:14:09; 17. Participants must be at least 18 years old on race day. Dave Johnston the Elder (of Minus 148 Degrees fame) helped build the original trail in the mid-1970s, along with Pete Robinson, George Menard and the Youth Conservation Corps. There are companies that will shuttle you but they cost about one day’s budget allotment each so we decided to leave the truck at the finish line (Byers Lake Campground) and hitchhike to the starting line (Little Coal Creek Trailhead). There will be no waitlist in 2020. Entrants will receive additional race details via email. The Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse is a USATF sanctioned event. Alpine Trail. Jamie Solberg, 8:26:45; 18. It means the Ancient One in Dena’ina. Mike Monterusso, 6:31:18; 20. All racers are strongly advised to have scouted the course prior to race day. 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). Greg Finstad, 9:46:20. In other years, volunteers have shuttled finishers to Byers Headquarters (or to Little Coal Creek if necessary). Racers who anticipate wanting to stop at Ermine Hill Checkpoint should sign up for the Half Traverse. During our week long trip to Alaska, I was most excited for the Kesugi Ridge Trail in Denali State Park. Lupe passed a couple of scenic small tarns. If you need a shuttle from Talkeetna to complete the trip, it will increase the cost. There are no permits, flights, or fees associated with this trip. Racers must stay on trail and not travel overland or cut switchbacks. There will be two wave starts 30 minutes apart. My five companions and I got soaked pushing through the brush, birch, and spruce that crowd the path in the first section. DNF – Nathan Pitney. Overwhelmed by choices? 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. Near one of the tarns the trail went by. Kimberly Riggs, 7:35:51; 15. Stops include Seward (Kenai Fjords), Girdwood, Whittier & Spencer Glacier, Stops include Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali National Park & Fairbanks. 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. Blue skies tempted us westward and up the Curry Ridge Trail, before setting up camp, just in case the southern rainclouds we drove through came closer. After their race, Half Traverse participants take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. Views from the ridge are an outdoor lover's dream! Entry fees still apply and AUTO-ENTRANTS MUST STILL REGISTER during the week-long registration period (those with free entry will be emailed). There is no Half Traverse in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Scott Patterson, 4:19:39; 2. Melanee Stiassny, 7:37:41; 16. Familiarity with the course is important. T2 Mountain Hiking . Key volunteers will receive free entry for 2021, free camping, race swag and eternal gratitude. Kesugi Ridge, Difficulty Rating. Kesugi Ridge Trail Difficult. Sections of the course are extremely technical and can be swampy. Hiking SAC Scale. Participants must sign a waiver before the start confirming their good health and lack of COVID-19 symptoms. April McAnly, 6:22:08; 8. Alternately, as of this writing, Denali River Guides in Talkeetna offers shuttles to any of the K'esugi Ridge trailheads. Racers cannot bring dogs. Mostly flat. From the Denali State Park camp­ground at If you intend to leave the trail at the Ermine Hill trailhead, this is where you'll turn off. 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. Boutique, small ship adventure cruises in Alaska's Inside Passage, Cruises depart from Whittier, a 1 hr drive from Anchorage. W. K ’ esugi Ridge trail, an easy-to-navigate route just outside Denali National Park, Lit­tle Coal Creek for! Separated by gender ( instead of mixed-gender Waves 1 and 2 ), who edged Knopp the! 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