Backpack across Alaska's Kesugi Ridge with sweeping views of Denali and the Alaska Range.

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. 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.

The trail quickly climbs about 1,750 feet in the first 3.3 miles up to the ridge before starting the traverse. After another 10.8 miles, the trail intersects with the Ermine Hill Trail, which leads back to the highway (milepost 156.5) and can cut the trail short. After the intersection, the trail descends back down to the forest before climbing up another 2,000 feet to get back on the ridge again. Pay close attention to where the cairns are, as it can be easy to get lost.

Continue on until ending at Byer's Lake  at milepost 147.  The southernmost terminus at Troublesome Creek would make it a 36.2 mile trip, but has been closed the last few years.

No permits are required for this hike but you should call ahead to find out about trail conditions. If you're coming from Anchorage, stop off in Talkeetna for a celebratory beer on your way back! 

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag/pad
  • Warm cloths/rain gear
  • Stove/fuel
  • Water filter/water bottle
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Knife
  • Insect repellent
  • Bear spray
Show More
RT Distance 27.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 4650 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

about 2 months ago

Incredible views + incredible amounts of bugs

The ridge has been our favorite hike while in Alaska. The views start almost immediately of Denali. Excellent workout including strong uphill and down hill sections with flat ridge line relaxing sections. Berries and fresh water everywhere. BRING BUG SPRAY and be prepared to be swarmed anyways. That is our only complaint.

Awesome

Saw Denali multiple times and had a great time and weather.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike Byer's Lake Loop

36 Saves

Ski Touring in the Ruth Amphitheater

27 Saves

Hike the Eielson Alpine Trail, Denali NP

77 Saves