Backpack Kesugi Ridge

Little Coal Creek Trailhead

Distance

27.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

4650 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Advanced

Season

Summer

Type

Point-to-Point

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

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! 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $246/night

Denali Park Village

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

From $30/night

Denali National Park Campgrounds

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Distance

27.4 Miles

Elevation Gain

4650 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill

Advanced

Season

Summer

Type

Point-to-Point

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike Byer's Lake Loop

Adventure

Ski Touring in the Ruth Amphitheater

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Hike the Eielson Alpine Trail, Denali NP

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Backpack the Mt. Eielson Loop

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