Jacqueline Anderson

1st time bliss, 2nd time too hot to enjoy.

First time on Kesugi was at the end of September in 2018. We started at Little Coal Creek, stayed for two nights, and headed out at Ermine Hill. Denali was in full view the WHOLE time, we had the most amazing sunsets and sunrises, and the fall colors made everything so much better. It got chilly, but not too cold to be uncomfortable, with a little breeze at night. We slept in warm clothing, and had warm sleeping bags(15°f rating). I ended up getting hot during the night, in my one person tent, but my friends got cold in their two person tent. In the end we all agreed it was the best time of year to backpack it and was just an all around amazing time, I don't even remember bugs bothering us. The second time we went was Independence weekend of 2019. We completed the whole trail in two days, starting again from Little Coal Creek and ending at Byers Lake. That weekend we broke our highest temperature on record in AK, hitting the 90s and 100° in the sun. There are no trees for shade once you are on top of the ridge, which is 90% of the hike. Knowing this I brought an umbrella for shade, and sunscreen is a must, my friends all got burned not wearing any. Again, Denali was in full view the entire time, with a scorching blue cloudless sky. We didn't use our sleeping bags because we woke up sweating. No mosquito problems, but swarms of flies come when you start cooking. Fill up on water where you can, on the second half of the trail there is a long stretch with water sources too far off the trail to refill.