K’esugi Ridge Trails South
Guide to the K’esugi Ridge Trail System South at Denali State Park (SP) in Alaska. Published by Alaska State Parks.
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Guide to K’esugi Ridge Trail System South in Denali State Park Ermine Hill Trail: Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1300 feet Byers Lake/ Cascade Jct. Difficulty: Moderate K’esugi Ridge Trail: (Ermine Hill Trail jct. to Cascade Trail jct.) Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 11.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2000 feet (north to south) Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult Cascade Trail: Allowable Uses: Hiking Distance: 2 miles Elevation Gain: 1800 feet from Byers Lake Difficulty: Difficult Byers Lake Trail: Allowable Uses: Hiking, Biking. Skiing Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: Less than 100 feet Difficulty: Easy Connecting the Trails: 18.5 mile traverse from Ermine Hill Trailhead to Byers Lake Campground. 26.6 mile traverse from Ermine Hill Trailhead to Upper Troublesome Creek Trailhead. K’esugi Ridge/ Ermine Hill Jct. K’esugi Ridge/ Cascade Jct. Special Features: Safety and Considerations: This trail system offers popular multi-day backpacking trips in south-central Alaska. Hiking is through rolling alpine and subalpine terrain with outstanding views of Denali, and numerous small glacially scoured lakes. Lower elevations are forested. Weather on K’esugi Ridge can change fast. Be prepared with proper clothing and navigation tools in case low clouds move in. Some trails may experience seasonal closures due to high bear concentrations. Please respect closures and always be bear aware while traveling Denali’s trails. Planning Your Route: Most people hike from north to south because of less total elevation gain. Hikers can start from the Little Coal Creek Trailhead or Ermine Hill Trailhead and finish at Byers Lake Campground or Upper Troublesome Creek Trailhead (See Guide to K’esugi Ridge Trail System North & Guide to Upper Troublesome Creek Trail for more information). These are all one-way trips, so pick-up or drop-off arrangements must be made prior to departure. Day-hikes to timberline and around Byers Lake are also popular. Park Rules: Open fires are prohibited, please use designated fire rings or a camp stove. Pets must be on a leash while in the trailhead parking lot, and under voice control on trails or in the backcountry. For more information, please contact the Mat-Su Area Parks Office at (907) 745-3975, or visit the following web address: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/denali1.htm