Kesugi Ridge Traverse

When: Sunday August 21, 2016. Race start 9 a.m.
Where: Denali State Park
Entry Fee: $50 on-line. Limited to 80 entrants.
Sign-up: on-line at
Contact: Race director Matias Saari at or cell phone 907-529-4178
Race Course: Point to point, starting at Little Coal Creek Trailhead and finishing at Byers Lake Campground. The course is approximately 30 miles. Good descriptions can be found in the hiking guides 55Ways to the Wilderness (5th edition) by Helen Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr. and Hiking Alaska by Dean Littlepage.
A brief course description: Starting around 1200 feet, the trail climbs steadily to above tree line to a high, alpine ridge. The trail is marked with cairns in most places. There will also be flagging and/or pin flags in some key sections. About halfway, the Ermine Hill trail comes in from the right. The trail then descends into a forested valley at about 1500 feet. It again climbs above tree line until it descends to Byers Lake via the Cascade Trail. 
NOTE: The suspension bridge one mile from the finish has been removed so participants must wade across Byers Creek. It is only about 25 feet across and the water is slow-moving but thigh- to waist-deep.
The course will finish in the Byers Lake campground with food and drinks. See pictures below for a couple of good visual directions.
Please be aware: This is not a course for beginning trail runners. There are significant climbs, tricky descents and difficult terrain. If you have never traveled the course, we strongly encourage you to do so before signing up. The trail will only have minimal markings, so familiarity with it will be important. Please do not over-estimate your abilities! The weather has been inclement in past races, with cold temperatures, rain, snow, wind and low visibility occurring. The time and effort expended at Kesugi is comparable to running up to 2 marathons. If you are a road runner but have never tackled trail running, Kesugi is not for you. Steady running with some power hiking on the hills will be necessary to make the time cut-offs. 

Race finish
Close to Stonehenge Hill
Heading down the Cascade Trail