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 to Byers Lake. Race finish will be at Byers Lake, with a pre-race meeting at Little Coal Creek Trailhead before the start. Course is approximately 30 miles. Good descriptions of the course can be found in two different hiking guides: the 5th edition of "55Ways to the Wilderness" by Nienhueser & Wolfe Jr. and "Hiking Alaska" by 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. 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. The course will finish in the Byers Lake campground with food and drinks. We will e-mail more specific directions and distances the week before the race. 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 and difficult terrain. If you have never traveled the course before, we strongly encourage you to do so BEFORE signing up. If you are signing up because you just want to see the trail, please go do it on your own time.  The trail will only have minimal markings, so familiarity with it will be very important. Please do not over-estimate your abilities! The most common, recurring theme regarding weather descriptions reads "lousy weather, cold winds and poor visibility are common". The effort level for running this race is equivalent to running two marathons. If you have only run road marathons, but never tackled trail running, please do not sign up.  If you cannot run for 9 hours without stopping, you probably shouldn't sign up for this race. This course is not meant to be jog/walked. Power hiking the hills is probably the only walking you will be doing in order to make the time cut-offs. The time cut-offs are very strict and difficult to achieve. Running the Crow Pass Crossing in under the time limit or 50mile/50k trail race would be  good personal pre-requisites.
Race finish
Close to Stonehenge Hill
Heading down the Cascade Trail