Located in Denali State Park, the Kesugi Ridge Traverse point-to-point course starts at the Little Coal Creek Trailhead (Parks Highway Mile 163.9) and finishes 30 miles later at Byers Lake Campground (Mile 147). Starting at an elevation of 1,400 feet, the trail climbs steadily in the opening four miles to an alpine ridge with a high point of 3,500 feet. The trail is marked with cairns in most places.
When visibility allows, views of the Eldridge Glacier and Denali, the largest peak in North America, are prominent.
Nearly halfway, the Ermine Hill Trail comes in from the right (elevation 2,300 feet). The Kesugi Ridge HALF TRAVERSE course (about 14.2 miles) ends a short distance uphill from this junction at a rock formation called "The Doors." After their race, Half Traverse participants take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. A shuttle will runners to Byers Lake Campground.
Beyond "The Doors," the FULL TRAVERSE descends to 1,500 feet before it climbs back above treeline, passes Skinny Lake and reaches almost 3,000 feet at Golog Point near Mile 20. Around Mile 25, the course begins a long, switchbacked descent to Byers Lake via the Cascade Trail. The course ends in the Byers Lake Campground (elevation 800 feet) with food, drinks and awards. The total elevation gain is 6,200 feet and elevation loss is 6,800 feet.
Be aware this is not a race for beginners. Long-distance trail running experience is a must. Familiarity with the course is important. Past races have featured rain, snow, cold, and limited visibility. Sections of the course are extremely technical and can be swampy.
Both the Full Traverse and Half Traverse have a REGISTRATION CAP of 50 entrants. If the races fill, there will NOT be a waitlist. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the race director. Volunteers will receive free entry for 2018.
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse is a USATF sanctioned event.
For more information, visit www.kesugiridgetraverse.com
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE TRAVERSE must have completed at least one of the following trails: Kesugi Ridge trail, Crow Pass Crossing, Resurrection Pass trail, Lost Lake Trail, Matanuska Peak Challenge, Granite Tors, Angel Creek 50 or some other comparable race or training run.
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE HALF TRAVERSE must have completed at least 15 miles on the trails listed above, or some other comparable 15-mile race or training run.
Participants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must wear or carry the following gear: windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, pants or tights, hat, gloves, race bib, sustenance and water bottle.
All entrants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must be at least 18 years old on race day.
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours at the midway point of Ermine Hill Junction and 9 hours for the finish.
Local time: 5:41 AM
The Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours at the Ermine Hill finish line.