I'm making my first trip to AK in July and plan to hike the Kesugi Ridge Trail. I am from the Northeast U.S. I am looking for recommendations and advice on the best route for this trail, typical trail conditions, how bad are bugs/mosquitos, what are the temps and weather conditions usually like, etc. Any info is appreciated.
If you want to get into the alpine quick go up on the Little Coal Creek trail and hike south down the ridge towards ermine lake trail. Almost all the uphill will be in the first 3 miles then its pretty level as you hike south. Its about a 12 miler or something to the ermine lake intersection. The trail south on kesugi from the ermine lake trail intersection gets into what they call the golog hills which is fairly rough, lots of ups and downs. The trail south on the rigde from the byers lake trail intersection is a nice hike to the backside of kesugi and into the troublesome creek trailhead. Keep your eyes and nose open for brown bears along troublesome creek. More down hill than uphill coming from byers intersection to troublesome trailhead. The cool thing about kesugi is that theres quite a few places to get off the ridge on a good trail if the weather gets bad. Weather can vary from 80, calm and sunny to 35 and sideways rain. Mosquitos can be killer when its calm, even above treeline, but not bad when theres a breeze. Mosquitos below treeline can be near unbearable at times if your standing still. Awesome country to hike in, moose, bear, lots of birds and pika squirrels. The best thing about kesugi is that it gets very little traffic compared to the national park .
I love Ke'sugi! I've done it in July. Rain, high winds, sun, The Mountain out most of the time, prepare for it all!
We like it best from Little Coal Creek TH. The climb is 2000 ft & then up & down along the ridge. The bugs were the worst when we dripped from Stonehenge Hill down the 1500 ft & then up again by Skinny Lake, the middle of the trip. There is a bit of brush. The winds on the ridges help, away from standing water.
What views of The Mountain!!
We saw LOTs of black bears along Troublesome (thus the name- famous for Black Bears). It fact, there were black bears on both sides of our camp out by Troublesome.
We carried Bear Vaults, but the State Park office loans out Garcia bear barrels.
Thanks a lot for the helpful info!
Re: Kesugi Trail / Upper Troublesome Creek
Just wondering, has anyone done this on Memorial Day weekend?
I am wondering a couple things: whats the weather like (snow??, temperature), any bugs out this early, and is it mobbed with people on Memorial Day weekend?
We are thinking of starting in the middle at Byers Lake CG. Any good fishing in that lake?