Kesugi Ridge Curry Ridge

Curry, Alaska

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With superlatives in scenery, weather, and physical challenge, Kesugi Ridge captures the diversity of southcentral Alaska backpacking on one route. The name “Curry Ridge” is often applied to this hike. This may be a holdover from previous decades, before Parks Highway construction, when railroad passengers would stop to hike to the Curry Lookout on Curry Ridge for the view. The lookout, an historic structure, sits on Curry Ridge, an extension of the Kesugi Ridge system, but there is no trail there now. Trending north–south between the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains, Kesugi Ridge offers miles of walking on alpine tundra along its broad, rolling top. This Kesugi-Curry ridge system is the central feature of Denali State Park. The hike comes complete with wee tundra flowers, outrageous rock formations, shining tarns, and tumbling streams. But it is not only an alpine ridge. The traverse drops into stands of beautiful old birch trees, open cottonwood groves, and spruce forests.

Kesugi Ridge (Curry Ridge) Professional Review and Guide

"With superlatives in scenery, weather, and physical challenge, Kesugi Ridge captures the diversity of southcentral Alaska backpacking on one route. The name “Curry Ridge” is often applied to this hike. This may be a holdover from previous decades, before Parks Highway construction, when railroad passengers would stop to hike to the Curry Lookout on Curry Ridge for the view.

The lookout, an historic structure, sits on Curry Ridge, an extension of the Kesugi Ridge system, but there is no trail there now. Trending north–south between the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains, Kesugi Ridge offers miles of walking on alpine tundra along its broad, rolling top. This Kesugi-Curry ridge system is the central feature of Denali State Park. The hike comes complete with wee tundra flowers, outrageous rock formations, shining tarns, and tumbling streams. But it is not only an alpine ridge. The traverse drops into stands of beautiful old birch trees, open cottonwood groves, and spruce forests."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Curry
Distance: 37
Elevation Gain: 6,100 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Duration: 3-6 days
Season: late June-Sept
Local Contacts: Denali State Park
Local Maps: USGS Talkeetna C1 and Talkeetna Mountains C6, D6
Driving Directions: Directions to Kesugi Ridge (Curry Ridge)

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May 2018