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Denali State Park is an integral part of one of North America's most spectacularly beautiful regions. The park's 325,240 acres, almost one-half the size of Rhode Island, provide the visitor with a great variety of recreational opportunities, ranging from roadside camping to wilderness exploration. The park is about 100 air miles north of Anchorage and is divided roughly in half by the George Parks Highway, the major road link between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Situated between the Talkeetna Mountains to the east and the Alaska Range to the west, the landscape varies from meandering lowland streams to alpine tundra. Dominating this diverse terrain are Curry and Kesugi Ridges, a 35 mile long north-south alpine ridge, the backbone of the eastern half of the park. Denali State Park was established in 1970 and expanded to its present size in 1976. Its western boundary is shared with its much larger neighbor, Denali National Park and Preserve, formerly Mt. McKinley National Park

Long but beautiful trail. Wonderful views at the top of every incline that make you forget about your legs hurting. We got lucky and did it on a clear day and saw a rainbow at the top of the mountain. The lakes are at the beginning of the trail but the second half of the trail offers scenic landscape views and up close encounter with the river. Two cool footbridges to cross at the very end too. Easy to catch a shuttle at the back end so you don’t have to repeat the trail going both ways. We finished in 4.5 hours including all of the individual lake trails. Totally worth it!

hiking
14 days ago

We hiked this trail on June 10, 2018. It was a misty day but the trail is well-maintained and great.

We parked at the Denali village and hiked to the Dinali visitor center. It was just over 10 miles from parking lot to parking lot. There are shuttle buses from the Dinali visitor center which run every ~ hour that will take you back to the Denali village

Lots of moose skat & some wolf. Scenery at the summit area was incredible for us and on a clear day, not sure how you would take it all in.

This place is special in many ways

We just did this trail a couple days ago. The snow is mostly gone off the trail now and we didn’t see any bears so we were happy! A great afternoon hike with great views of the valley.

hiking
19 days ago

Very nice trail - lots of tree roots on the trail (can be good and bad). Lightly populated and beautiful. Trees, creek, nice beaver-made pond. Didn’t see any wildlife besides birds though. Inclines can be steep. We hiked with kids to the pond and back - totally worth a visit. One footbridge needs a little repair, but happy it was there nonetheless.

hiking
5 months ago

Great little year round hike. Did it in Jan, -20s temps. The lake is frozen in the winter and you can walk on parts of it. Most stunning is the opening along the Nenana River—bright water against the snow covered banks and mountain views.

Beautiful hike!! SO worth the drive:)

snowshoeing
6 months ago

we had to park at the entrance because the campground area is closed in winter; this just meant we had more beautiful Lake views. you can follow the road in or hike/snowshoe around the lake to get to the ridge trail which takes you up to kesugi ridge. gorgeous hike with stunning views of denali and the alaska range once you're hiking up to the ridge. it is full of gentle switchbacks which allowed for more views and avoided icy decents. we did not take poles because it was too cold to be holding poles. well woth the stop

backpacking
8 months ago

Great views when it’s clear out. Either way it’s gorgeous. Started off going downhill then turned into an incline with lots of switchbacks, got easier towards the end. Some interesting rock formations too. Absolutely beautiful and totally worth it. Saw lots of bear so be prepared. Went during fall and it was perfect for blueberry picking. Would highly recommend!

backpacking
8 months ago

Amazing views of Denali. Pretty tough but so worth it if it’s clear or during sunset. Had amazing weather thankfully, almost too warm out. Woke up to a blue sky and gorgeous Denali. Pretty tough on the way up but it was one of my first backpacking trips. Definitely going back and would highly recommend!

9/16/2017. Sunny and 45deg- tiny bit of rain. Clouds over most of Denali which was a bummer, but still one of the most beautiful valley views I've seen. First half was really mucky. Last mile or so was the only tough part - steep and rocky but not too difficult. The whole way was really well worn and clear trail. Overall a really great day hike. A little under 4hrs round trip with a stop for lunch. Stopped when we got to a big screw field and didn't think it was worth pushing through that - 3.3mi from trailhead.

hiking
9 months ago

We went up Labor Day weekend 2017. As others have stated, it is a moderately steep grade most of the way with several benches to rest on. There is loose rock most of the way. Overall I'd say this is a moderately advanced hike for experienced hikers. Novice hikers will find it difficult. BRING A WINDBREAKER OR RAIN JACKET!! Gusts were about 60mph at the top!!

backpacking
9 months ago

You GOTTA get on the ridge and see the rock formations at the junction. September overnight trip from ermine to skinny lake. Gorgeous.

It's an easy hike. Fun for kids. Lots of beaver dams and squirrels along the trail. Lake is unbelievably clear. Suggest doing it if you have the time on your trip to Alaska!

Awesome variation of scenery. A bit windy when on the ridge and no place for a hammock. But second half of trail is wooded and great. Plenty of streams to get water from.

Nice moderate trail -- not too strenuous, and we even took the root ladder up. Nice views, think it would be super spectacular on a day when Denali is out!

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome hike, lots of beavers at lake 1.

8/8/17-We hiked this trail to the falls & up the side of the falls to the ridge line and down to Byers lake.. camped overnight, woke up @ 5am to finish our hike around the lake & ran into 2 black bear cubs where the trail gets overgrown, right before the bridge... although we didn't have a problem.. be aware bears are there!.. awesome falls & hike!!!

hiking
10 months ago

One of the hardest hikes Healy, AK has to offer. The trail often is at an incline, and the rocks are at times loose. Don't let this steer you away from doing it. Every ridge line has one incredible view after another. Be sure to hike all the way to the "castle" It's totally worth it. At this point expect an extremely steep climb roughly 20 feet up.
Once at the top don't forget to sign your name, Enjoy

hiking
10 months ago

We completed this trail past the falls up to the ridge line and then added the other trail around Beyers Lake to get us close to 9-miles or so. The cascade trail along the ridge gets fairly exposed and on the day we were there - no views of Mt. Denali, although I could imagine the view would be great on a clear day., On the way up and around Beyers lake the vegetation on the side of the trail is very thick, so be Bear Aware.

Extremely easy loop, not much to it. The lake is gorgeous and the occasional beaver may peek it's way out from its dam.

I recommend combining this hike with a few of the others in the area; like the roadside or maybe even MT Healy.

Very long, but rather simple hike. The trail is easy to follow with many clearings which open up to the vast mountains surrounding you.
I recommend starting from the lake end (village end) Its more scenic this way and the last several miles will be toward the decline which will feel good after walking the 7 miles beforehand.
If your going to do this hike you really should take the paths to the individual lakes, otherwise you won't get as good as a view.

One thing, I expected the lakes to be larger, maybe it's just me but I can't help but compare the three lakes to three ponds. All in all, it's was still a very scenic hike with views galore.

hiking
11 months ago

Not a difficult hike, just a long one. If you're starting from the visitor center, you won't see much until mile 7 or 8. There's an incline, as well, for a few miles but it's gradual and very doable. Not a ton of foot traffic on the trail, so you pretty much have the trail to yourself. If you're doing it one-way, you can grab the free shuttle to go back to the visitor center.

Love thinking about this trail

hiking
11 months ago

Easy trail with very nice views of the Nenana.

Very hard at first easy in the middle hard at the end.

Awesome hike. Amazing view of the Mount Denali

backpacking
11 months ago

We hiked from north to south coming out at Byers Lake for 4 days & 3 nights. We didn't get a good view of Denali, but luckily we had seen it the day before from Denali Park.

We began the trail at the Little Coal Creek trailhead. I was with my son's BSA High Adventure Crew from Federal Way, Wa. The hike up was a little steep, trail was in good condition. You walk over roots, rocks, mud and the trail is bushy till you get up above the tree line. We hiked in good weather 7 miles and setup camp on the tundra (following LNT). The trail on the ridge is very rocky.

Day 2 we hiked 10 miles which was difficult with the very steep downhill and then a moderate, but long, uphill to get back on the ridge. We camped above Skinny Lake. There was a Black Bear in the area.

Day 3 we did 7 miles and camped near Mini-skinny Lake on the tundra. Was a pretty hot day of hiking, not much air flow but very beautiful.

Day 4 we woke up and hiked out to the Byers Lake trailhead. Was a great hike.

great scenic hike. went after a good rain. everything was so green and wet. Loved it. I agree with the previous comment. Hard only in terms of length.

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