Alaska Or Bust 2017 travel blog

Our campsite at K'Esugi Ken in Denali State Park



Basic, but they got the job done!



Moose Flats Trail, K'Esugi Ken Campground

Yellow Water Lilies

Cow Parsnip - although this plant has a beautiful flower it has...

K'Esugi Ken Interpretive Center

Ranger Jason providing some insight on the difference between a black bear...

Devil's Club was everywhere - even the broad leaves of the plant...

Views from the campground


Denali starting to show it's lovely south face.


Mary's McKinley View Lodge (about a mile from the campground) had great...

The Curry Ridge Trail switches back and forth for 3 miles to...

Views were beautiful all along the trail.

Ball Mustard along the lower parts of the trail.

Hiking the Curry Ridge Trail

Alaska Spiraea

Views of the Alaska Range along the Curry Ridge Trail



We finally got a full viewing of Denali on one picture perfect...








The perfect place to view Denali's majesty - right in the campground!

We decided to get off the road for a little while and had heard about a brand new Denali State Park campground that just opened along the Parks Highway. K'Esugi Ken (Dena'ina Athabascan for "base of the ancient one") Campground opened in May of this year and is available on a first come, first serve basis (cabins can be reserved). It has RV sites with electric, tent sites and a few cabins. Denali State Park is south of Denali National Park and the Alaska Range.

The campground has some beautiful viewing points of the south face of Denali Mountain (formerly Mt. McKinley). According to the park rangers, only 45% of Denali is visible most of the time, and only one-in-three visitors gets to see the entire mountain, cloud-free. We had one beautiful clear day while we were at the park and were thrilled to be able to see the entire mountain!

K'Esugi Ken is a jewel and we felt so lucky to be able to secure a site for a week. We hiked the trails, relaxed and enjoyed the cool temperatures and beautiful views. The forest is fairly thick until you go up higher on the ridge, so wildlife (even birds) hide very easily. The rangers said there was a cow moose and her calves in the area but we never encountered them, even after multiple walks on the Moose Flats Trail. We also never saw a bear, which is just fine, although we carried our bear spray and bear bell on our hikes.

Next stop - Fairbanks where we'll meet up with our daughter for a whirlwind tour of some areas we haven't yet explored. Can't wait!!

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