Denali State Park, AK – Ok, so maybe you are thinking “What”? But heck just look at that view! In all seriousness, if you are hiking along the Kesugi Ridge Trail you can thank the hard working crews at Denali State Park for the installation of two new latrines along the trail this summer.
This project, funded with support from the Mat Su Trails and Parks Foundation, aimed to address an ever increasing problem along the trail. As this multi-day hiking trail has become more popular for both commercially guided trips and self-supported trips over the last several years, the increase in visitation has an impact on the landscape in this alpine tundra environment. Backcountry rangers identified two of the more popular remote sites being used that would benefit from new latrines to help mitigate the impacts of dispersed “catholes” throughout the area.
Starting this past spring park staff began the assembly and staging to airlift all of the materials in place. Four Alaska Conservation Corps (ACC) trail crew workers completed this project supervised by Carter Forney and Justin DiPaola-Allen with State Parks. The crews worked diligently to dig the latrines, and crush granite rock onsite with a 12 lb sledge hammer to backfill around the pit barrels that were installed. After 8 arduous days, they were able to call the project complete. Thank you to Justin and the team for getting this grant project completed! Looking forward to my next hike on Kesugi Ridge.
Contributor: Stuart Leidner, Executive Director
Photo Credits: Denali State Park staff