Stage 483’s an interesting one. Having climbed up to Eagle River on the previous stage, the route has to negotiate the hills to the west of Eklutna Lake. With some of those peaks rising to over four thousand feet, and now following the Old Glenn Way, the route escapes with just an undulating journey along the western foothills.
The rollout is calm for a couple of miles until Lower Fire Lake where the road runs up against the ridge at the side of the hill. The road then rises up above the Native Village of Eklutna to the highest elevation of the stage after just four miles. Dropping back down off the ridge, the highway then climbs back up to pass by Loretta French Park at six miles before descending a second time to cross Peters Creek at the rather aptly named Peters Creek Park. Skirting around the south east of Peters Creek itself, the road hangs a left on Settlers Drive just after Eastside Drive morphs into Homestead Road on the eastern side of town.
From the moment that the route turns left, past Mirror Lake, Mirror Lake Park, Edmonds Lake and Edmonds Lake Park, the road descends all the way to Eklutna at thirteen miles: it’s a descent of five miles in total. Having rejoined the Glenn Highway at Mirror Lake, Route 1 runs along the southern bank of the Knik River before crossing it at each of sixteen miles, seventeen miles and eighteen miles as several tributaries combine to form the main river on its journey west to the sea.
By this point the terrain is flat and marshy and the final three miles to the finish are straight and north across the flats to Matanuska: you’re back down at sea level again and in very much in need of your climbing legs for what lies ahead.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 702 feet / 214 metres
RGT Magic Road: fJNGnbhkw9Zm
Max elevation: 487 ft
Min elevation: 15 ft
Total climbing: 648 ft
Total descent: -865 ft
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