After four serious climbing stages in a row, stage 488 offers some light relief in the shape of twice as much descending as ascending into the somewhat flatter lands south of Lake Louise but remaining north of Tazlina Lake.
The rollout carries on from where stage 487 left off: going uphill. That little excursion takes Route 1 past Eureka Lodge and the Eureka Roadhouse adjacent to Skelton Airport before topping out at three miles: you’ll be pleased to know that at close to three thousand five hundred feet, that’s the highest elevation of the stage done and dusted not much more than ten minutes into the ride.
The next eight miles are a cruiser’s delight: rolling gentle downhill initially, the gradient picks up just after six miles where the road swings right and the fun factor remains on all the way down to Little Nelchina River at eleven miles. After the crossing, the road follows the meandering river for a further two miles until the river bends south to join forces with its big brother, the Nelchina River.
After the road and the river part company, the highway heads north east to Nelchina, which it passes by sixteen miles at the foot of a five mile descent. The highway then becomes lumpy flat for a couple of miles before a down/up dip at twenty miles, just south of Snowshoe Lake sets up the final run in to the finishing line just before Glenn Highway reaches Ryan Lake.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 610 feet / 186 metres
RGT Magic Road: DMX4xBDnODF4
Max elevation: 3452 ft
Min elevation: 2382 ft
Total climbing: 612 ft
Total descent: -1337 ft
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