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Stage 499 – Northway Junction to Tenmile Lake

499 is basically a mirror image of stage 498: a similar elevation profile, a similar total ascent (499 wins by a hundred feet however) and both stages trundle relentlessly on towards the Canadian border down the right hand side of the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. But there’s one obvious difference: whereas stage 498 had five testing climbs; 499 has six.

For the vast majority of the stage, the Alaska Highway follows the meandering line of the Tanana River: prior to this stage, the Tanana was more of a stream but at the end of stage 498 it blossomed into a big wide river, complete with oxbow lakes along some of its course on stage 499. The road meanders almost as much as the river as it hugs the ridge that flanks the mountains to the east whilst across to the west, on the other side of the river, lie much flatter plains to yet more hills.

There’s one road junction, at eight miles, rather aptly called Northway Junction, because the Northway Road that heads south west from Route 2 goes to Northway! Other than that, the main features of the stage are hills and water crossings. The summits are at two miles, six miles, eight miles, twelve miles, nineteen miles and twenty one miles. By inference, you can deduce that the mile markers between them play host to the bottom of each descent, and potentially, water. It’s that kind of a stage.

The water features are not as frequent as the climbs, but you’ll find them at five miles (Beaver Creek), eleven miles (Steve Lake), fourteen miles (Eliza Lake), sixteen miles (Yarget Lake) and twenty two miles, near the finish (Tenmile Lake and Deadman Lake).

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 1020 feet / 311 metres

RGT Magic Road: SA5iNTWfgb6i

Total distance: 21.95 mi
Max elevation: 1988 ft
Min elevation: 1720 ft
Total climbing: 1019 ft
Total descent: -854 ft

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