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Stage 512 – Champagne to Mendenhall Landing

512 is a downhill stage that won’t feel like that way. I say that because the if you strip away the two hundred feet of descent in the first two miles – which is a really fun start by the way – then you are left with a stage that offers as much climbing as it does descending for the remaining twenty miles, and there’s not an awful lot of flat tarmac on parade. The route is east through Yukon, running parallel with the British Columbia border, albeit at a distance of around seventy five miles to the north.

The fast rollout is courtesy of a convergence with the wildly meandering Dezadeash River, but from three miles, once the river starts to snake south, the road flattens out. Just after, an access road to Champagne leaves the Alaska Highway heading south east. The main road curves then curves left, followed by a right, so Champagne itself is never really nearer than a mile from the highway. The climb up past the community and the small lake beyond it is the first of the stage. It’s then lumpy flat to nine miles with very little to report other than a straight road, scrub and small trees on both sides of the road.

From nine miles to twelve miles, Route 1 embarks on a lumpy descent to cross the Mendenhall River at the lowest point of the stage, just after a second access road to Champagne heading west for traffic heading in that direction.

Nothingness continues as the road heads east, rising and falling with equal monotony to cross small streams flowing from north to south. With multiple small lakes scattered about to the south of the highway, the road hangs a very long left hander from fifteen miles, with a more pronounced turn on the climb at eighteen miles. Now heading north east, the Alaska Highway cuts between a ridge to the north and the Takhini River to the south to finish the stage a mile from Mildenhall Landing (on the river) at the top of yet another short climb.

Highest elevation of the stage? That’s an easy one: it was back at the start, because after all it was downhiller, right? Aye right…

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 423 feet / 129 metres

RGT Magic Road: SqmyWavprgeh

Total distance: 21.47 mi
Max elevation: 2485 ft
Min elevation: 2264 ft
Total climbing: 424 ft
Total descent: -584 ft
Download file: Stage 512 - Around The World In 800 Days.gpx

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