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Stage 533 – Fort Halkett to Liard River Hot Springs

For a stage that looks as bumpy on paper as this one, 533 almost gets away with being a downhiller but in reality it’s probably a hard earned draw. It runs south east though the hills in northern British Columbia, following the line of the Liard River, which indeed has been a feature of the last few stages. However it’s the last full stage that follows the river because 534 crosses over the water and leaves it early on and heads south.

The rollout is immediately uphill and steep but that’s short lived. As the Alaska Highway runs beneath the ridge that looks down on the river, the first six miles are lumpy, crossing many small streams before reaching Fort Halkett then crossing the Smith River at six miles. The Smith flows into the Liard just a short distance south of the crossing.

On the eastern side of the Smith River, the road hangs a left followed by a long right which takes it around the back of a small lake before rejoining the Liard River at eleven miles. But the loop comes at a cost because there are not one but two climbs as the highway scoots around the lake.

Back down at the Liard, there are further punchy climbs at thirteen and fifteen miles before a longer descent from fifteen miles down to eighteen. When the road crosses Tester Creek at the foot of that descent, there’s still time for one last climb up to the finish as the road swings away from the water one final time on approach to the Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 698 feet / 213 metres

RGT Magic Road: YDUxG5oR7ZAy

Total distance: 20.49 mi
Max elevation: 1586 ft
Min elevation: 1397 ft
Total climbing: 700 ft
Total descent: -685 ft

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