As interesting stages go, this is an interesting one. It’s a climber, make no mistake about that. It’s also extremely lumpy for the majority of its course running south through the eastern Rockies. I’m sure that to drive this route would be a real pleasure with steep mountains on both sides: here’s hoping that RGT can do it justice in the virtual world. It’s also worth noting that perhaps more than in any stage to date, a vast number of streams flow down into the Trout River that runs alongside the road.
The rollout is uphill and gradual, but at three miles gradual morphs into sharp and the road rises over three hundred in a mile. Just before the start of the climb, the Alaska Highway crosses over the Trout River and the climb comes about by virtue of the road climbing up the ridge on the eastern bank of the river: although the mountains are steep on both sides, the hills on the eastern side are in closer proximity having crossed the water.
From four miles, over the top of the first climb, the road continues rising but the slope is much more gentle and it actually takes eight miles to climb the additional two hundred and fifty feet to the highest elevation of the stage at twelve miles. Thereafter, it’s lumpy flat to fifteen miles before the road drops down to the eastern shore of Muncho Lake, passing by the Macdonald Campground and Northern Rockies Lodge in quick succession at seventeen miles.
There’s a water crossing adjacent to the start of the Stone’s Sheep Trail at nineteen miles, then as the road enters the last couple of miles, it clings to the hillside right next to the water, with the mountainside rising sharply to the left. The finish is between two water crossings right next to the river in the middle of nowhere.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 1125 feet / 343 metresRGT Magic Road: ZtrPOGh8pGso
Max elevation: 2869 ft
Min elevation: 2113 ft
Total climbing: 1115 ft
Total descent: -566 ft
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