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Stage 566 – Little Smoky Rest Area to Fox Creek

Lumpy, bumpy and not a lot of exciting stuff: nor flat roads. That’s stage 566. It runs south east between Iosegun Lake (to the north), Smoke Lake (to the south) and Crooked Lake (to the west) through central Alberta, before passing through Fox Creek and onward to the finish. It’s a lumpy stage and it’s a climbing stage: indeed the highest elevation is at twenty miles, just before the end.

The rollout is gently up and down for a couple of miles to two small bunches of water on the left: however neither are big enough to be named as lakes. Highway 43 then begins the first proper climb of the stage, but it’s neither long nor arduous. The road undulates as it passes Iosegun Lake two miles to the left before descending back down to approach Pines Provincial Recreation Area at nine miles. That’s where the second climb kicks off.

On paper, the journey from nine miles to the finish looks uphill, but it’s not quite as simple as that. It’s sharply up at nine miles, thirteen miles, sixteen miles and nineteen miles. But there’s also respite and it’s down at eleven miles, fourteen miles and twenty miles. The trend is definitely upwards but it’s a lumpy climb that keeps coming back at you just when you think it’s over.

Fox Creek is at sixteen miles, at the foot of the longest descent but the road starts rising again the moment that it leaves town. There’s then an airport, Fox Creek Airport, on the left hand side of the road, halfway up the longest part of the climb at eighteen miles. The finish of the stage is at the junction of the dirt roads that serve the Fox Creek Viking Gas Station at twenty one miles.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 902 feet / 275 metres

RGT Magic Road: whATNYkjXngG

Total distance: 20.47 mi
Max elevation: 2984 ft
Min elevation: 2585 ft
Total climbing: 903 ft
Total descent: -560 ft

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