In 1793, the famous explorer Alexander Mackenzie camped near what is now a beautiful community bearing his name. Mackenzie the town carries forward not only the name but also Alexander Mackenzie’s spirit of adventure and discovery.
The district of Mackenzie was virtually carved out of the wilderness in the mid 1960s to service large pulp and lumber manufacturing facilities. Forest industry operations continue as the primary economic engine of Mackenzie.
Mackenzie lies at the southern end of Williston Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in North America. The lake was formed as a result of the W.A.C. Bennet Dam being built on the Peace River, and stretches over 200 kilometres north from Mackenzie.
The town’s tranquil location in the Rocky Mountain Trench makes it a perfect place for visitors to set off from on hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing and other outdoor adventures.
Location: Mackenzie is located in the Central Interior of British Columbia, lying at the bottom of the Omineca Mountain Range, with the Rocky Mountains to the east. Mackenzie is 120 miles (185 km) north of Prince George and 18 miles (27 km) west of the junction of Highway 39 and Alaska Highway 97.
Mackenzie is home to the World’s Largest Tree Crusher. This giant 175-ton machine was used in the 1960s to clear non-merchantable timber from the Rocky Mountain Trench during the building of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam.
The Mackenzie Museum, Arts Centre and Chamber of Commerce are all located on Centennial Drive near the main hotel complex. The Museum relates local history, such as the creation of Williston Lake, and the operation of the Tree Crusher, while the Arts Centre has a nice selection of locally crafted gifts. The Mackenzie Chamber of Commerce will provide you with the detailed information you need to make your stay in Mackenzie even more memorable.
Wildlife: Mackenzie’s wilderness setting brings residents and visitors alike into contact with the area’s diverse wildlife population. While amazing to view, these animals are wild, and caution must be exercised when viewing any wild animal. Mugaha Marsh, located near Gantahaz subdivision, is well known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, including moose, bear, and a wide variety of birds.
Visit nearby Williston Lake, which offers a fabulous swimming beach, camping, picnicking and fishing. Mackenzie’s landing offers a boat launch and a natural amphitheatre. This recreation area celebrates the historical significance of Sir Alexander Mackenzie’s journey through the area, and includes a monument to him. Campgrounds flank the landing on the south and the north.
A blue jewel just five minutes from downtown Mackenzie is Morfee Lake, a popular spot for swimming, boating, waterskiing, hiking, and ice fishing in the winter. Northern British Columbia enthralls visitors with its beauty, hospitality and vast open wilderness spaces accommodating every outdoor recreation known to man.
Gaitaga Lake, one kilometre from Highway 39, offers rustic campsites, fishing and lake access for small boats. Heather Lake and Dina Lake offer fishing, hiking trails and a canoe circuit.
Five minutes north of Powder King Mountain Resort is Azouzetta Lake, a picturesque lake where mountains seem to disappear right into the water, and where scuba divers marvel at the water clarity, even at extreme depths.
A gravel roadway provides access to Morfee Mountain – breathtaking views of Williston Lake and the Northern Rocky Mountains. The awesome powder here in winter provides great snowmobiling conditions in winter. Local mountain bikers find the climb to the top is worth the spectacular view.
John Dahl Regional Park, located right behind the Recreation Centre, contains 4.4 kilometres of great trails for walking, jogging, cycling, or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Picnic tables are located at two points overlooking majestic mountains and Morfee Lake.
Tudyah Lake Provincial Park lies on the western perimeter of the Rocky Mountain Trench, between the Nechako Plateau on the west and the Hart Ranges of the Rockies on the east. The park, 40 km south of Mackenzie, offers vehicle/tent sites, and is the last stop the Crooked River makes before becoming flowing into the giant Williston Lake. A smaller, Forest Service campground lies farther north along the lake, accessible from the Finlay Forest Service Road.
Winter Activities: Remarkable snow conditions transform Mackenzie into the ultimate winter playground. Ice fishing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and nearly forty kilometres of quiet, groomed cross-country ski trails are all available within the town limits. Heaven-like snowmobile conditions make Mackenzie an attractive destination for riders of all levels of all levels and tastes – porch to alpine powder in minutes; or wind through kilometres of majestic pine forests. Mackenzie is close to Powder King Mountain Resort, a local downhill ski mecca. Overlooking Morfee Lake is Little Mac Ski Hill, explore over 20 kilometres of groomed and two kilometres of lit cross-country ski trails. Little Mac is minutes from downtown, and an easy walk from local hotels.
Skiing & Winter Activities in the North East.
Golf: Enjoy nine scenic holes of golf on a pristine course, or just practice your swing at the Mackenzie Golf & Country Club.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Circle Tour of Northern British Columbia incorporates the Alaska Highway through the Rocky Mountain foothills to Watson Lake in the Yukon, linking with the Stewart/Cassiar Highway and Yellowhead Highway 16 in the south. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour follow the same route, from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island north by ferry to Prince Rupert. Catch another ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands, or venture east on the Yellowhead Highway to Prince George, and south through the peaceful Cariboo to Vancouver along the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.
Circle Tours in British Columbia.