A little about ourselves…
Mackenzie is a friendly community of about 3,700 residents nestled between the Rocky and Omineca Mountains.
Mackenzie was built in the 1960's during the construction of the W.A.C. Bennet Dam. The dam flooded the region creating the Williston Lake Reservoir, beside which the community was built. In 1965, the clearing of land began for the main townsite. British Columbia Forest Products built a pulp mill and two sawmills to begin developing the vast forest resources in the area. The first families settled in Mackenzie in June of 1966. The community was developed as an “instant town” and was planned and designed as a walkable compact community, that has the industrial area separate from the residential area to ensure clean air in town all year.
We enjoy some of the best municipal water in BC, a very low crime rate, low taxes, low real estate prices and high paying jobs in growing natural resource industries in the area. This makes Mackenzie a great place to visit, get a start in life, buy a home, raise a family, or just enjoy being able to afford to travel and do what you like.
Go further back in Mackenzie and area history by visiting our Mackenzie & District Museum or visiting our History page.
Getting Here & Maps
Visit our Getting Here & Maps page for detailed maps and directions, including regional and town maps, summer and winter trail maps, and directions on the best way to get here.
Geography & Landscape
Mackenzie may be one of BC’s youngest towns, but the geological landscape that surrounds it is, well, getting on in years. The Rocky Mountains were formed over 50 million years ago. The Rocky Mountain Trench, in which Mackenzie sits, is a unique and bizarre geological formation. Its width ranges from three to six kilometres, its elevation above sea level is anywhere between 600 and 900 metres, and the whole thing stretches for about 1600 kilometres, from north of Mackenzie all the way to Montana. If you look at it from an elevated position, it’s kind of like looking at a giant’s highway. It’s no surprise, then, that the Trench has a First Nations history of travel and trade that goes back thousands of years. Rivers and lakes — both manmade and natural — punctuate its entire length and today, the Trench is popularly used for all kinds of outdoor recreation.
The landscape graduates from forested valley bottom to subalpine to alpine meadows and ridges. The alpine is found above tree line, where severe winter temperatures, wind and other elements keep the vegetation low and scrubby. Beautiful wildflowers are a highlight of the alpine areas near Mackenzie.
Like all mountain communities, Mackenzie sees its fair share of the warm summer sun, and snowy winters. Check out some of our weather stats:
Mackenzie is ideal for winter snow sports, with an average annual snowfall of 3 m (9.8 ft)
February temperatures average -11.4°C (11.5°F)
For summer lovers, July averages 14.9°C (58.6°F) but can top out at 35°C (95°F)
Mackenzie sees about 1,800 hours of sunshine annually. Its growing season runs from June through August.
Average annual rainfall of 35.5 cm (14.8 in).