The District of Mackenzie lies within the wide Rocky Mountain Trench valley, and is nestled between the rugged Rocky Mountains and the Omineca Mountains.
It is a gateway to Williston Lake, known as the largest manmade reservoir in BC. Williston Lake was created in 1967 when the W.A.C. Bennett Dam was built across the Peace River, near Hudson's Hope.
Forestry & Mining
Mackenzie overlies deposits of gravel, sand and silt, which have been quarried for industrial uses. Mineral potential for copper and gold exists in the mountains surrounding Mackenzie, and some mining is underway.
Forestry has been the main economic driver for Mackenzie. However, visitors should be aware that the Mountain Pine beetle has infested many of the pine trees in the Mackenzie area, causing quite a dramatic change to the look of the landscape. Recently infested trees can be identified by red needles, while trees infested for some time have dropped their needles or appear almost black.
Climate and Landscape
The climate in Mackenzie is ideal for winter snow sports, with an average annual snowfall of 3m/9.8ft or more. February temperatures average -11.4°C/11.5°F, and for summer lovers, July averages 14.9°C/58.6°F, but can top out at 35°C/95°F. Mackenzie receives about 1,800 hours of sunshine annually, its growing season runs from June 1-August 31, and it has an average annual rainfall of 35.5cm/14.8in.
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.