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Trip 126 - July 8, 2017 (Saturday)

Murray Range Trail Hike

Off Highway 97 in the general vicinity of Mackenzie BC

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Northeastern British Columbia, by Highway 97, 44 km North of Mackenzie Junction (Hwy 97 at Hwy 39), and 104 km South of Chetwynd.

Liked: Easy access to trailhead off Highway 97, view of Azouzetta Lake, view of mountain lakes, haphazard stone formations in the alpine.

Of note: Relentlessly steep trail for most of the way to the alpine. Numerous mosquitoes up to the alpine. Noise from Highway 97 for much of the trail. Some parts of the trail are overgrown and washed out. Very windy in some places in the alpine. Hiking poles and boots are essential.

Northern BC Backroad Mapbook (3rd edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 56 (Pine Pass) B5.


Murray Range Trail is one of the few trails listed in Backroads Mapbook along a stretch of Highway 97 between Chetwynd and Mackenzie Junction. There are no signs pointing to the trail, so the map and a GPS with the Backroads Mapbook software proved very helpful in locating the trailhead. Once you start the trail, it is fairly obvious where you need to go, but getting there won't be easy. Murray Range Trail is very steep for much of the way. This is, probably, the steepest trail we have ever hiked, save for, maybe, Mount Lincoln Trail in Yale, which is much shorter. Loose dirt and stones make things even more complicated. The views from this trail are quite good. However, considering how difficult this trail is, it should be left for well-equipped experienced hikers only.

1. We are Northbound on Highway 97, past Mackenzie Junction (Highway 97 at Highway 39 turnoff).

BC Highway 97 near North of Mackenzie Junction

2. Driving by Azouzetta Lodge.

BC Highway 97 at Azouzetta Lodge - Northeaster British Columbia Canada

3. Turn right immediately after Azouzetta Lodge (in 200 meters), at the intersection seen in the photo below. It is 12 kilometres North of Bijoux Falls Provincial Park, and 44 km North of Mackenzie Junction. If you have reached a sign welcoming you to Peace River Regional District, you have missed this turn.

BC Highway 97 North of Mackenzie Junction

4. A view after the turn. Take the road going straight towards the mountains.

Northeastern British Columbia Canada

5. Seven hundred meters later, there is a small camping area to the left. This is where you would park, because the trailhead is right across the road on the right side. This is also a good area to park if you are driving on Highway 97 and need a place to spend a night. The highway noise would still be there, but won't be as bad as when parking at one of the nearby rest areas. Coordinates for the trailhead: N 5524.109' W 12237.773'. Elevation: 885 meters.

Parking area for Murray Range Trail - Northeastern BC Canada

6. There are no signs of any kind to indicate a trail is nearby. Look for these flimsy branches across from the camping area.

BC Hiking

7. Cross the ditch to begin the hike. Watch for trains - the railroad is just behind the ditch.

Hike in British Columbia

8. Right from the beginning, you can see the final destination - a ridge on the far left of the photo below.

Mackenzie Hike - Murray Range Trail British Columbia Canada

9. Murray Range Trail has many good views, and the first one arrives within a minute of starting the hike.

Hike in Mackenzie BC Area

10. The trail is a bit overgrown early on, but mostly has little to no tree cover, so plan for sun protection.

Canada Hiking

11. The main challenge is the steepness of the trail. It's also mostly a track made of dirt and loose stones. Things would get really challenging, if the ground would be wet, especially on the way down.

Mackenzie Trail - Murray Range Trail

12. Looking back, we see Azouzetta Lake.

Mackenzie Hiking - Azouzetta Lake seen from Murray Range Trail British Columbia Canada

13. There is this (mostly) dry creek bed all the way to the alpine, and the trail starts to the left of it, and then crosses back and forth several times, due to the trail erosion.

Murray Range Trail Northeastern BC Canada - Hike in Mackenzie Area

14. And did we mention how steep this trail is? Like, no kidding.

Murray Range Trail - Hiking in Mackenzie Area British Columbia Canada

15. A snow-covered creek bed closer to the alpine.

British Columbia Hiking

16. Looking left.

Mackenzie Hiking - Murray Range Trail by Highway 97

17. The steep part is almost over. Took us 2.5 hours to get through this steepest part of the trail, with more than half of that time taking photographs and catching breath (while fighting off mosquitoes).

Hike in Mackenzie BC Area

Our Murray Range Trail Hike Trip Report Continues on Page 2.

BACK: Quality Canyon Trail Hike    NEXT: Murray Range Trail Page 2

Other Trips in Mackenzie BC Area:

Canty Lake Trail


Kimta Creek Trail


Parsnip West FSR



War Falls Visit



ihikebc.com Trip 126 - Murray Range Trail Hike (near Mackenzie BC) Page 1 of 2