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 leading you to the trail, so the map and 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.
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 past Azouzetta Lodge.
BC Highway 97 at Azouzetta Lodge - Northeaster British Columbia Canada
3. Turn right immediately past 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
BC Highway 97 North of Mackenzie Junction
4. View after the turn. Take the road going straight.
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 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 rest areas. Coordinates for the trailhead: N 55'24'109 W
122'37'773. 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.
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 at the beginning, but mostly has little
to no tree cover, so plan for sun protection.
11. The main challenge is the steepness of the trail. It's also mostly a
track made of dirt and loose stones. So, 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. 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 trip report
Continues on Page 2.
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Range Trail Hike
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