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Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Run

  • Ok everyone I have a trail that I want to do this coming summer it is not for the faint of heart it is called the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail it is a 4x4, OHV, and whatever your preference it is an all access trail. I will post more in the forum soon it is a fun trail it has some real easy stuff and hard stuff so it is a trail to be prepared for. It is a long haul so it would be at least 3 days camping. I did this trail years ago with a full size truck and it was a lot of fun. Who wants to go it will be July or August any earlier we will have water and mud problems if it is to late we will have snow and cold problems lol. I'm saying this now so we can prepare and book the time needed for this run. All suggestions welcome.  

    Once we have a time or date we will have to have a couple of meetings to determine what type of run we want to make this is it going to be an Event, Family & friends, or Invite the masses and we all fend for ourselves. Also we have to prepare for this run the last time I went it was 5 days of fun, Hell, and Disapointment. I dont want to have the later lets make it fun.

    Now it starts in Quanell BC. and it ia the wagon trail that Alexander and his men made in 1793 here is a little history reading 

     Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail

     (also Nuxalk-Carrier Route or Blackwater Trail) is a 420 km (260 mi) historical overland route between Quesnel and Bella CoolaBritish ColumbiaCanada. Of the many grease trails connecting theCoast with the Interior, it is the most notable and often is referred to as the Grease Trail.

    The trail was originally used by the Nuxálk and Carrier people for communication, transport and trade, in particular, trade in Eulachon grease from the Pacific coast.

    During his trek from Montreal to the Pacific Ocean in the late 18th century, Alexander MacKenzie made use of the overland trail when natural obstacles in the Fraser River prevented his continued water route. He reached the ocean on July 20, 1793, completing the first recorded transcontinental crossing north of Mexico. The route was designated as an official heritage trail by the Heritage Conservation Act in 1987.

    From east to west, the modern-day trail begins at the West Road River (Blackwater River) 53.269063 N,123.148917 W between Quesnel and Prince George, passes Kluskus LakeEliguk Lake, then crosses through what is now Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, then follows the Bella Coola River to the North Bentinck Arm inlet.

    Because of its length and difficulty, experienced hikers can expect the route to take about 18 days, whereas intermediate hikers may require at least 24 days. Also, hikers may choose to hike only sections of the trail, such as the route through Tweedsmuir Provincial Park which passes the extinct Rainbow Range shield volcano. Only a few hiking or horse riding parties, plus a few ATVs or trucks, pass along the trail each year.

    The middle section of the trail passes within 5 km of Pan Phillips' Home Ranch, popularized by the books by Rich HobsonGrass Beyond the MountainsNothing Too Good for a Cowboy, and The Rancher Takes a Wife, and the CBC television series based on the same books. The Home Ranch closed operations in the early 1970s, but the remains of the ranch are in good shape.


    This post was edited by Lock N Rock at December 5, 2013 10:54 PM PST
      October 23, 2013 9:44 PM PDT
  • I have some awsume pictures that I will post lol if I can digitalize Kodac photos lol with the junk i have lol 

      October 23, 2013 9:47 PM PDT
  • k I'm game but not during frightfest which is usually mid-August :)

      October 24, 2013 8:41 PM PDT
  • Ok well I have found out a little more info we will need at least one locker and no smaller than 33"  tires they can be aired down better and that will be needed. A winch or at least a couple of rigs with winches. Apparently we will be using  them more than once there is some rock climbs and  allot of mud as well as water crossings. You will need rear tow points. Roof rack would be a good option to have so you can carry more gear. You will need recovery gear. I will put a point form list together for you soon. So this gives you something to work on for next year.   

    This post was edited by Lock N Rock at November 23, 2013 8:25 AM PST
      November 23, 2013 8:25 AM PST
  • I’m working on a list of what your vehicle should have for equipment i.e. tires extra. I will have that posted soon. All so what gear to carry? Just to give you an over view of the trail difficulty it is a mix of difficulties there is going to be mud there will be fallen trees that will have to be cut to pass there is water crossings there is all so hill climbs with some off camber situations. You will experience almost everything that you look for on a run all in one trail. This is not a death defining trail but your level of 4x4 experience should be more than your first time out! As everything trail conditions change from year to year so whatever the condition of the trail is next year we will experience it together. Just keep in mind that this run is 4 to 5 days so pack accordingly I will post some food preparations and tip and tricks to save space but still bring what you need for the trip.

    I have been asked if there is going to be difficulties on the trip well probably but this is a run where we all work together to get through and enjoy the experience that we gain. The difficulties that we will run into will not be the whole trip just like any trail you have went on there is spots where you drive and enjoy the day but there is some spots where your driving skills come to play it will be no different than you figuring out how to get yourself unstuck. The only difference here with this trip is it could take 5 days to get through that’s all  

    The other requirement is. Bring a good attitude that you are going to have fun and enjoy your selves possibly meet new friends update with old friends. We are not driving into the mouth of hell unless you want it to be.

    This will be like a day trip that you really had a good time on but you will get 5 days of it.

    The last time I went on this run was 20 years ago we had a blast how we come across this was we were traveling from northern B.C to Vancouver to visit family we stopped in Quinnell for the night, when out at a local pub we meet up with these 4x4 guys talking about this Alexander run that they were going to do the next week. We all started sharing 4x4 stories and having a good time we had decided to join their group for this run they told us what we will need for the trip. We hurried down to Vancouver to visit with family get our gear together and get back in time for this Alexander run that we still had no clue of what we were getting ourselves in to. I’m not going to get into it too much, all in all it took us almost 7 days but a lot of the trail was intact and we could go a lot farther then than we can now. It was also in the middle of June so water was high and there was 3 days of rain that slowed the run down considerably. We had a blast with people that we just meet in a bar so you can imagine how much fun this will be when you’re prepared.

    So don’t think just because we want you to be prepared and have everything that you will need we just want it to be a fun run. If you go unprepared well then it won’t be too much fun if you don’t have the gear you need.

    Keep checking back I will be posting more as the year goes on. 

      November 24, 2013 6:47 PM PST
  • Here is a cool story of doing the trail back in 2005 and some good pics


    I havent finished reading but it gives youan idea of what to expect


      November 24, 2013 11:11 PM PST
  • That is a good find thank you for that Elizadeath 

      November 25, 2013 12:14 AM PST
  • I would love to join in on this run. That is Canadian histoy right there in your back door step guys. Dont miss out on that one Have fun :) 

      December 5, 2013 10:56 PM PST
  • I have been talking to a couple of Jeepsters and they made it through this run with as little as a 3" lift on 31" tires tow points front and back and a winch. This would be the bare minimum requirement you would need to be a part of this run and the attitude to stay and help your fellow wheeler. We have discussed it and the bigger Jeeps or 1/2 ton trucks we will carry 3’ propane stoves so people with smaller vehicles can carry more essentials for the trip. You will also need to carry at least 20 liters of fuel there is no gas stations for 420 klm Please make sure your vehicle is serviced if you need breaks get them make sure all your drivelines are in good shape as well as u-joints ext.. it would be a good idea to carry spare parts like u-joints and whatever else usually can break. If you don’t have at least 50 or 60 % tread left on your tires buy some new ones there can be obstacles on this trail that can damage your tires if they are worn out there will be a vehicle inspection before we depart Quinnell if your rig is falling apart then it will not be a good idea to leave the parking lot this is not to disrespect your vehicle we don’t care if your vehicle is 50 years old as long as it is in good working order. This is for your own peace of mind to make this run enjoyable and for the safety of you. As posted before we will have a full list to fallow soon these are just the major things you should be looking at taking care of now .

      December 17, 2013 11:39 PM PST
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    Subscribed... I've always been interested in doing this trip too but it won't be happening anytime soon for me so it'll be interesting to follow you guys and see how it goes. Be sure to take lots of pics n vids too!

      December 31, 2013 7:07 PM PST
  • Swede said:

    Subscribed... I've always been interested in doing this trip too but it won't be happening anytime soon for me so it'll be interesting to follow you guys and see how it goes. Be sure to take lots of pics n vids too!

    That is too bad Swede if you have any friends that might want to join in let them know about us the more the merrier it will be a lot of fun. We will have a magazine coming with us so they will be taking photos and video professionally so that will be cool. We hope to have our mobile part of the site up and running by then so we can feed the story live to the site so everyone that can’t make it can fallow it.

    This post was edited by Bteck at April 6, 2015 9:28 AM PDT
      December 31, 2013 8:19 PM PST
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    Sure I'll pass it along.
      January 6, 2014 4:20 PM PST
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    I will b trying to get my kick ready in time for this.

      April 30, 2014 12:00 PM PDT
  • Hey wallys what do you mean by getting your kick ready??

      May 1, 2014 8:21 AM PDT
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    Not sure if you guys have seen this vid yet but it'll show you what to expect:

    This post was edited by Swede at May 25, 2014 2:11 AM PDT
      May 22, 2014 7:57 PM PDT
  • It's a great video to show the trail but it's very obvious these guys aren't wheelers and they are scared of trees and mud :) interesting though like I said to see the trail and what to expect. Thanks for the share Swede :)

      May 22, 2014 9:13 PM PDT
  • That is a very good video thank you for sharing Swede it give a good look at what we are up against. I would have to say after watching this video and receiving an email from Expedition Overland. We had better start planning if this is going to fly this is not just you average trail. There is a lot more to this trail than you think. Judging from the email I received from these guys most of the challenges they faced hit the cutting room floor because it was un-editable. We have a little better that 2 months for this to fly. I would say if we don’t have everyone on the same page or you showing a little more interest in the run in the next couple of weeks I’m going to cancel this run until we find people interested in taking it seriously.

    What does everyone think should we cancel this run? One thing that we have to be sure off is the time it could take to do this trail. There could be a lot of fallen trees are you prepared to cut our way through there is mud and other problems we could face.

      So lets get disscussing this more seriously Thanks to Swede for this video there was alot of things that I didnt even think of that brought reality pooring in 

      May 23, 2014 7:45 AM PDT
  • What stuff that you didn't think of? Just curious - you have to remember that these guys were not fully prepared i.e. they didn't have enough chains and/or chainsaws - medical supplies (erik brought up the point this morning about infection, we should get some amoxycillin or pencillin). These guys also weren't prepared to be out of range of fuel and water for so long. There was a lot of deadfall that they were cutting and moving that we could drive over or under. WE would move a lot quicker because again the "obstacles" they were facing were because they were in stock trucks with a longer wheelbase and tiny tires :)

    Anyway I understand what you are saying but you have to take it with a grain of salt because after watching them try to do the trail it gave me more confidence that we can do it. I'm not saying it would be easy but that's kinda the point.

    It would be nice though to know who's planning on coming and what equipment we have etc. Since I have already begged and pleaded for this week off I don't really want to cancel :( but if we do we can at least make a plan to go somewhere else? 

    Maybe we need more planning and stocking up etc and do it next year. 


      May 23, 2014 10:51 AM PDT
  • That is exactly right what stuff that you don’t think of well for instance enough food enough first aid enough fuel enough chain saw equipment and maintenance equipment some parts that you know that break. The list goes on and if we are going to take a trip like this and think it is a joke for get it I will call it off simple. The last group that went through had more problems than these guys and there rig's where capable rig's.  I don’t care what these guys were doing or not doing. I have been on long runs before the longest run I was on was three weeks there is so many things that can go wrong you can’t even imagine. Ya drive over logs ok that’s fine you are saying something on the truck or 4x4 can't break for just running over a log?? not getting out to clear small debris from fallen trees can puncture tires you have to remember we are running the tire with less air that means you can puncture a side wall there you are done right there. I have had people tell me that they are not going to bring a spare because it will give them more room for food WOW if you show up without a spare tire you are going home you’re not coming with us simple. 

    I’m not writing all this because of a video but watching the video made me think we are a long way off from being ready! Big example educating there are people that don’t know what to expect or say well we have no problem on the trails near home your rig is going to be doing a lot harder stuff than the leisurely run on your local trails. You are committed to whatever Alexander Mackenzie trails trough’s at you. It won’t be a leisurely run. If this is scarring you then good.


      May 23, 2014 12:34 PM PDT
  • I do know and I seen the vehicles they were using they were capable vehicles they just didn’t think that something could go wrong with their yotas. They were new trucks and they were breaking stuff. Our capable rigs are a lot older. Inexperience I agree on the guy that cut himself with the machete was not using it right. They had ear muffs and safety glassed but didn’t know how to use the chainsaw right they had lockers but did not know how to drive. We can pick apart this video all we want. At the end of the day I don’t want anyone to have to sit there knowing we should have brought that or this saying ho **** ya they were right lol

      May 23, 2014 12:53 PM PDT
  • Yes and if you read what I wrote, I did not say it was easy at all. I said these guys didn't think of these things before going because they were not preparing for a 5-7 day trip in the bush on 4x4 roads. My point was that we have more capable vehicles and we would be better prepared.

    But yes it did make me think of extra stuff to bring. 

    Don't take my comments about the video to mean that I think this is easy...I never indicated that. :)

    This post was edited by Elizadeath at May 23, 2014 3:16 PM PDT
      May 23, 2014 12:53 PM PDT
  • Sorry Yes I may have been out of line a little here I apologize for that. I was not trying to pin anything about your comments or trying to say anything against what you said. Most of what I'm talking about is in the general sense. I know, I have read the conversation again and yes I agree I may have been coming off like you were thinking it was an easy trail. The reason I’m sounding frustrated is that there are people that are talking to me like it is nothing or that is its going to be a cake walk and there are people that know who they are so I’m basically addressing everyone I have talked to. 

    This is the thing though we have to get all out pages in the same book here and this is going to be a team effort to successfully say we did the Alexander Mackenzie trail. I do however just for the record get what you are saying Elisadeath just to clarify.

    If the general consensus is to do this another or next year then fine we will do that I still want to do this even if it is just a couple of rigs going. I have had word from a couple of people that it seems fine out there on the trail they were just having more than normal run off and rain at the same time so there was concerns.

    With that been said I can’t see why not lets go. We will prepare ourselves accordingly to our situation and what we have. We do have to have a meeting on line here we do have that chat room available on this community let’s use it and we will also meet a day before we go on this trail check our stuff because if we think we need it at least we will be in Quesnel and we can go get it.

    I think the earlier we start meaning I started the run for the 28th that is Monday if we got up there Saturday night and meet Sunday if we think we are all good to go we can start the run anytime we want.


      May 23, 2014 5:12 PM PDT
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    The video demonstrated what one would expect to encounter on an epic adventure such as the Alex Mac Trail. The brush, blowdown, bugs, mud, water, unexpected breakdowns and injuries are to be expected and it's better to try and plan for the worst case scenario than to be unprepared for when something unfortunate happens especially when you're 100's of klm's from help and out of range of communication.
    Both "Lock" and "Elizadeath" make valid points. From what I have seen from Expedition Overland’s episodes is that overall they were very much prepared for the massive adventure that they took on before the Alex Mac Trail. They had ex-military guys with First Aid Training and even went so far as staging a mock F/A scenario of a fall victim with a DLOC! Sure they weren't set up for hard core off-roading but that was not what they set out to do. They are "over landers" remember. With the limited amount of information out there of this trail, I give them props for making the attempt. Yeah they didn't have the best set-up of vehicles for this particular trail but for the majority of their trip, what they had was almost perfect. I actually think that how they drove their rigs was appropriate for the situation they were in. Remember that not only do they have to get their big heavy, skinny tired, trailer towing rigs through hundreds of miles of unfamiliar trail in one piece but they also had to make it all the way back to their homes in the States too.
    All in all I'm sure glad to have a professional looking video available to those who want to check out this historic trail. Sure they have to dramatize a few things but I'm sure glad they did it.
    On a side note, when it comes to brushing and clearing trails, I tend to make sure that what I brush out is enough so that it will not only be a lot easier for others to follow but will also help to go back the same way in the event of an emergency.
    If you guys are close to the trailhead, why not take a poke in there one weekend and check it out?

    This post was edited by Bteck at April 6, 2015 9:33 AM PDT
      May 23, 2014 6:53 PM PDT
  • For sure, its awesome that they almost finished. And yes its nice to see the vid of the trail for sure. 

    Thanks for postkng thay swede

      May 24, 2014 12:04 PM PDT
  • Thank you Swede for the clarification of why you shared this video.

    We have all hugged and made up hahaha. I agree they deserve Kudos for doing a trail they had no idea what to expect, at the end of the day they made it.

    Wheeling I find is a matter of preference there is no right way or wrong way but there is an easy way that is the trick.

    I have wheeled for as long as I can remember I have been trained through our Canadian Armed Forces for various things. Off-road and survival training was the best training I received for real world use, it not only shows you what a vehicles can do but most importantly what the limitations are. I also have mine rescue training behind me etc... To top that all off We have a great crew that is also very experienced in the art of wheeling and survival even though we can have our differences weather in jest or on a serious level we all pull together. I would not go without them.

    As for equipment i.e. chainsaws musettes etc... There is defiantly wrong ways of using them. I have seen a lot of injury over the years due to improper use of equipment. This is one of the reason why I feel so strongly on discussion and planning how we are going to prepare for this trip.

     We are hosting this run I personally would not like to see chaos a properly prepared run is a fun run especially when there is people attending that you don’t know.  

    One of the things discussed in our meeting last night was this very trail and the difficulty and challenges that we may face. There has been flooding up there this year but it was due to earlier than normal melt then rain. As reported to me by people that work and live up there it seems to have calmed down ok well that is spring so we are going to press on and continue this run the only changes that we have imposed is the time we have set out for this run I think it is going to be to short so here is the changes in point.

    Trail meeting will take place at a location TBA but it will be in Quesnel BC On

    Saturday July 26th once everyone is satisfied namely the organizers (ATBE) and everyone else we will proceed I feel this will give anyone time to shop if needed to be better prepare for the trip.

    Sunday 27th at 7am we will be departing for the trail head. We will have a short meeting to discuss any other items we may have missed.

    I will give a list of items you must have in order to proceed with this run. If you don’t have them it will give you time to get them. Meaning from now until the run.



      May 24, 2014 12:08 PM PDT