RMLCA Alexander Mackenzie Trail Expedition 2017 (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 7, 2006
Messages
3,298
Location
Kelowna, BC
Although it has been a few years since I did it last - here is some information which maybe helpful.

Anahim Lake is the last place for fuel, limited groceries and supplies. Avoid the water as it is has high iron content and tastes terrible. Grandma's Corner Service sells fuel and is right near Christensen Road, which is the road to take out of town to Gatcho Lake about 70 km to the north. Christensen Road heads north and then northwest and becomes the Dean River Road, passing by the Poison Lake Rec Site and continues north following the Dean River drainage, which is a world class Steelhead fishery. About 5 km past Agodak Lake (check your GPS), there is an obscure turn-off to the right which is the Gatcho Lake trail (near N52°56'18", W 125°40'34"). From this turn-off, Gatcho Lake is about 7 km north up a narrow trail that follows close the lake just before coming into an opening and eventually a few buildings, and remnants of a past settlement and I believe a graveyard.

Here you should first see the Mackenzie Heritage Trail, which to the east is a walking trail to Eligut Lake. The motorized bypass we took in 2013 and 2010 is called the Krestinuk's Wagon Road trail, which intercepts the Mackenzie trail at the west end of Eligut Lake. Near that junction is where the 81 hit some soft ground pictured above.
In 2013 we camped at Gatcho Lake before tackling the Krestinuk wagon road. The Krestinuk wagon road is only about 15 km which took us a day and a half to get through. The start of the Krestinuk wagon road may be hard to find - I remember it being up a small hill and to right. This trail will be narrow and very overgrown, and it is slow going. Given the narrowness of the trail the only place to camp is the an opening identified by large boulder in the road. This is the only spot wide enough to camp along the entire trail. Proceeding the next day I remember we encountered a a big long bog of deep watery mud, which most of us powered through without getting stuck. The other direction is a different story, as there is an underground stream on a uphill section, which we were warned about about, but we all got stuck. Going west to east I don't recall we got stuck there. When nearing Basalt Lake (check GPS) look for a sign and ATV trail down to the lake that has interesting basaltic columns.

P1050904.JPG



MacAttack2013 045.JPG
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25
Since we are going west to east, is there any possibility of stashing a few Jerry cans on the trail while we make our way to Bella Coola?
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
812
Location
Calgary
REVISED SCHEDULE

Based on our recent decision to Go West to East, this schedule replaces the previously posted rendezvous points. Please note these important changes.

We will rendezvous at Grandma's Corner Service in Anahim Lake at 2:00PM on Sunday, July 30. We will top up fuel and head to the beginning of the trail at Gatcho lake, were we will make our first camp around Gatcho Lake, then tackle our trail in earnest Beginning Monday, July 31.

This schedule allows those that wish to (ME!) to make a short visit to Bella Coola on Saturday evening/Sunday Morning, tio look around and procure any last supplies, and head back to Anahim Lake for the Rendezvous. That gives us 7 full days on the trail.

The Goal continues to be get everyone back to Quesnel area by the evening of Sunday, August 6, so we can travel home on Monday, August 7.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
812
Location
Calgary
Since we are going west to east, is there any possibility of stashing a few Jerry cans on the trail while we make our way to Bella Coola?

at the planning meeting in June (which I know you were not at, and frankly, only the diesel drivers were able to attend), the consensus was, carry all your own fuel. As a group of self declared diesel bigots, with no gassers drivers around, we were pretty insensitivity to the plights of gas powered overland travel, to be honest. There was a point in the planning where we discussed 'Diesel Only' for this trip, but decided that was too unfair, but rather, the trip would be 'Carry your own fuel' instead.

However, fuel could definitely be stashed around Messue Crossing, or Kluskus lakes.
Doing so would be a 6-10 hour round trip from Quesnel. I can see no roads between those point and Highway 20. There's no shortcut's that I can see. So, to directly answer your question, No, there's no possibility of stashing fuel on the way to Bella Coola. It would have to be done before you head down Highway 20 towards Bella Coola.

If you feel that you would like to stash fuel, please go ahead and do so, but this will fall beyond my scope of planning for this adventure.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
734
Location
Alberta
at the planning meeting in June (which I know you were not at, and frankly, only the diesel drivers were able to attend), the consensus was, carry all your own fuel. As a group of self declared diesel bigots, with no gassers drivers around, we were pretty insensitivity to the plights of gas powered overland travel, to be honest. There was a point in the planning where we discussed 'Diesel Only' for this trip, but decided that was too unfair, but rather, the trip would be 'Carry your own fuel' instead.

However, fuel could definitely be stashed around Messue Crossing, or Kluskus lakes.
Doing so would be a 6-10 hour round trip from Quesnel. I can see no roads between those point and Highway 20. There's no shortcut's that I can see. So, to directly answer your question, No, there's no possibility of stashing fuel on the way to Bella Coola. It would have to be done before you head down Highway 20 towards Bella Coola.

If you feel that you would like to stash fuel, please go ahead and do so, but this will fall beyond my scope of planning for this adventure.

Would have loved to make the meeting, but live too far away.

If Toyota made mine with one and sold it here (Cant stand driving on the wrong side) I would have bought it... Sooo if anyone wants to buy me a 1HDT (or even better an FT) I will happily make the swap to join the club. Until that happens, or my 1FZ has a catastrophic failure, stuck with what she came with.

My plan is to just conserve as much as I can. Total capacity with the new rack is 250L with a full tank, I should be good.

I am getting pretty excited for this, everything is coming together, cant wait to hit the road!
Thanks again for letting me tag along on this one guys!

Terry and I are going to leave Edmonton Thursday morning and pick our way up there. Arrive in Bella Coola Friday, and be a tourist Saturday. Then swing over to the island after we are done the trail for a week before heading home.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
812
Location
Calgary
I just wanted to post this up, there is a big fire up near Alexis Cr now. I know it's a couple of weeks away, but
keep up to date.
Current Wildfire Situation - Province of British Columbia


Agreed. AwlTeq and I were discussing the rapidly emerging fire situation in BC yesterday. The entire province is under a camp fire ban, as of Saturday July 8, all provincial parks are closed (read the important news and updates section on this site for a list of closed parks) in the region of the Alexander Mackenzie Trail (i.e. Titetown, Kluskoil, etc.), and 150 Mile House and Alexis Creek are under evacuation orders, communities we must pass through to get to the trail.

To be clear... as of right now, we cannot go due to the closure of the provincial parks that we will be passing through. For the sake of the residents and emergency workers, we best stay clear of the area until things settle down.

So, let this be an advisory to all participants...
1. We will make a Go/No Go decision on proceeding to the AM trail on or about July 26. This will be based on open/closed nature of the provincial parks we pass through, and current evacuation orders.
2. Even if we do proceed, we will assume there will be a campfire ban, so plan your menu and camp stove fuel supplies appropriately.
3. If we do proceed, changing conditions may force last minute changes to our plans.

Question: If we do cancel due to fire, then what? Do we re-schedule or go somewhere else? Personally, I will likely drop out so as to continue work on my Super-Shop project at home, but AwlTeq suggested that Whipsaw might be an alternative destination, or the Trans Washington Trail, or if we really wanted to spend time driving maybe the Canol Road, or Dempster highway.

For the sake of British Columbia, let's hope for rain.
 
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25
6NfmQ.jpg


There is a fire currently listed at 1500 HA about 5 km off whipsaw trail near Tulameen, so I don't think whipsaw is a good backup plan. As for heading north to the Canol and Dempster, be prepared to drive incredible distances. Edmonton to Dawson is 2500 km, and the dempster is another 750 km. So round trip is 6500 km, or 930 km per day to do it in 7 days.
 
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
734
Location
Alberta
Whipsaw may be touch and go with that Princeton fire too. Would love to do it again though!
There is another short mild run up to Molybdenite peak, I have never been but the views look amazing!
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Messages
37
Location
Kamloops BC
I am in agreement of everything I have read so far. This fire situation is scetchy as all hell. If we have to cancel this event, I would be happy to resurrect my "Toyota Trunk Road Trek" and take a crew from Hinton south to the crowsnest pass. Its a fairly easy jaunt, mostly forest service roads, But is still an excellent trip and doable in 6 days. That being said, If I find myself on evacuation alert, I would have to stay behind and tent to my property and assets. Lets all hope for the best
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
812
Location
Calgary
Fire Update: 2017-07-12
Trip Status: Bleak

Image captured from BC Wildfire Interactive Map. 2 small fires right on the trail in Kluskoil provincial park started on July 10. 2 more within a km. A wildfire of note about 20km north of the trail. And another file a few KM West of Gatcho lake. All bad.
Parks remain closed. Full or partial closure of Hwy 1, 97 and 20. Ongoing evacuation orders & Notices in towns we need to travel through.

Red line is my crudely drawn indicator of where the trail is located, between Titetown and Anahim lake.
Fires 2017-07-12.JPG
 

Awl_TEQ

Supporting Vendor
Joined
Aug 27, 2008
Messages
3,907
Location
Calgary Alberta
Death Valley, Moab - Kokapelli(sp?), other Utah destinations, Oregon sand dunes on the coast or mountains inland, Washington state transection trail, Washington state Olympic Peninsula, the Dakota's?

Shall we draw straws?
 
Joined
May 7, 2006
Messages
3,298
Location
Kelowna, BC
'My club did the trail, or part of it anyways, a few years ago.'
Clarification - entire trail, including Krestinuk's wagon trail - twice.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
992
Location
Edmonton
Oh no! That's not good... but, make the best decision for yours and BC residents safety. Whipsaw is a fun run. My son and I did a few kms up the pipeline at Crowsnest pass last weekend from Atlas staging area. We were in the area for the Sinister 7 160km ultra race. It was hot, and dry, with fire bans in the area, but still allowed in camp grounds. Scenery was magnificent with clear skies all weekend! My wife even saw mountain goats pretty high up, but close to her, on her run.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 7, 2006
Messages
3,298
Location
Kelowna, BC
Typically the fire/road closures in BC begin to kick in the 3rd week in July - this year its early.
For many remote trips in BC and the Chilcotin its a narrow window of opportunity - between snow melt (stucks), bug populations peaking in July (sanity), fire closures (physical access) and high river levels (fording issues).
There is always next year!
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Messages
812
Location
Calgary
CANCELLED DUE TO FIRES

It's with some disappointment that I must announce that the 2017 RMLCA Alexander Mackenzie expedition is cancelled.
Since the last update, the fires situation has worsened, and the province of BC announced several new evacuation orders, including the entire town of Williams Lake.

Last evening, we had a Grand Council Meeting of all of the RMLCA executive involved in the trip, and we had unanimous agreement to cancel the trip. We were unable to foresee a situation where the fire situation would return to normal within highways and parks re-opening within the next 2 weeks. Furthermore, cancelling early will allow people to not undertake unnecessary last minute preparations for a trip that is likely doomed anyway, and we wanted to give everyone plenty of notice to make alternative plans for their precious vacation time.

With the above considerations, please consider this trip CANCELLED for 2017.

Feel free to use this thread to plan alternative destinations for this year, and look forward to a new thread for a future trip to Alexander Mackenzie trail.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom