Mackenzie Highway

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For the US highway known as the McKenzie Highway, see Oregon Route 126.

Alberta Highway 35 (Mackenzie).pngNWT-1.svg

Mackenzie Highway
Alberta Highway 35
Northwest Territories Highway 1
Route information
Length: 1,160 km (720 mi)
Length: 469 km (291 mi)
South end: Hwy 2A in Grimshaw
Hwy 2 near Grimshaw
Hwy 986 near Grimshaw
Hwy 697 near Paddle Prairie
Hwy 58 at High Level
Northwest Territories
Length: 690 km (430 mi)

Highway 2 at Enterprise
Highway 3 near Fort Providence

Highway 7 near Fort Simpson
North end: Wrigley
Highway system
Provincial highways in Alberta
Northwest Territories highways
Hwy 33 Alberta Highway 35.svg Hwy 36
Highway 8 NWT-1.svg Highway 2

The Mackenzie Highway is a Canadian highway in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. It begins as Alberta Highway 2 at Mile Zero in Grimshaw, Alberta.[1] After the first 4.0 km (2.5 mi), it becomes Alberta Highway 35 for the balance of its length through Alberta and then becomes Northwest Territories Highway 1.

Route description[edit]

The Mackenzie Highway is designated as part of Canada's National Highway System, holding core route status from its terminus at Grimshaw to its intersection with the Yellowknife Highway, and northern/remote route status for the remainder of the route to its northern terminus at Wrigley.

Originally begun in 1938, prior to World War II, the project was abandoned at the outbreak of war, then resumed in the late 1940s and completed to Hay River, Northwest Territories in 1948/1949, though some sections, particularly in the vicinity of Steen River, remained difficult.

In 1960, it was extended from Enterprise, approximately 39 km (24 mi) south of Hay River, to the northwest, then north past Fort Providence to Behchoko (at the time, known as Rae-Edzo) and southeast to the City of Yellowknife, which became the capital of the Northwest Territories in 1967. Much of this extension is now known as Northwest Territories Highway 3, the Yellowknife Highway. The 39 km (24 mi) stretch from Enterprise to Hay River is Northwest Territories Highway 2.

In approximately 1970, the highway was extended west from what is now the southern terminus of Highway 3 to reach Fort Simpson, and in 1971, when the section to Fort Simpson was opened to traffic, work began to prepare a road grade from there to Wrigley, but the work was abandoned. This roadway, which starts at a junction 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the island that "downtown" Fort Simpson is situated on, was finally made usable in 1994, and includes the N'dulee ferry and ice crossings.

There are social and economic studies being done on the extension of the highway north from Wrigley to join the Dempster Highway; the N.W.T. government has completed 34 bridges across all but six of the widest river crossings, serving the ice road and awaiting the all-weather route.[2]

Just east of Fort Simpson's airport, the highway crosses the Liard River by ferry (summer) and ice bridge (winter). 45 km (28 mi) further east of this crossing, the location known as Checkpoint is the site of a former gas station at the junction with the Liard Highway (Northwest Territories Highway 7, British Columbia Highway 77) from Fort Nelson, British Columbia.

Major intersections[edit]

Province / Territory Municipality / Region Location km[3] mi Destinations Notes
Alberta M.D. of Peace No. 135 Grimshaw 0 0.0 Hwy 2A east (55 Avenue) – Peace River
Hwy 2 south – Fairview, Grande Prairie
Mile Zero Mackenzie Highway.
4 2.5 Hwy 2 east – Peace River, Edmonton Hwy 2 branches east.
Mackenzie Hwy follows Hwy 35.
South end of National Highway System Core Route.
South terminus of Hwy 35
Northern Lights 13 8.1 Hwy 737 west (Warrensville Road)
20 12 Hwy 986 east – Little Buffalo, Red Earth Creek
Dixonville 39 24 Hwy 689 west
62 39 Hwy 690 east – Deadwood
Manning 82 51 Hwy 691 east
120 75 Hwy 692 east – Notikewin Provincial Park
179 111 Hwy 695 east – Carcajou South end of Hwy 695 concurrency.
186 116 Hwy 695 west – Keg River North end of Hwy 695 concurrency.
219 136 Hwy 697 east – Tompkins Landing Ferry, La Crete, Fort Vermilion
Mackenzie High Level 278 173 Hwy 58 west – Rainbow Lake, Assumption South end of Hwy 58 concurrency.
279 173 Hwy 58 east – Fort Vermilion, La Crete, John D'or Prairie North end of Hwy 58 concurrency.
363 226 Crosses Hay River
364 226 Zama Road – Zama City
60th parallel 469
AlbertaNorthwest Territories border
North terminus of Hwy 35 / South terminus of Highway 1
Northwest Territories South Slave Enterprise 83 52 Highway 2 north (Hay River Highway) – Hay River, Fort Smith Hwy 1 turns west.
167 104 Kakisa Access Road – Kakisa
168 104 Crosses Kakisa River
186 116 Highway 3 north (Yellowknife Highway) – Fort Providence, Yellowknife North end of National Highway System Core Route, south end of Northern & Remote Route.
Dehcho 324 201 Crosses Trout River
376 234 Jean Marie River Access Road – Jean Marie River
Checkpoint 412 256 Highway 7 south (Liard Highway) – Fort Liard, Fort Nelson Hwy 1 turns north.
457 284 Crosses Liard River
MV Lafferty Ferry (mid/late May to late October) • Ice bridge (late November to mid April)[4]
Fort Simpson 472 293 Fort Simpson Access Road Hwy 1 branches northwest.
489 304 Crosses Martin River
N’Dulee Crossing 548 341 Crosses Mackenzie River
MV Johnny Berens Ferry (late May to late October) • Ice bridge (mid December to mid April)[4]
627 390 Crosses Willowlake River
Wrigley 690 430 Northern terminus of Highway 1 (Mackenzie Highway).
Continues as winter road to Norman Wells, Fort Good Hope, and Colville Lake
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Photo gallery[edit]


  1. ^ "Discover the Peace Country – Grimshaw". Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Executive Summary of the Benefit Cost and Economic Impact Analysis Mackenzie Valley Highway Extension" (PDF). NWT DoT. 1999. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Highway 1". Department of Transportation. Government of Northwest Territories. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 

External links[edit]