Welcome to our story from the McKenzie family. We are a multigenerational outfit with a passion for clean air, adventure, horses, and people.
For over 50 years it has been our absolute privilege to make a living immersing ourselves in the beauty and the power of the Rocky Mountains. The lifestyle is not always easy but none of us would trade a single adventure for a lifetime of lavish comfort.
We were founded by Ed and Milly McKenzie in 1967 and have been hosting adventurers in the untamed Canadian Rockies ever since.
Guiding was second nature to Ed. His childhood was spent in Stauffer, Alberta fishing, hunting, farming and of course riding broncs every weekend for a few extra dollars. He got his first guide’s license in 1949 and worked for many local big game outfitters before starting his own outfit with Milly in 1967. Ed’s undeniable back country skills and natural charisma paired well with Milly’s love of people and sharp business sense and together they grew McKenzie’s Trails West into one of the most trusted and recognizable outfits in the province.
They spent many years sharing wilderness adventures with people from all over the world and advocating for the conservation and protection of this incredible God given habitat.
Mom and Dad gave each one of their 9 kids an unforgettable childhood as we worked within the business. Our “family time” was exploring unspoiled wilderness, our “toys” faithful horses, and our “playground” rugged mountain tops and crystal clear streams and lakes.
They taught us to respect and love this special environment not only for the recreation and livelihood it provides but also for the value of the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Of the original McKenzie kids who worked in the outfit, some have turned their talents toward other projects while others are still actively involved in operations. Virtually all have carried their love of outdoors and horsemanship skills with them in all endeavors.
Ed passed on in 1994 and his oldest boy Ron took the “reins” of the outfit for the next 20 years.
Currently Ed and Milly’s youngest daughter Shelley Schenk and her husband Kelly manage the outfit. Together with their four children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and even sometimes Milly herself, we are still working (and playing)hard to bring you and your family an unforgettable wilderness horseback adventure and western hospitality at its finest.
The future is in good hands at McKenzie’s Trails West. The upcoming generation is full of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity. Stop by on any given day in the summer months, and you’ll be sure to meet a “trail guide in training”. They come in all sizes.
Our young people are “chomping on the bit” to show the first generations what they are capable of. Besides being darn handy with horses, packs, and people, they are proving to be extremely techno savvy and full of new ideas to connect our little perfect piece of paradise with the world.
When the rest of the world seems to be complaining about millennials lacking drive and ambition, ours are rising early, working hard and disappearing for evening adventures by themselves like it was 1977.