Mackay is/was the commercial center of the once thriving Alder Creek mining district. The most productive parts of the Alder Creek district were above Mackay on the slopes of Mackay Peak. The abandoned mines and mining camps in this area can be seen today on the incredible Mackay Mine Hill tour (self guided). Mackay and the surrounding district boomed from the 1880s to the 1920s. Mining operations dwindled after the 1940s and ceased completely in the 1980s. Mackay reached a peak population of 869 in 1920. Today Mackay has 517 residents. The economy of Mackay has slowly been transitioning from mining to tourism. Recent efforts to attract visitors include the Mackay Mine Hill tour and a nice visitor parking area with rest rooms and an information kiosk next to downtown. There are several open restaurants, bars and shops in the quiet and small downtown. The Mackay Mine Hill tour is an amazing way to spend an afternoon if you're interested in Western mining history or ghost towns. The Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 Museum is 46 miles south of Mackay off of highway 26. Bayhorse ghost town is about 60 miles north of Mackay off of highway 75.