hikes in Fernie
When the powder melts and the carved-out trails emerge from below the snow, Fernie becomes the ultimate hub for hiking adventures, making it an epic stop for anyone wanting to dust off their boots and immerse in quintessential Canadian scenery. While Banff, Waterton, or Jasper may top everyone’s list of where to head for hiking adventures in the Canadian Rockies, Fernie is the unsung hero when it comes to unforgettable views. If you’re looking for a quieter mountain town, Fernie is your go-to choice!
Plus, outside of the hikes in Fernie, you’ll find other summer-fused adventures: floating down The Elk River, swimming in Silver Spring Lakes, Maiden Lake or Surveyors Lake, boating, mountain biking, fishing, rafting, and the list goes on. However, not only is Fernie a summer wonderland, it’s actually more well-known for its ski slopes. This is definitely a fun town to visit year-round!
The 10 Greatest Hikes in Fernie
Fernie boasts hiking trails that cater to all ages and fitness levels. Those seeking gentle hikes in Fernie will want to flock to Mount Fernie Provincial Park for a scenic forest setting or simply stay downtown. Meanwhile, two hours north of Fernie, you’ll find epic backcountry trails in Elk Lakes Provincial Park—nestled within the Canadian Rockies. Fernie Alpine Resort also offers hikes ranging across the spectrum of difficulty. So, when it comes to hiking in Fernie, it’s easy to see that you’ve got a ton of options.
- Lizard Lake Trail
- Fir Trail
- Mount Proctor Trail
- Three Sisters Trail
- Silver Springs Lakes
- Mount Baldy
- Fernie Rail Trail
- Castle Mountain Trail
- Spineback Trail
- Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail
The Lizard Lake Trail is a challenging 4.2mi out-and-back route that sees you ascending 1736ft of elevation as you make your way through the subalpine terrain to Lizard Lake (which has no lizards). This trail may be overgrown in areas, but it’s a popular enough route that you’ll be able to distinguish the trail. Don’t forget to bring bear spray along as grizzly bears have been known to frequent this trail.
Gather your entire family for the short 1.5mi Fernie Trail loop that circumnavigates Island Lake. Revel in the woodland scenery and mountains flanking the area as you meander, gaining little elevation.
If you’re looking to fuse epic with challenging, the Mount Proctor Trail is your go-to choice. Embark on a steep incline towards the summit, where unreal views overlooking the Fernie area, as well as Three Sisters peak and Mount Fernie, await. This lollipop route boasts a 4685ft elevation gain, making it a great choice for more experienced hikers.
The Three Sisters Trail is another incredibly challenging but undeniably rewarding trail that leads you through alpine meadows and rocky terrain to a beautiful view of peaks stretching deep into the horizon, including Mount Fernie, Mount Proctor, and Mount Bisaro. This 13.1mi trail is a long one, so be sure to prepare yourself for a full day in the wild!
The Silver Spring Lakes hike is an out-and-back route that winds through forest and along intimidating cliff faces towards the shimmering waters of the lakes. The route around the lake traverses mixed terrain while unveiling views that embody the essence of summer. You can make this hike longer by continuing past the second lake towards two smaller lakes. This is an excellent hike for a hot summer’s day!
Mount Baldy is a great hike near Fernie that grants hikers lovely views sprawling across the valley cradled by mountains from your hilltop perch. This is a fun trail for experienced and casual hikers alike as the elevation gain may be challenging fitness-wise, but the terrain is easy to navigate.
The Fernie Rail Trail winds through a stretch of old-growth forest in Mount Fernie Provincial Park. Every so often, the trees will break, and you’ll catch a glimpse of the peaks lining the backdrop behind the trees. It’s essential to check for trail closure before taking on this 4.3mi hike!
The 4.8mi Castle Mountain Trail leads to an incredible view of the city sprawled below, backed by a line of snow-capped peaks. However, this area boasts a network of trails, so come prepared with a GPS or map to locate the correct trailhead.
Head from the stunning Island Lake up to the alpine terrain of the Lizard Mountain Range on the 4.5mi Spineback Trail! At the top, admire the peaks lining your sightline and the green valley cloaking the landscape below. It’s essential to check for closures on this trail before you go!
The Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail is a fun, family-friendly route that leads you into the forest toward a stunning waterfall. Only 2.8mi long and with only some minor elevation changes, this hike is a great choice for most skill levels. It’s best to do this hike in the spring when water levels are high!
When Is The Best Time To Hike in Fernie?
If you want more options, it’s best to hike in Fernie between late spring and early autumn (May to October is usually the sweet spot!). However, you can find some great winter walks in Mount Fernie Provincial Park. If you’re hiking an open trail in the winter, check to make sure it’s not in an avalanche zone. Do note that some areas may be subject to closure, making it essential to look up this information before you go.
Best Regions for Hiking in Fernie
The Fernie area offers a range of regions that make for fantastic hiking: Mount Fernie Provincial Park, Elk Lakes Provincial Park, Fernie Alpine Resort, hikes around Island Lake Lodge, and more in and around the town of Fernie. For easier hikes, head to Mount Fernie Provincial Park, and for more difficult ones, consider Elk Lake Provincial Park. You’ll find hikes all over the spectrum at Fernie Alpine Resort and the trails carved around Island Lake Lodge.
Other Outdoor Activities in Fernie
Fernie is the epitome of a year-round outdoorsy town. In winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to Fernie Alpine Resort for powdery bliss. There’s also snowshoeing, ice fishing, and other unreal ways to keep yourself entertained when snow blankets the land. When green grass takes over the landscape, adventurers enjoy swimming in Silver Spring Lakes, Maiden Lake, Surveyors Lake, or rafting down Elk River. Not only that, but mountain bikers will love the trails here, especially at Fernie Alpine Resort. The activities here are endless!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fernie known for?
Fernie is known for the consistent 30ft of snow it gets every winter, making it the ultimate skiing destination.
Does Fernie have a lot of bears?
Yes, when you go on any hike in the area, be sure to brush up on bear safety tips before you go and pack bear spray! Some trails are subject to unexpected closures if there’s a known bear in the area.
Where is Fernie located in BC?
Fernie sits in the Elk Valley Valley area of the East Kootenays and 43.5mi west of the Alberta border.
Find other amazing hiking regions in British Columbia
- Glacier National Park
- Mount Revelstoke National Park
- Yoho National Park
- Strathcona Provincial Park
The best hikes in Fernie
Yes, there are more than 10
Fernie is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Fernie that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.