Fernie
Fernie

hikes in Fernie

Region in British Columbia, Canada
Fernie Trail Map

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.

  1. Lizard Lake Trail
  2. 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.

  3. Fir Trail
  4. 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.

  5. Mount Proctor Trail
  6. 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.

  7. Three Sisters Trail
  8. 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!

  9. Silver Springs Lakes
  10. 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!

  11. Mount Baldy
  12. 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.

  13. Fernie Rail Trail
  14. 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!

  15. Castle Mountain Trail
  16. 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.

  17. Spineback Trail
  18. 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!

  19. Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail
  20. 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

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The best hikes in Fernie

Lizard Lake Trail Map

01. Lizard Lake Trail
Difficulty

4.2mi 1,736ft 2.5-3.5h

The Lizard Lake Trail is a 4.2mi out-and-back hiking route near Fernie, BC,… Read More

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Mount Proctor Trail Map

02. Mount Proctor Trail
Difficulty

9.7mi 4,685ft 6.5-9.5h

The Mount Proctor Trail is a challenging 9.7mi loop route in Fernie, BC,… Read More

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Mount Baldy Map

03. Mount Baldy
Difficulty

5.2mi 2,044ft 3-4.5h

Mount Baldy is an 5.2mi hiking route near Fernie, BC, that will provide… Read More

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Mount Fernie Trail Map

04. Mount Fernie Trail
Difficulty

4.7mi 3,041ft 4-5.5h

The Mount Fernie Trail is a 4.7mi out-and-back hiking route that will take… Read More

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Three Sisters Trail Map

05. Three Sisters Trail
Difficulty

13.1mi 4,928ft 8-11h

The Three Sisters Trail is a 13.1mi out-and-back hiking route near Fernie, BC,… Read More

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Mount Hosmer Trail Map

06. Mount Hosmer Trail
Difficulty

6.5mi 3,786ft 5-7h

The Mount Hosmer Trail is a 6.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Fernie that… Read More

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Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail Map

07. Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail
Difficulty

2.8mi 344ft 1-1.5h

The Fairy Creek Waterfall Trail is a 2.8mi out-and-back hiking route that will… Read More

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Matheson Falls

08. Matheson Falls
Difficulty

0.8mi 164ft 0.5h

The hike to Matheson Falls is a 0.8mi out-and-back hiking route that will… Read More

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Tamarack Trail Map

09. Tamarack Trail
Difficulty

5.3mi 2,011ft 3-4.5h

The Tamarack Trail is an 5.3mi out-and-back hiking route near Fernie, BC, that… Read More

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Cabin Trail Map

10. Cabin Trail
Difficulty

4.8mi 2,900ft 4-5.5h

The Cabin Trail is a 4.8mi out-and-back hiking route outside of Fernie, BC,… Read More

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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

Coal Creek Heritage Trail Map

11. Coal Creek Heritage Trail
Difficulty

11.4mi 1,037ft 4-6h

The Coal Creek Heritage Trail is an 11.4mi hiking and mountain bike route… Read More

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Fernie Rail Trail Map

12. Fernie Rail Trail
Difficulty

4.3mi 404ft 1.5-2h

The Fernie Rail Trail is a 4.3mi out-and-back hiking trail found just west… Read More

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Castle Mountain Trail Map

13. Castle Mountain Trail
Difficulty

4.8mi 1,529ft 2.5-3.5h

The Castle Mountain Trail is a 4.8mi out-and-back hiking route in Fernie that… Read More

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Gorby Trail Loop Map

14. Gorby Trail Loop
Difficulty

3.4mi 696ft 1.5-2h

The Gorby Trail Loop is a 3.4mi hiking route through Mount Fernie Provincial… Read More

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Spineback Trail Map

15. Spineback Trail
Difficulty

4.5mi 1,952ft 3-4h

The Spineback Trail is a 4.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Fernie, BC, that… Read More

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Goldilocks Loop Maps

16. Goldilocks Loop
Difficulty

6.0mi 2,638ft 4-5.5h

The Goldilocks Loop is a 6.0mi lollipop hiking route near Fernie, BC, that… Read More

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Elk Rim Trail Map

17. Elk Rim Trail
Difficulty

12.3mi 1,713ft 5-7h

The Elk Rim Trail is a 12.3mi hiking route southwest of Fernie, BC,… Read More

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Old Growth Trail Map

18. Old Growth Trail
Difficulty

3.0mi 764ft 1.5-2h

The Old Growth Trail is a 3.0mi out-and-back hiking route just outside of… Read More

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Silver Spring Lakes Map

19. Silver Spring Lakes
Difficulty

4.7mi 640ft 2-2.5h

The trail to Silver Spring Lakes is a 4.7mi out-and-back hiking route that… Read More

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Montane Trail Map

20. Montane Trail
Difficulty

3.1mi 587ft 1.5-2h

The Montane Trail is a 3.1mi out-and-back trail used for several outdoor activities,… Read More

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Mad Cow and Swine Flu Loop Map

21. Mad Cow and Swine Flu Loop
Difficulty

3.7mi 814ft 1.5-2.5h

The Mad Cow and Swine Flu Loop is a combination of multi-use trails in Fernie… Read More

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New South Castle Trail Map

22. New South Castle Trail
Difficulty

8.2mi 2,238ft 4-6h

The New South Castle Trail is a 8.2mi hiking route in Fernie that… Read More

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Fir Trail Map

23. Fir Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 233ft 0.5-1h

The Fir Trail is a 1.5mi circuit hiking route near Fernie, BC, that… Read More

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Lazy Lizard Trail Map

24. Lazy Lizard Trail
Difficulty

10.5mi 1,808ft 4.5-6.5h

The Lazy Lizard Trail is a 10.5mi hiking route just outside of Fernie,… Read More

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