Spineback Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
7.2 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
595 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Spineback Trail is a 7.2 km out-and-back hiking route near Fernie, BC, that will take you from the charming shores of Island Lake up to the alpine terrain of the Lizard Mountain Range. From here, you will have a fabulous view overlooking the lush green valley with Mount Fernie and the Three Sisters standing proudly behind. Access to this trail is often restricted due to animal activity, so make sure to check for any trail closures before setting out on your hike.

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Route Description for Spineback Trail

Although challenging, the Spineback Trail is a fun way to get out and explore the natural beauty of the landscape surrounding Fernie. This route climbs through the forest at a fairly steep grade, so hikers should wear proper hiking footwear and bring hiking poles for the descent from the viewpoint. Additionally, highly active bear and moose populations in the area can often result in restricted access to this trail. Be sure to check for any closures in the area before setting out.

The variations in terrain and picturesque scenery along this hike make it a fantastic option for a day trip in the Fernie area. When you set out from the trailhead, you will pass through the beautiful and dense forests surrounding the charming waters of Island Lake before breaking out of the tree cover and into a scenic alpine meadow. From here, hikers will continue uphill through the steep switchbacks of the alpine terrain towards the ridgeline, where they will need to traverse the rocky landscape.

Along this upper portion of the route, keep an eye out for unique fossils formed over millions of years in the rocky terrain. Reaching the top of the trail, take some time to gaze out across the valley and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountain peaks before working your way back down the trail to the lodge for some much-earned refreshments.

Getting to the Spineback Trail Trailhead

To reach the parking lot at the Spineback Trail from Fernie, drive to the southwest on highway BC-3 for 2.4 km and turn right on Mount Fernie Park Road. In 9.4 km, you will find the parking area at the Island Lake Lodge.

Route Information

  • When to do

    July–October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Spineback Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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