Fernie, British Columbia Destination Guide

Updated: Sep 28

Fernie British Columbia is a popular road trip destination for many travelling through the Canadian Rockies. It is noted primarily for its amazing ski hills and resorts as well as its impressive list of summer activities.

Fernie, however, started off as a mountain town, and as with all mountain towns in the Rockies, it was primarily a mining town. And so, the history of Fernie is everywhere, including the historic downtown district. Here, history meets the mountains and adventure awaits.

Fernie is a small town with big adventure. Fernie is also a four-season playground, but let us focus in on summer and winter activities first.

Summer Activities in Fernie, British Columbia:

Historic Downtown Fernie, BC

The heart of Fernie's vibrant community is the small but perfectly formed Historic Downtown. Scroll through the images above to view the many great experiences.

Historic Downtown is a highlight of any Fernie travel itinerary. Centred around 2nd Avenue primarily between 4th Street and 9th Street (not the highway through town), downtown offers boutique shopping, dining, attractions and activities of a more gentle nature. Plan to spend a day exploring all the unique features and soaking up the charming atmosphere from a summer patio or on a snowy stroll, while enjoying spectacular mountain views in every direction. Fernie is a small community more than a mass tourist destination so shops typically close after 5/6pm and some are closed on Sundays.

The Fernie Museum

Explore Fernie's colourful past and learn all about what Fernie has to offer for recreation, entertainment, shopping, accommodation, and services. The ground floor features the 'This Is Our Fernie' permanent exhibition, visitor information services and gift shop. The Museum Gallery on the 2nd floor features solo and group exhibitions by local, and regional artists, as well as local and touring historical exhibits. Gallery programming aims to promote professionalism and foster appreciation for arts and culture and bring awareness to the museum’s wealth of archival and artifact material.

Aerial Playground at Fernie Alpine Resort

Amaze and challenge yourself in our treetop Aerial Park. Test your skills on the Rickety Bridge, Shrinking Islands, Picket Fence, and Klatter Bridge. These are just a few of the features that will take you from beginner to advanced areas within the park. Ziplines add to the experience as guides move you through the trees on your 3-hour adventure. All tours include all safety equipment and are guided by qualified staff.

The Ancient Cottonwood Interpretive Trail

The two-kilometre loop trail winds through the lush understory of the forest and over several bridges before reaching the largest trees. Along the way, interpretive signs explain the ecological role of cottonwood trees and highlight some of the resident plants and animals. The trail is best used during the summer but can be accessed during the winter season, weather conditions permitting.

Scenic Summer Chair Lift Rides

Breathtaking mountain scenery with views of the Canadian Rockies, native trees, alpine wildflowers and local wildlife are some of the sights to enjoy on a scenic chairlift ride.

Fernie Brewing Company

Fernie Brewings Company is passionate about small-batch beers, unique flavours, and natural ingredients. The Brewery Store and Tasting Room are open throughout the year selling packaged product, Growlers, & merchandise. Brewhouse experts offer the full low-down on the brewing process and packaged lines. FBC is part of the BC Ale Trail!

FBC use Rocky Mountain Water, Barley, Malt, Hops, and Yeast for premium, award-winning beers, ales, and lagers. With a large year-round and increasing seasonal lineup, there's plenty to taste and see at FBC!

Silver Spring Trails & Lakes

Silver Spring is a series of three stunning deep blue lakes lined by dramatic cliff faces linking to the Wigwam Flats. The first lake has become iconic with acrobatic displays of cliff jumping, but if you're looking for a little more peace and seclusion you can take the lake trail towards the second and third lake. All three lakes are spring fed and have clear water for good fishing throughout the summer months with stocked rainbow trout up to 3 lbs.

Please remember to be respectful of this special oasis. Be careful climbing on the ledges and cliffs, visitors have gotten injured here and it can take a long time to get help from Search & Rescue.

Elk Lakes Provincial Park

The park is an easily accessible wilderness park characterized by outstanding sub-alpine landscapes, remnant glaciers, rugged peaks and productive lakes. Elk Lakes offers a variety of hiking experiences including some maintained trails that are appropriate for all family members with some experience in back-country hiking. There are designated areas for backcountry tenting (leave no-trace behind when camping) and the Alpine Club of Canada manages a small cabin for use but reservations are required. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroy plant life and soil structure.

The Three Sisters Trail

The Three Sisters trails is a hiking route that ascends the middle peak of the Three Sisters (Mount Trinity) to the highest peak visible from Fernie, BC. You’ll be deep in Fernie wilderness once you arrive at the trailhead for the Three Sisters summit. The hike is a consistent uphill walk and occasional scramble over shale rock. The mountain peaks of Mount Fernie, Mount Proctor and Mount Hosmer will be mostly unrecognisable as you observe them from this unique perspective.

There are many more adventures in the summer from easy summer hikes, to fishing, to mountain biking and white water rafting! It never ends in Fernie!

Winter Activities in Fernie, British Columbia:

Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort is famous for its big snow falls and extensive terrain, from easy green runs to double blacks! The resort is just 5km from the quaint town of Fernie with a local ski shuttle operating day and evening. With 142 ski runs, an average of over 30 feet of snow per season and 3,550 of vertical feet everyone is bond to find the perfect type and amount of runs to explore.  From a dedicated beginner area, wide flowy blue runs and challenging black and double black runs, Fernie Alpine Resort has some of the most diverse terrain around.  Add the spectacular Rocky Mountain views, great hospitality, ski-in ski-out lodging and cool town and you'll be planning a trip back again in no time! If you want a day of adventure, add a day of catskiing!

Island Lake Cat Skiing

Island Lake is the ultimate destination for luxury cat skiing, spacious rooms with soaker tubs, five-star cuisine, full-service spa and guest service second to none. For 30 years Island Lake Cat Skiing has consistently provided guests with the best wilderness adventure experience around. This is why it has been at the top of the list of must ski destinations for every serious skier or boarder. Vast, spectacular terrain topped with 13 metres (45 feet) of snow that consistently makes for some of the best skiing in the world. The magnificent peaks of the Lizard Range in the BC Rocky Mountains tower over alpine bowls, valleys and perfectly gladed tree runs.  The deep powder of Island Lake Cat Skiing has become a thing of legend - producing some amazing images and film throughout the years.  Industry leaders including Scot Schmidt and Craig Kelly helped form a philosophy of ultimate backcountry ski and snowboard experiences as shareholders and regular skiers at the Lodge. The Island Lake experience goes beyond skiing and boarding. The luxurious wilderness lodges, exquisite dining, full-service spa and level of service take it to the next level. Island Lake is the pinnacle of luxury Cat Skiing, the benchmark to which all others aspire. Island Lake offers 2, 3 and 4-day, all-inclusive cat ski packages throughout the winter season. The large and diverse terrain encompasses much of the Cedar Valley, the north end of the Lizard Range, all of Mount Baldy and the front and back slopes of Mount Fernie. At the heart of it sits Island Lake Lodge and beautiful Island Lake. Several of the runs can be skied right to the door of the lodge!

Fernie, British Columbia Hotels & Resorts

Fernie is a year-round destination and is very close to Banff and Calgary, Alberta making it a perfect week-end getaway or roadtrip adventure destination. As a result there are many top-quality hotels and resorts in Fernie.

One of the most easily accessible resort in the summer and winter with moderate prices is the Stanford Resort in Fernie. We had the pleasure of spending a few nights at this resort and exploring the Fernie area during the summer.

For the best prices check out the hotel finder below:

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