Located on the Morissey Ridge and is part of the Flathead range of the Canadian Rockies, Castle Mountain is particularly amazing as it offers views opposite of most hikes in the valley.
Difficulty Level: easy/moderate
Elevation: 5,280 feet
Average Time: 3-5 hours
Length: Aprox. 5km
Please note: These trails are also used for mountain biking.
This hike starts of pretty mellow and progressively gets steeper and more exposed. The beauty of it is there are so many view points along the way, any point you reach is rewarding. Uprooted crosses both the original and new River Road, meandering through trees until it eventually joins Hyperventilation. Take a left, and continue to climb the numerous switchbacks. Soon you will reach the first lookout and bench. From here, it’s a few switchbacks before you meet up with South Castle, taking you to the base of Castle Rocks. Once here, take a left and walk the last steep pitch to Castle Mountain’s rocks, a very worthwhile pinnacle. View Fernie Trail Map.
There are a number of access points for this hike. The easiest access point to Castle Mountain is by hiking up the "Roots" (mountain bike/hiking trail) off of River Road. To get to the trail head drive past the Fernie Aquatic Centre on Pine Avenue and turn left on Coal Creek Rd. Stay on this road for about 2 km, then you will see a yellow bridge on your right, this is River Road. Cross the bridge and stay on this road for about 1.5 km until you see a gravel pull out on the right with trail markings across the road on the left. Park here and take the trail across the road marked "Roots Trail". This is a multi use biking and hiking trail so use caution. From here follow it up to "Hyper Ventilation" trail then to "Castle Mountain" trail.
You can also add an additional hour to the hike by starting at the lower parking lot on Coal Creek road. To access this turn onto Coal Creek Rd from the Fernie Aquatic Centre, stay on the road for about 700m until you see a yellow bridge on your right by the old barn. Park here and take the trail on your left after you cross the bridge, following the flagging as you make your way up the mountain.
You can also hike from town to Castle Mountain by using the Coal Creak Hertiage trail starting at the Fernie Aquatic Centre. Located at the back right of the Aquatic Centre, follow the Coal Creek Heritage trail , along the old rail grade, until arriving at the yellow bridge on Coal Creek Rd. This would add an additional 1.5 hrs to the hike making it a full day excusion.
As with any trip into the back country be well prepared for weather and climate changes. And remember that you are traveling in an area where wildlife is abundant. Be aware of your surrounding, follow the proper safety proticals and respect the environment.