The Fernie Ridge Trail is on the south side of Fernie above Ridgemont and weaves through the treeline up and over sandstone rock to the Fernie Ridge. On a clear day, you'll have views of all the neighbouring mountains surrounding Fernie.
Level: Very Difficult
Distance: 3.2 km to peak
Elevation Gain: 721m (2368ft)
Hiking time: 4 hrs round trip
Don't forget to pick up a Fernie Trail Map before your hike. TrailForks users can track their progress and location along this hike, if they have GPS on their mobile device, using the Trailforks app, and the route Fernie Ridge.
Head east along Coal Creek Road for approximately 2km until you reach Rifle Range Road on your left side. The climb up can be challenging and a vehicle with 4x4 with high clearance is highly recommended. Continue up the road taking a right turn at the first fork, followed by a left at the second fork.
At the next junction follow the switchback to the right, (almost a 180-degree turn). Continue along the road until you see a right-hand turn in a clear-cut that is impassable by vehicle. Park your vehicle just further ahead to the side.
On foot, continue up the inaccessible road following the cairns (man-made stone mounds) marked with orange flagging tape. The trailhead is difficult to find but is marked by parallel logs either side of the trail. If you cannot find it continue up the clear-cut, the trail continues into the forest to the right of the clear-cut.
This out and back trail is best accessed from June until November, though snow may still be present at the upper sections. The trailhead begins with a short and steady climb through a logged clearing until you reach the treeline. From here, the trail begins to switchback under the subalpine trees as the pitch will increase. The route becomes a little loose and rocky leading to the final stretch up to the ridge.
As with any trip into the backcountry be well prepared for changes in weather. Remember that you are travelling in an area where wildlife is abundant. Be aware of your surrounding, follow the proper safety protocols and respect the environment.