The 7,000 acres of pristine wilderness at Island Lake provides incredible hiking options.
Whether you are interested in a 30-minute walk or a full day hike, Island Lake has what you need. This spectacular valley is privately owned by Island Lake Resort and offers a wide variety of well-maintained hiking trails. INTERACTIVE TRAIL MAP
2023 access to hiking trails on Island Lake Lodge property:
View and download the Island Lake Lodge trail map or view the Interactive Digital Map. Hard copies can be found at the lodge, at the downtown office or at the Fernie Visitor Information Centre. Details are also available on the Trailforks App.
Rail Trail (3 km Point to point | 45-90min | Elevation Gain: 50m)
The Rail Trail starts at the lower parking area, 30m past the Island Lake gate and finishes at the Old Growth trailhead. The Historical railway, lumber mill site, and Old Growth cedar trees are some of the highlights you'll come across.
Old Growth Trail (4km Point to point | 1.5hr | Elevation Gain: 300m)
The Old Growth Trail starts at the Old Growth parking lot approximately 4km up the Island Lake access road. The trail tours through ancient Cedars, Douglas Fir and Spruce, finishing at the lodge.
Lake Trail (2 km Loop | 45-60min | Elevation Gain: 15m)
From the trailhead below the Bear Lodge, head down the trail to the lake and follow the signs. Highlights: Allows for a gentle hike around Island Lake following lunch or dinner or when your time is limited.
Fir Trail extension (3km | 1hr | Elevation Gain: 15m)
Rating: Easy - Moderate
From the trailhead below the Bear Lodge, head down the trail to the lake and follow the signs. Allows for a gentle hike around Island Lake following lunch, dinner, or when your time is limited. The Fir Trail wanders through the legendary Old Growth Forest of the upper Cedar Valley.
Tamarack Trail (8 km Return | 5 hr | Elevation Gain: 640m)
Rating: Moderate to Advanced
From the trailhead below the Bear Lodge head east following signs for the Tamarack Trail. Highlights: The trail winds its way up the south-west slopes of Mount Fernie through beautiful stands of mature Larch, with an option part way to go to the stunning viewpoint. The trail continues up through open, grassy slopes to the dramatic rock crags of Mount Fernie.
Spineback Trail (7 km Return | 3-4 hr | Elevation Gain: 530m)
Via the Lake Trail and Fir Trail toward the west end of Island Lake. Once you reach the marked junction, follow the Spineback signs. Highlights: Paralleling the beautiful Spineback Ridge, the trail winds up through sub-alpine meadows, reaching the crest of the ridge and its bench. Continue another 0.5 km up to a second bench nestled between the 3 Bears’ peaks.
Goldilocks Trail (9.5 km Return | 5-6 hrs | Elevation Gain: 740 m)
The trail extends the top of the Spineback Trail (at the second bench) and follows the valley between Baby Bear and Papa Bear peaks. It wraps around the back of Baby Bear to the Upper Nonstop saddle with dramatic views of the headwall and The Valley. The trail continues around the east side of Baby Bear and follows a series of switchbacks down the valley between Baby Bear and Mama Bear peaks. It then completes the loop to return to the top of the Spineback Trail.
Mount Baldy Trail (6.6km Loop | 2-3hr | Elevation Gain: 595m)
Rating: Moderate to Advanced
From the trailhead below the Bear Lodge, head west following signs for the Mount Baldy Trail. From the summit, the trail traverses Mount Baldy ridge, continuing west. Highlights: The Baldy Trail switchbacks its way to the north summit of Mount Baldy where hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire Island Lake area.
Mount Baldy Loop (10.5 km Loop | 4-6 hr | Elevation Gain: 530m)
From the trailhead below the Bear Lodge head west following signs for the Mount Baldy Trail. From the summit, the trail traverses the Mount Baldy ridge, continuing west. Highlights: The Baldy Trail switchbacks its way to the north summit of Mount Baldy where hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire Island Lake area.
The trails lead outside of Island Lake property. These routes are unmarked with no trails above the tree line. Significant route finding and navigation skills required. Steepness, loose rock, becoming lost, encountering wildlife and stream crossings are all potential hazards. Hiring one of Island Lake's certified hiking guides for these routes is recommended.
Cabin Ridge Route (7.22km Return | 4-6 hrs | Elevation Gain: 827m)
Accessed off of the Island Lake road or off of the Old Growth Trail, Cabin Ridge Trail leads to Thunder Meadows Cabin - a popular spot for backcountry enthusiasts. Whether you are looking to camp overnight during the warm summer months or ski some fresh lines during the winter, booking the cabin is always a good idea. Contact The Guide’s Hut in downtown Fernie.
Heiko's Trail (22 km Point to point | 9-12 hr | Elevation Gain: 4500m)
Heiko's Trail - A high level of fitness wilderness skills are required. Many start the trail from the Hartley Lake Road access and continue through to finish at Island Lake Lodge. However, hikers can also change the last half of the hike to end in Fernie via Mount Fernie Trail that connects to Heiko's by Rocky Road Trail. Best is to use the Trailforks App.
NOTE: Anyone hiking Heiko's with plans to start or end at Island Lake Lodge are requested to plan and call a day ahead to confirm access to the Lodge on days when only the lower parking lot is available. Heiko's can also be hiked using an alternate route - Hartley Lake Road & Mt Fernie Trail route. Read More.
Highlights: Waterfalls, caves, snowfields, big mountain passes, and the option of making it an overnight trip (no services, fully wilderness tenting only). A full day excursion or overnight wilderness camping hike, this big hike is best done starting early in the morning.
Big White Peak (route) (12km Return | 5-7 hrs | Elevation Gain: 862m)
Accessed via Spineback Trail. Just prior to reaching the crest of the Spineback, leave the trail heading west across the alpine bowl. Big White is found in the back of the second basin through a steep scree-slope leading to the widest and least steep access point. This is the only access to the Lizard Ranges’ ridge crest above Island Lake Lodge. Hiring a guide is highly recommended.
Lizard Lake (route) (6.78km Return | 4-6 hrs | Elevation Gain: 571m)
The trailhead is in The Mount Fernie Provincial Park, approximately 0.5 km from the Island Lake Lodge property boundary and gate. No trail exists above and beyond the lake itself. Lizard Lake is a relatively short hike that leads to a lake found just below the peaks of the Lizard Range. A gradual climb, Lizard Lake is great for all levels.
At certain times during the summer, lodge facilities may be unavailable or restricted due to private functions and events. Hiking trails are always open but the lower gate may be closed for closer access to many of the trails.