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  • The view from Mount Fernie Ridge is worth the hike
  • Looking North towards the Three Sisters
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike
  • Top of Mt Fernie Hike
  • Mt Fernie Hike

The moment the morning rays tickle the ridgetop of Mount Fernie it is calling out to be climbed. It's virtually impossible to miss its majestic trapezoid stature that faces the city of Fernie on its northwest side. 

Rebuilt by Fernie’s renowned Heiko Socher replacing the older Mocassin Trail. This is a challenging half-day hike, it has many steep sections and the last quarter of the trail goes along rocky and alpine level chutes and ridges. There are a few exposed sections.  Dogs are allowed but must be under control at all times.

IMPORTANT: Be prepared with proper hiking boots, water and snacks.  Having hiking poles is helpful.  Fernie has many outdoor gear shops. Know what to expect for weather and dress accordingly, tempertures are cooler the higher in elevation you go. Tell someone you know where you are going and when you plan to be back in case you run into any issues.  This is bear country, learn about being safe in the mountains and carry bear spray and know how to use it (WildsafeBC).  Pack in, pack out.  Don't leave any garbage behind.  If you have a dog and it poops on the trail, use a stick to push it fully off the trail or bag it and pack it out (same with human poop).  There are no toilets at the trailhead or on the trail, if you use toilet paper pack it out or bury it in the ground off the trail. To learn more about adventuring safely visit AdventureSmart.

The trailhead is in Alpine Trails neighbourhood, could easily accessed from town by vehicle or on foot. The views back into town and beyond into the backcountry make the Mount Fernie hike well worth the effort!

Level: Intermediate to Difficult
Distance: 4 km to the peak, 8km return trip
Elevation Gain: 910m (3000ft)
Hiking time: 3.5 - 5 hours round trip

Don't forget to view or 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, search for the route for Mount Fernie Ridge.

Hike Details

This trail starts off switch-backing through dense forest then eventually leading to spectacular views of chutes where winter avalanches have shaped the landscape. There is a bench about three-quarters of the way up the hike offering stunning views of the Three Sisters peaks. This is often the finishing point for many beginner hikers or hikers with children as the terrain past this point gets steeper and more challenging.

From the bench, the route becomes increasingly steeper and less shaded by the trees. You'll traverse several chutes where you'll get your first glimpse of Fernie from high up. As you approach the peak the trail will become loose, dry, and rocky. Use caution in this area as the trail can be slippery if wet and fairly exposed. There is a small bench at the ridge top to rest your weary legs whilst you soak in the unique views of the valley, ski resort, and wilderness backcountry behind the ridge.

Heiko's Trail connection: Mount Fernie Trail is another way to access the bigger more advanced Heiko's Trail. Once at the top of Mount Fernie Trail you can continue onto Windy Pass and the famous Heiko's Trail via Rocky Road. NOTE: this should not be done without planning ahead for it.

Fun Fact: This punchy climb forms part of the first of three legs on the Annual Elk Valley Ultra 50km Race. If your thighs are burning on the way up, know that the elite Ultra trail runners will summit in 40-45min and still have an additional 44km to run until the finish line.

Mount Fernie Trailhead Access

Head east on Hwy 3 from Fernie continue past Tim Hortons/McDonalds and cross the big bridge over the Elk River. Right after the bridge, take your first left onto Cedar Avenue up to Parkland Terrace/Alpine Trail neighbourhood. Proceed up Cedar Avenue and take your first right onto Canyon Trail, follow to the end by the gate and park (please do not block the gate or any private drive-ways.

To access the Mt Fernie trailhead walk past the gate and head up the gravel road, when you reach the junction of another gravel road, head right on that road for a very short distance and watch for the official trailhead on the left.

There are no water refill points along this trail. This trail is typically good to hike between early/mid June until October, you'll be able to see from town if there is any snow along the top. Many will hike this trail but turn back before the chutes or ridgeline/ rocky terrain if there is still snow or if any hikers are uncomfortable continueing on. As a guideline, if snow is visible in the upper ridge and chutes from town then it will be challenging to reach the ridge top. If you need more trail information please reach out to our Visitor Information Centre

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