One of Fernie's icon mountains with its majestic trapezoid stature that faces the city on its northwest side.
Level: Difficult - steep hike with some moderate scrambling towards the top
Distance: 4 km to the peak, 8km return trip
Elevation Gain: 910m (3000ft)
Hiking time: 3.5 - 5 hours round trip
Rebuilt by Fernie’s renowned Heiko Socher replacing the older Mocassin Trail. This is a challenging half-day hike with excellent views. The trail starts in the shaded forest as it climbs back-and-forth up into the sub-alpine to the ridge. 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 short exposed sections that may require some moderate scrambling. 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, temperatures 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.
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, search for the route for Mount Fernie Ridge.
The trailhead is located at the end of Canyon Trail road in Fernie's Alpine Trails neighbourhood on the NE side of town. From Fernie, 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 continuing 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
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 requiring some scrambling. Use caution in this area as the trail can be slippery if wet and fairly exposed. There are two small benches 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 towards the Three Sisters.
Connection to Heiko's Trail: Mount Fernie Trail connects to Heiko's Trail. Once at the top of Mount Fernie Trail you can continue to Windy Pass and the famous Heiko's Trail via Rocky Road (4km section of trail). NOTE: this should not be done without planning ahead for it as it would add at least another half day or longer to the return hike.
Trail conditions reports are powered by the TrailForks app through information contributed by local and visiting hikers. Please feel free to add and update the trail report if you have completed the hike recently.