Winter Things to Do in Fernie BC
In a winter wonderland such as Fernie, British Columbia there is never a dull moment. There are so many things to do in Fernie BC, whether you downhill ski or snowboard, Nordic ski, snowshoe there is plenty of snow to share! Perhaps your passion is backcountry touring or snowmobiling, you’ve come to the right place. Ever give dog sledding a try? Why not in Fernie! With magnificent scenery and legendary snow, this really is a little piece of heaven waiting just for you.
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Fernie Alpine Resort is a gem of a ski resort located in the Lizard Range only minutes from the town of Fernie, BC. Celebrating over 50years of operation, it is particularly known for its high annual snowfall, purportedly the highest of any resort in the Canadian Rockies. It is also extremely famous for its powder skiing and offers 10 lifts, 142 runs and 10.1 sq km or 2500 acres of skiable terrain and 1082m or 3500ft of vertical. There are 5 legendary bowls – Siberia Bowl, Cedar Bowl, Timber Bowl, Currie Bowl and Lizard Bowl all of which offer some of the steepest and deepest anywhere! All of these facts contribute to Fernie Alpine Resort’s rating as one of the top 5 resorts in Canada. There are gentler slopes as well so whether you are a beginner, here with the family or into some extreme double blacks, you don’t want to miss out on this rocky mountain resort!
Island Lake Catskiing is a backcountry resort located on 7000 acres or 28sq km of some of the most spectacular mountainous terrain anywhere! This resort, also minutes away from Fernie, British Columbia boasts high volumes of champagne powder and is a mecca for the ultimate powder hound. Currently, they operate with three snowcats, handling a maximum of 36 guests who are able to book 2, 3, or 4-day tours. The guests are transported by snowcat from a staging area to their exclusive accommodation where they are treated to 4 beautiful log lodges surrounded by fir, spruce and old growth cedar trees. Known for its vast varied terrain with 800m or 2600 vertical ft, fine dining and friendly staff it has been rated as one of the best catskiing destinations in North America and recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary!.
Fernie Wilderness Adventures was established in 1986 and is nestled in a nearby mountain range just southwest of Fernie Alpine Resort. It offers over 5000 acres or 21sq km of skiable terrain with a variety of ridges to commence your run of a lifetime…on the way down gliding through open chutes, gladed meadows and tree bands. Mother Nature is also generous with her snowfall for FWA, offering dry, perfect powder so whether you’re a powder veteran or a rookie backcountry skier/snowboarder, this could very well be the choice for you.
Fernie’s cross country trail system has expanded over the last few years into over 50kms of picturesque, well maintained groomed trails thanks to Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake and the Fernie Nordic Society. They range from easy to more difficult so whether it’s a fun family outing or a full-on fitness workout you’re looking for, Fernie offers it all!Fernie Golf Course – About 12 km of groomed tracks are available on the golf course. There is little change of elevation on these trails so it is optimal for beginner skiers. The start of the trails is at the Clubhouse of the golf course where you will find ample free parking. The trails are jointly groomed by the Golf Course and by the Nordic Society volunteers on a regular basis. These trails or not dog-friendly.Fernie Alpine Resort The resort grooms two loops….the larger is about 9 kms long but has a bypass at the halfway point. It’s an easy trail but the section from the parking lot to reach the trail head is steep and a little challenging so beginners may want to carry their skis for that part of the trail. These trails are dog-friendly but they must be on a leash.Island Lake – Approximately 25kms of winter wilderness trails await you should you decide to ski to the lodge. Once at the lodge there are trails to access as well. Please be aware that you may encounter a Snow Cat ferrying guests, a snowmobile or even a moose. Head west from Fernie on Hwy 3 and turn right at the Island Lake sign. Follow this road for 7kms until you reach the Island Lake parking lot. Once again these trails are dog-friendly but they should be kept on a leash.The Fernie Dyke – Wind along the mighty Elk River for about 6 kms starting from behind Canadian Tire at Maiden Lake. This trail is not groomed regularly and it is used by hikers, snowshoers and cross country skiers. Dogs are welcome!
Didn’t have a chance to check out the bike trails this summer? Well here’s your opportunity! The single track trails, covered in soft blankets of white, provide a wonderful winter snowshoe experience! Head to Island Lake for a scenic trek around the lake, book a tour at Fernie Alpine Resort or pack a picnic lunch and head out on your own to Mt Fernie, Mt Hosmer or Mt Proctor. Island Lake LodgeFernie Alpine Resort
Back Country Touring
Backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Fernie is phenomenal with unlimited terrain and fresh powder. Completing an avalanche awareness course is highly recommended and having the proper gear with the knowledge of how to use it prior to heading out will ensure you have a safe and fun experience. Check out Fernie’s downtown ski shops for advice on where to go or to pick up any gear you may be missing.
So…you want to go sledding? Well why not? Fernie and the surrounding area has some phenomenal terrain ranging from easy, family friendly groomed trails to expert back country adrenalin! Head to the Coal Creek Staging Area to get started on your epic day! Rentals and guided tours are available whether you want to go for a couple of hours or a full day. Check out the following for more information: Weir Boondocking Backcountry Snowmobile Clinics, Fernie Snowmobile Association, GearHub Sports Shop or Ghostrider Motorsports. Most importantly, play safe!
The Fernie Curling Club is located downtown Fernie and there is no end to the fun on their ice! With 4 sheets for play, facility rentals and regular drop in sessions, why not give it a go? A bonding experience for you and your friends or the whole family! Call 250-423-6553 for more information.
Skating is a great form of exercise…especially after a day on the slopes…it’s an opportunity to stretch out all those muscles and limber you up for the following day of epic powder! Skate rentals are available. Fernie Memorial Arena is located right next to the Curling Club on Hwy 3 in Fernie. Call 250-423-2254 for more information.