Hotel at a Glance: Fernie Slopeside Lodge
The Canadian Rockies of western British Columbia cut a skyline that is at once imposing and picturesque—these mountains are more jagged and rugged than their American counterparts. Tucked away in the Lizard Range of these mountains, right at the base of the Fernie Alpine Resort, is Fernie Slopeside Lodge. In the colder months, the resort is a winter-sports hot spot with ski-in/ski-out access to some of British Columbia’s best slopes. Come summer, the mountain transforms into a destination for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.
- Take a scenic chairlift ride or bike along the trails (bring your own bike or rent one from the resort).
- Recommended excursion: Go on a guided alpine hike with Bob, an expert who’s been with the resort for 11 years.
- Varied onsite dining: Enjoy casual grill grub at Kelsey’s, fine dining at Lizard Creek Lodge, and deli eats at Slopeside Coffee & Deli.
- Comfy accommodations feature flat-screen TVs, microwaves, and mini refrigerators.
- Most scenic spot to enjoy a meal: Lost Boys Café, located at the top of the Timber Express Chairlift, offers panoramic views of Elk Valley.
- Take a dip in the two indoor hot tubs.
Fernie, British Columbia: Stellar Outdoor Recreation in Historical Mountain Town
Fernie began as a coal-mining boomtown in the 1870s and reinvented itself in the 1960s with its namesake ski resort. The town’s western-facing location in the Canadian Rockies’ Lizard Range makes it a popular spot for skiing—the slopes are blanketed with more than 30 feet of snowfall annually. National Geographic named Fernie 1 of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns, noting it has “more consistent powder than Whistler and warmer temperatures than Banff.”
Even in the warmer months, the chairlift is up and running at Fernie Alpine Resort. After the snow melts, you can go mountain biking and hiking amid alpine meadows. The fishing is also superb in this region; cast a line at the Elk, St. Mary, or Kootenay River.
You can get a good idea of what life was like in Fernie at the turn of the century in the downtown area, which has a number of historical buildings. For more context, pop into the Fernie Museum to see ski artifacts and photos of the city through the years.