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 the Fernie Slopeside Lodge. In the colder months, the resort is a winter sports mecca with ski-in/ski-out access to some of BC’s best slopes. Come summer, the mountain transforms into a destination for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.
Take a scenic bike or chairlift ride: Two passes are included in this deal valid for rides on the scenic chairlift or bike trails (bring along your own bike or rent one from the resort)
Unconventional summer activity: Visit the Aerial Park to traverse a ropes course positioned 60 feet in the air
Varied on-site dining: Enjoy casual grill grub at Kelsey’s, fine dining at Lizard Creek Lodge, and deli eats at Slopeside Café
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: There are two indoor hot tubs onsite.
Recommended excursion: Take a guided alpine hike with Bob, an expert who’s been with the resort for 11 years
Fernie, British Columbia: Historic Mountain Town with World-Class Outdoor Recreation
Fernie began as a coal mining boomtown in the 1870s and reinvented itself in the 1960s as a ski resort. Fernie’s western-facing location in the Lizard Range of the Canadian Rockies makes it a popular spot for skiing; the slopes are blanketed with more than 30 feet of snow annually.
You can get a good idea of what life was like in Fernie at the turn of the 20th century in the downtown area, which has a number of historical buildings. For more context, pop into the Fernie Museum, which has exhibits on ski artifacts and galleries with photos of the city through the years.
Of course, you’d be remiss to spend all your time in Fernie cooped up indoors. Even in the warmer months, the chairlift is up and running at Fernie Alpine Resort. It drops off along the mountainside, where you can mountain bike and hike amid alpine meadows. The fishing is also superb in this region; you can land a trophy fish at the Elk River, St. Mary River, or Kootenay River.