A Complete Winter Guide to Fernie BC
Fernie Mountain Resort has long been revered as one of BCs best ski-hills. Fernie is completely encircled by the Rocky Mountains and it just happens to be a cool town choc-full of great bars and eateries.
Why visit Fernie
- Incredible terrain with 5 bowls to explore
- Fernie is a lively town with great bars and restaurants
- Enjoy moderate crowds and reasonable prices at the ski-hill
- POWDER! The Griz snow god ensures Fernie gets a heavy amount of snow
Getting to Fernie
Fernie is located in the Kootenays and is quite isolated, meaning you won’t battle crowds like in Whistler and Banff. Cranbrook airport is a 1-hour drive and Calgary is 3-hours.
Eating & Drinking in Fernie
The restaurants and bars are one of the best aspects of a visit to Fernie. It has surprisingly great food and awesome cocktail bars!
Yamagoya: If there’s one restaurant you visit, make it this one. Yamagoya is Japanese fusion at its finest. Try the agedashi tofu and softshell crab.
Fernie Distillers: Try a taster of their unique spirits, including the Earl Grey infused ‘Fog’. Stay and enjoy some of the best cocktails in BC.
The Rooftop Coffee Roasters: Impeccable coffee and baked goods.
The Northern: Fernie’s liveliest bar has DJs, live music, and drink specials.
Nevados Tapas & Tequila: Delicious and creative Latin American tapas with stellar margaritas.
Big Bang Bagels: Fernie’s best quick food fix.
Fernie Brewery: Their beer is excellent and the taproom is a doozie. You must try the coffee milk stout, Jabba the Hut.
Ski & Snowboard Fernie
Fernie has huge terrain and some huge avalanches to go along with it! Take note of the conditions and signs. The 5 bowls offer lots of options to explore glades, shoots, or groomed runs. Favourites on a powder day include Cedar bowl and Curry Bowl. Polar Peak is the highest chair with mostly double blacks.
Fernie is owned by RCR (Resorts of the Canadian Rockies) with a reciprocal season pass access to Kicking Horse, Nakiska, and Kimberley. They also partner with Vail resorts to include 7 days with the Epic Pass. Day tickets cost $134 (as of Feb 2021).
Where to stay
Staying in town is the most fun and only a 10-minute drive up the hill.
Luxury: Alpine and Lizard Creek are both ski-in/ski-out lodges.
Quality: Historic 901 Fernie have spacious apartments in the middle of town.
Budget: Red Tree Lodge, Raging Elk Hostel.
Other Winter Activities
Fat Bike: Rent bikes at Gearhub and rip around Ridgemount or Montane trails.
Hike: Fairy Creek Falls, Matheson Falls, or Swine Flu.
Day Trip to Kimberley: A cute Bavarian town with a fun ski-hill and excellent restaurants.
Ice Hockey: Catch Fernie Ghostriders Junior B team play at their stadium.
Cat-ski: With Island Lake Lodge or Fernie Wilderness Adventures.
Snowmobile: Rent a snowmobile or take a tour with Fernie Snowmobile.
Nordic ski: Visit Fernie Nordic Society and their 15km trail network.
Arts & Culture: Wander the Fernie Museum, the Fernie Arts co-op, or do the art walk of the galleries around town.
Tips for the best trip to Fernie
- Fernie can be COLD with average winter temperatures of -11C, so bring your warmest gear.
- Avoid the crowds and steer clear of Christmas, Family Day & Spring Break.
- Book accommodation months before you go for the best rates. If you’re watching the snow report, book something with flexible change rules.
- Give yourself at least 4-5 days to really experience Fernie
- For an epic roadtrip, combine with RED, Kicking Horse, and Whitewater.