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.

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