Local Flavours: The Complete Guide to Riding in Fernie, British Columbia

Apr 27, 2021
by ben haggar  

Local Flavours

THE COMPLETE RIDING GUIDE TO
FERNIE, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Words, photos, & video by Ben Haggar

Presented by
Tourism Fernie

Note from the author: 2020 was weird and 2021 is shaping up to be just as unpredictable. It’s hard to know what travel will look like this year for both domestic and international tourism in BC. What I do know is that daydreaming about these incredible riding destinations and making plans for when travel is both safe and responsible is good for the soul and keeps me motivated to ride the trainer in my garage.This episode was produced in August 2020 when BC Covid cases were extremely low, travel was allowed and all pertinent safety measures were taken into consideration from face masks, physical distancing and buckets of hand sanitizer. For updated advise on travel restrictions and provincial guidelines visit the BC CDC website and Tourism Fernie’s Covid-19 travel section. Enjoy, keep dreaming and stay safe out there.

Fernie sits right in the south-eastern corner of BC, nestled in the picturesque Elk Valley. The landscape is classic Canadian Rocky Mountains with emerald rivers flowing through heavily wooded valleys and towering limestone peaks reaching skywards as far as the eye can see. The riding here mirrors the natural terrain with easier green and blue trails generally lower in the valley with the black and double black trails beginning higher in elevation where the mountains become steeper.

For as long as I can remember, Fernie has been that one destination sitting right near the top of my hit list for either a summer or winter road trip that hadn’t been realized. Year after year Fernie kept getting passed up for the numerous world class destinations closer to home on the BC coast that seemed to be screaming louder for my attention. It just felt slightly too far of a drive to the Alberta border. But after finally spending a few days in Fernie, I now see the error of my ways.

Humbly flying just under the main media radar in the glut that is mountain biking in British Columbia, Fernie has retained a unique and understated character. Let's put it this way - things that are awesome don't need to tell you they're awesome - after the first taste, you just know. Fernie has a very well established riding scene that has been steadily growing for the past 30+ years. The newer trails have evolved with the times embracing flow and air time while the older trails preserve their raw and rugged heritage that the riding here has evolved from. There is an absolute ton of riding here and no matter what you’re in to be it shuttle laps dropping steep ridge lines, ripping BC’s oldest bike park, cranking out endless enduro laps all over the valley, or getting your gravel grind on to remote mountain valleys, Fernie has you covered.

Ben Haggar // Local Flavours
Age: 38
Location: Squamish, BC, CANADA
Instagram: @benhaggarphoto
Favourite Trail in Fernie: Hyperextension
Preferred Terrain: Fast and technical

Lizard Range
Lizard Range

Dustbowl dance
Dustbowl dance

Legendary Fernie is right
Legendary Fernie is right
Heading up the Elk Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort
Heading up the Elk Chair at Fernie Alpine Resort

Mr. Berms is a great warm up lap
Mr. Berms is a great warm up lap

The cedar slalom course
The cedar slalom course
Next generation
Next generation

Railing the perfectly shaped berms of Duff Dynasty
Railing the perfectly shaped berms of Duff Dynasty

A Bit About the Region


Before national and territorial borders were established, peoples of the Ktunaxa Nation, also known as the Kootenai, ranged from central BC down to northern Washington, Idaho, Montana and further east into Alberta. The Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass (now highway 3) was a well trodden trade route and the main artery across the Rocky Mountains to the eastern plains to hunt Bison. Today, the Ktunaxa number around 1500 people spread through the Elk valley and surrounding region, and retain linguistic and cultural ties to Bands in Idaho and Montana in the Tobacco Plains.

Fernie is named after William Fernie who, alongside Colonel James Baker, was the driving force behind the coal mines located here. With the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railroad in Fernie in 1898, the production of coal in the Elk Valley began in earnest and the new town of Fernie took shape opposite the CPR tracks. It wasn't smooth sailing however. In the coming years, the town of Fernie would burn to the ground twice in 1904 and 1908, suffer floods, and Canada’s largest mining disaster which killed 128 miners in 1902. Fernie has since staved off disaster and the town centre if full of beautifully kept heritage buildings - most built out of brick because of the previous two versions of the town burning to the ground.

The roots of coal mining are still present in Fernie with 5 active mine sites in the Elk Valley supplying well paying jobs to residents of Fernie and neighbouring Sparwood and Elkford. But the main games in town these days are in tourism, hospitality or the trades to support the active town of 5200 year round residents and the thousands of tourists that come to enjoy the mountains each year. There’s basically every mountain or river sport on offer here and Fernie does every one of them very very well.

Well aged woodwork at Fernie Alpine Resort
Well aged woodwork at Fernie Alpine Resort

Out of the dust
Out of the dust

Nick and Rowan getting loose through the brown talcum powder
Nick and Dan getting loose through the brown talcum powder

Nick finding any opportunity to get the wheels off the ground
Nick finding any opportunity to get the wheels off the ground

Getting to Fernie

Fernie sits on highway 3 which is the southernmost of the three highways that cross the Canadian Rockies only 3 hours from the closest major city - Calgary. Maps can be a little bit misleading when planning your trip. Driving from Vancouver to Fernie, which looks like a roughly straight line across southern BC is anything but and is a deceptively lengthy drive. Clocking in at around 11 hours, it’s still doable in a long day. But for our southern neighbours, the landscape is a bit more conducive to faster access. Missoula, MT and Spokane, WA are a short 4 and 4.5 hours drive respectively. What came as a surprise to me is that cities which I would have thought to be much further away than Vancouver like Portland, OR (10 hours) and Seattle, WA (9 hours) are easily within striking distance for an extended weekend road trip. A car isn’t necessary in town but is a nice option to see the area.

For domestic travel, the closest airport to Fernie is in Cranbrook (YXC) 115 km west and roughly a 70 min drive. There are daily flights from Calgary, Kelowna, and Vancouver operated by Air Canada, Westjet, and Pacific Coastal. The best airport for international travellers is Calgary International (YYC). You’ll find all of the major car rental companies and regular bus and charters that will get you the last 3 hours to Fernie. You can find more detailed travel info here.

Weather

Fernie is just as much of a winter destination as a summer one - even for biking! Expect cold and snowy winters for groomed fat bike trails with temperatures in the -10 to -2 °C (14-28 °F) range and an average snowfall of 9m (30 feet)!. Summers are hot and dry with daily temperatures in the high 20’s (80°F). Spring and fall are great times to visit with the trails thawing out in April and staying ridable through October and in decreasing numbers in November. The most precipitation falls in May/June and Oct/Nov but there are lots of sunny days mixed in to each month. Mornings are generally cool and great options for riding before the mercury hits the high 20’s and 30’s in the summer.

The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters

There s a distinct lack of roots on Roots
There's a distinct lack of roots on Roots

Impressive views from the Montane Hut and we ve barely started the climb
Impressive views from the Montane Hut and we've barely started the climb!
The name says it all
The name says it all

One of the many steep switchbacks up Hyper Vent
One of the many steep switchbacks up Hyper Vent

Well earned views at the top of Hyper Vent out towards Coal Creek
Well earned views at the top of Hyper Vent out towards Coal Creek


The Best Trails to Ride in Fernie

This could easily turn into a realllllly long list so I’ll keep it to the ultra classics. Fernie sits 1000m above sea level with the highest trails another 1000m on top of that so the elevation could take some getting used to for those of us residing at sea level. One of the best features of Fernie is the proximity of the riding areas to town. You can easily hit one or two riding area in the morning, have lunch in town, take a lap on the opposite side of the valley, and still be in town for a beer in the sun. In fact, Fernie Brewing took this idea in 2016 and created the Trail to Ale Challenge.

Mount Proctor
Mount Proctor is the northernmost riding area on the west side of the valley and is conveniently the closest network to the brewery for that afternoon ride.
Key Trail: Swine Flu: The star of the show on Mount Proctor. Accessed via the creatively named blue rated Swine Flu Climb, the second half of the climb is steeper and more technical before reaching a bench at the view point and the piggy mascot. It’s basically all downhill from there on a screaming fast and flowy descent with amazing berms and small root drops.

Fernie Ridge / Ridgemont
The Fernie Ridge and Ridgemont areas blend together on the north-eastern side of the valley. Due to the proximity to town and generally shorter trails, Ridgemont is a great place to get acquainted with the Fernie dirt and also get a quick fix of sweet singletrack. It’s one of the first areas to become ridable in the spring and dries out quickly after a rain and is popular with local riders.
A great intro loop: Climb Cemetery Bypass, Kiddy Up and Eco Terrorist, then cross over the Ridgemont Road to descend Eric’s Trail and Space Unicorn. If you want to add a few more kilometres and a bit more difficulty, continue your climb from Eco Terrorist to Deadfall and drop in to Oh Dear. Connect onto the Coal Discovery Trail and the Town Loop to bring you back to town.
Key Trail: Big Money: For a bigger more technical objective Big Money can deliver the goods if you’re willing to put in the effort to get there. For some true punishment, climb from the valley straight up Lower and Upper Bear Chutes - big props if you can clean the whole thing. Alternatively, you can gain some elevation on the Riffle Range Road and link in to Upper Bear Chutes. The descent is fast, loose, and fun!

Montane / Castle Mountain
Just south of Ridgemont is Castle Mountain with the Montane riding area occupying the lower flanks of the mountain. Montane is a great year round riding area with fast xc style riding which is even groomed in the winter for fat biking. Upper trails on Castle mountain are much steeper and more rugged with incredible views of the entire Elk Valley.
Key Trail: Montane Blue: This is the classic Tour du Montane. If you can keep yourself from lingering at the amazing view from the Montane Hut (which is a great sunset spot), this 11 km loop will take you about an hour with around 290m of elevation gain and loss. For a totally different experience, it’s also groomed in the winter for fat bikes!
Key Trail: Hyperventilation / Hyperextension: One of the most prominent and in my opinion best trails in the valley. Climb Montane Blue and branch off onto Roots or Uprooted to get the lungs ready for the Hypervent grind to the top. Make sure to enjoy the view from the top because you’re going to be focused on the fast technical 2km descent down the incredible ridge top of Hyperextension.
Key Trail: Southern Comfort: Same access as Hyperextension, but branch off right near the top of Hypervent and continue climbing another kilometre to Castle Rocks. The descent is a mix of steep tech and fast sections. Southern Comfort finishes at the midpoint of South Castle which descends to Cokato Road. Either pedal the road back to town or link into a series of blue connector trails above the road.

Morrissey Ridge
This is the main DH shuttling area. It’s more burly, steeper with bigger jumps than other areas. Access to Dirt Diggler and Al Matador is via the Coal Creek Road, then make a right on the Matheson Creek Road. For quicker lap options head out Cokato Road and turn left at the bottom of Three Kings. A number of trails cross the upper shuttle road so quicker lap options are available. These are serious trails so bring your A-game and be prepared.
Key Trail: Dirt Diggler: At 5km in length and dropping nearly 1000m, this is the biggest descent in Fernie and host of its own DH race every September. Begin down steep sidehill benches on the open slopes, then make sure you don’t fall dropping in to an old coal chute. The trail finishes off with some sizeable jumps for those inclined.
Key Trail: 48 hours: Another steep technical descent which gets easier and flowier as you get further down. Access via the top of the Cokato shuttle zone or link in from Al Matador. About a quarter of the way down you have a few options: very steep double black on the right, steep in the centre or a mellow line on the left where you can opt out to the easier Blue Matador or Three Kings.

Fernie Alpine Resort
Hauling riders since 1990, this is BC’s oldest lift access bike park and one of the oldest in North America. The resort boasts 38 trails, has some of the most fun green trails around, and laps can be linked outside of the resort all the way to the base of Mount Fernie. There are also groomed multi use trails in winter for fat biking at the resort and a weekly summer race series.
*Due to uncertainties around Covid-19, the Elk Chair was the only lift running in 2020.
Key Trail: Duff Dynasty: Great warm up trail and a fun rip down for any skill level. Lots of sneaky doubles once you get to know the trail.
Key Trail: Top Gun: This high speed crowd pleaser is sure to make you feel like Tom Cruise buzzing the tower in an F-18. Top to bottom berms and rollers through the woods.
Key Trail: Cat’s Pyjamas: To crank up the spice level, hit this short but steep tech trail. Similar to its next door neighbour Kodiak Karnage, both are worth a visit.

Mount Fernie
Mount Fernie Provincial Park sits at the base of Island Lake Road and is more wooded than the east side of the valley which makes it a great choice for hot summer days. The terrain is typically steeper with punchier climbs and loads of technical black descents.
Key Trail: Project 9: Gain 280m in elevation via the steep, unrelenting old jeep track south of the descent. It’s pure bliss when you finally point your bike downhill into the forest. The trail is a great mix of technical roots gaining flow as you lose elevation. Take Lazy Lizard to milk a bit more flowy singletrack at the bottom instead of riding the road.
Key Trail: Slunt (S-Bomb): This instant classic will have you screaming for more. Access via Phat B, Lactic Ridge, Moc-Assassin and Stupid Traverse. There are great views all the way up to keep your mind off of your aching lungs. The descent is fast “BC flow” where at times you feel like you’re riding a jackhammer down the natural root staircase. Options to the valley are via Brokeback Ridge or Hedonism - both are outstanding.
Key Trail: Lazy Lizard: Probably the best and most scenic green trail you will every ride. This out and back 17km round trip epic gains 600m in elevation through old growth cedar forest finishing at the world class Island Lake Lodge. Have lunch on their patio with incredible views of the lake and the Lizard Range, then enjoy the beautiful flowy descent. Just remember it’s a two-way trail so save the KOMs for some place else.

Oh Dear - one of the original trails in Ridgemont. These days there are only Larch trees in the old cut block.
Oh Dear - one of the original trails in Ridgemont. These days, there are only Larch trees in the old cut block.


Mount Fernie in all its glory
Mount Fernie in all its glory

Lazy afternoon float down the Elk River
Lazy afternoon float down the Elk River

Bike Advice

Bring ‘em if you got ‘em. If you’re driving here and have enough room at your accommodation, Fernie has something for every bike in the quiver. Long travel bikes are mandatory for the shuttle trails but might be a bit of overkill for the bike park. You are going to have to pedal to most of the trails here so something in the mid enduro range will be your most versatile option on the chunky descents if you can only bring one bike. There is so much riding here that no matter what bike you bring (if you only bring one), there is a ton to ride in each and every category including the increasingly popular gravel grinds.

Local Clubs and Advocates

Fernie Trails Alliance is the blanket trail organization which handles trail maintenance, advocacy and development, and a few events. The FTA is made up of member group of stakeholders such as the Fernie Mountain Bike Club (which run the events and weekly rides) and Stag Leap Running. Despite primarily using trails not maintained by the FTA, the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club and the Nordic Society also participate in meetings and support the FTA.

An organization like the FTA is critical to sustaining the trails in Fernie. Much of the surrounding land is privately owned so agreements to preserve and revive trails is an ever evolving process. Fernie has a paid trail crew of four and hold weekly volunteer dig days on Thursday evenings. I like to donate $10-15 per day when I'm travelling to ride and I highly recommend anyone visiting to Fernie to donate to help with maintenance and stewardship to either the FTA or FMBC or on Trailforks. There are a lot of volunteers who help maintain the trails as well - notably the local shuttle crews up on Morrissey Ridge.

Local Bike Shops

All shops are right in downtown. Most shops organize weekly group rides which is a great way to make new friends and get acquainted with the local riding scene.

Straight Line Bicycles - The only dedicated year round bike shop bike shop in town. Good service and it’s the spot if your suspension needs some work.

Guides Hut - Quality bike mechanics, guiding services and bike lessons.

The Ski Base - More of an outdoor store, still has a good selection of parts and bikes.

GearHub Sports - Another great option for bike service and checking out a new ride.

Hard to be more picturesque than Island Lake
Hard to be more picturesque than Island Lake

Fernie
Fernie


One of many photogenic corners on Stupid Traverse
One of many photogenic corners on Stupid Traverse

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

Late afternoon in the aspens
Late afternoon in the aspens


Fernie dirt jump park
Fernie dirt jump park
Solid selection at Big Bang Bagels
Solid selection at Big Bang Bagels


Accommodation and Food

Fernie is a well established year round tourist destination and has the infrastructure to handle any and all types of travellers on any budget. As with most small mountain towns these days, Air B&B is quite a popular option - especially if you have a group of friends. There are a number of campsites in town with Mount Fernie taking top spot for forested sites and proximity to some amazing riding. Tourism Fernie has a comprehensive list of the larger hotels and lodges for something a little more upscale.

For the gastro enthusiast, you’re in luck! Just like the bike trails, there’s diversity and high quality represented with loads of international culinary delights.

Breakfast:
Rooftop Coffee Roasters - Top quality coffee roasted right upstairs from the cafe. There's also pain au chocolate, croissants and little donuts.
Bridge Bistro - More traditional breakfasts and eggs Benny. Great riverside patio for summer!

Lunch:
Big Bang Bagels - It’s an easy spot to find, just look for the lineup extending out the door, down the main street and around the corner. This small eatery has great bagels and bagle-wiches. Don’t get discouraged by the line though, the service is fast and worth the short wait.
The Chopstick Truck - A great option if you’re coming back from riding Mt Fernie. This food truck is parked across the bridge west of town serving up Vietnamese inspired street food like bao bun tacos, bowls and wraps and of course Vietnamese iced coffee.
The Lunchbox - The name says it all - homemade chilli, sandwiches, wraps, salads and smoothies.

Dinner:
Himalayan Spice Bistro - Atmospheric South Asian and Himalayan restaurant. Curries and vegetarian dishes are the specialty here. They’re also open for breakfast and serve one of my favourites - Shakshuka eggs!
Nevados / Luchadora Burrito Co. - Mexican tapas, tacos, burritos, and a huge tequila selection. The vine covered shaded patio is a great spot to sample a traditional spicy margarita or one of the many tequilas, mescals, or craft beers.
Yamagoya Sushi - No matter how far from the ocean, ski towns always seem to have high quality sushi and Yamagoya is no exception.

The Griz - a legendary 8 foot tall man raised by bears who can make it snow by shooting his musket into the clouds.
The Griz - a legendary 8 foot tall man raised by bears who can make it snow by shooting his musket into the clouds.
Bikes bikes everywhere
Bikes bikes everywhere

It s all class at Fernie Distillers. You can get a unique selection of beautifully presented Gins Vodka Bitters and more recently - hand sanitizer
It's all class at Fernie Distillers. You can get a unique selection of beautifully presented Gins, Vodka, Bitters, and the hottest gift of the year - hand sanitizer!

Lots of great outdoor seating on the main drag in Fernie
Lots of great outdoor seating on the main drag in Fernie
Some of the best coffee in Fernie - Rooftop Roasters
Some of the best coffee in Fernie - Rooftop Roasters
Happy hour at the Luchadora Burrito Co.
Happy hour at the Luchadora Burrito Co.

Alpenglow
Alpenglow

Other Tips

Cast a Fly: Fernie is a great fly fishing destination with easy access to a number of lakes and rivers. The Elk River holds one of the largest populations of pure strain Western Cutthroat Trout and monster Bull Trout.

Get out on the River: The Elk River which flows right through Fernie has a ton to offer. Go rafting and cliff jumping with Canyon Raft Co or Mountain High River Adventures. For something more toned down, take a float on any device that can hold some air for a lazy afternoon post ride cool off. Put in at the bridge by Tim Hortons and float down to Dogwood Park at the south end of town.

Gain some elevation: Fernie has some incredible hikes which is the only way to access the upper reaches of the dramatic peaks in the area. One of the highlights is the Three Sisters - the prominent collection of peaks north west of town is 19.6 km return and is a must do.

Shuttling up Morrissey Ridge
Shuttling up Morrissey Ridge

Luke and Aidan dropping off the shuttle road into the Three Kings
Luke and Aidan dropping off the shuttle road into the Three Kings

Luke boosting off the stepdown
Luke boosting off the stepdown

Luke Stevens sending into the evening light
Luke Stevens sending into the evening light

Fernie Brewing
Fernie Brewing

Fernie Brewing
Fernie Brewing

Sabro has to be my new favourite hop
Sabro has to be my new favourite hop!

Presented by
Tourism Fernie

Mt Fernie mountain biking trails


91 Comments

  • 37 0
 The thing that sets Fernie apart from most places in BC is the proximity of the riding to town. It's a tight valley and there is riding on all sides. The vast majority of it can simply be pedaled to from town within about 5 to 10min.
  • 6 1
 That’s like riding in Durango, CO region
It’s a beautiful thing when you can pedal 10 min any direction and hit a trail system

Need to check out Fernie when the border opens!
  • 10 19
flag kootenayrider (Apr 27, 2021 at 8:29) (Below Threshold)
 The other thing that sets it apart is how it's transformed into an Alberta town on the weekends.
  • 3 0
 Wonderful article! Beautiful Images! Fantastic City! Amazing Trails! Some of the nicest people on the planet! tup If anyone is coming out, give us a shout Salute
  • 13 1
 @kootenayrider: Yep it's near Alberta but we don't have the same type of Alberta visitors that Invermere, the Shuswap and Okanagan get. People come here to ride bikes, fish and ski.
  • 1 0
 @fernrob: I would tend to agree with you. I lived/worked in Fernie for a summer years ago and those great memories are still fresh.
  • 44 0
 @kootenayrider The provincial angst thing is tired. There are amazing humans in every province. In a past life I was commuting to work at a mine in Alberta every day. The border is an imaginary line. If you think that being from this province or that province makes you better than someone else, you're dead wrong. Be an awesome person and you'll find yourself welcome wherever you go Salute
  • 4 0
 @mysticmountainadventures: Basic facts....but still so hard for some to understand....
  • 1 0
 @mysticmountainadventures: 100% agree with you and I would sincerely hope that anyone visiting a different area from their principal residence would treat that area and it's people with respect. Like you said 'Be an awesome person'. In my experience most people do follow this but unfortunately not all do and some are on the opposite end - again not limited to one province, just people in general. But that's a different topic to discuss on a different forum I suppose.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. You can pretty much park the car once you arrive and stay anywhere downtown. I love being able to pedal from my door to the trails. There are so many great trails in Fernie. I agree with the writer. Hyperextension is a glorious.
  • 2 0
 @kootenayrider: Yah, I remember walking to the Northern for dinner one Saturday night and recognizing at least half the people on the street from Ing's, Station Flats and WBC. I swear Invermere is part of Kananaskis now...
  • 9 0
 @mysticmountainadventures: "The provincial angst thing is tired."

100%. SeatoSky is getting incredibly douchy with comments from Squamish telling people from Whistler or Pemberton to eff off. And ditto Whistlerites and Pemby with locals only BS. Then a lot of shade thrown at Albertans, Ontarioans etc; which given the number of people from AB, ON, PQ who've moved to BC and suddenly become long-time locals is more than a bit rich.

I sincerely hope this is just pandemic grumpiness
  • 2 0
 @leelau: I think the grumpiness is prevalent in all outdoor users due to the increased traffic and new users. It's in my local trails where there's way more people out than before and not everyone is up to speed on basic etiquette like steeping to the side of the trail when stopped. This can wear on seasoned users who get grumpy and then it gets others grumpy. To make matters worse, tourism businesses are being hit hard by the pandemic and general ads are up to try to bring people in to visit - thus adding even more traffic and more grumpy Gus's. It's definitely pandemic related and will most likely subside a little bit but probably retain alot of people. Maybe it'll be an opportunity for growth down the road - hopefully? If not it'll be growing pains and eventually everyone will chill out - or not.
  • 7 0
 @leelau: small towns telling people from the big “out there” to F off is nothing new. Move to a new spot, be part of the problem, get ingrained in the community, be a Dick about it to anyone who isn’t. Wait till it’s too busy for your taste and move somewhere new. *it’s the circle of life*
  • 1 0
 @kootenayrider: Do you see the thinly veiled BC vs AB angst you perpetuate in your commentary? The border thing is tiring. Isn't it a sad thought knowing the good natured reputation Canadian's hold abroad; however, I have to check the lug-nuts on my car before I drive home from riding in BC.

Should I judge the entirety of BC based on a small fractions bad behavior? Nope, I simply wont. It isn't fair to the good ones. I would ask you to do the same. Bucketing people by some invisible line association is how we got into this mess.
  • 1 1
 @kootenayrider: you liberal progressive leaf licker you have serious mental issues
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: Ashland, Oregon as well!
  • 24 1
 Waiting for the don't come here it suck go somewhere else comments.
  • 36 2
 Judging from the Park City article, they seem to have the world monopoly on those douchebags.
  • 4 1
 @bishopsmike: bwahaha. So true.
  • 3 0
 no need. can't go there
  • 33 0
 Don't come here -BC government
  • 1 3
 @spaceofades:

Don’t trust or listen to the utterly corrupt and amoral government.
-Intelligent people
  • 1 0
 @paulskiboard: I don't trust them, but if I don't listen to them they can take all of my money
  • 13 0
 Everyone should go to change.org and sign the petition to have RCR open timber chair this year. Lineups on elk were nuts last year. Locals and visitors deserve better.
  • 3 0
 Are they not going to open it again?? I completely skipped Fernie on my BC trip last year because the timber chair wasn't open. So sad that the best runs on the mountain were completely inaccessible with only the one, slow lift running Frown

Bring back the Timber Chair, please!!!
  • 9 0
 The Fernie bike park could be soooo good, but RCR has no desire or understanding of how to do so. Unfortunately everything they've done over the past 5ish years is a step backwards.
  • 3 0
 @plyawn: Yeah it's the same situation at KH. I actually wish Vail would buy KH and fix things up a little.
  • 3 0
 @rory: Nope, Murray Edwards (owner of RCR) said its to expensive. Pathetic.
  • 1 0
 @curbhuck: that is the way he runs all his businesses! To expensive, not interested! Sadly shareholders will milk it till its dead and broken.
  • 1 0
 @cb7: that’s what RCR did to Fortress. Used it as a tax write-off until it couldn’t run no more.
  • 3 0
 @rideyourbikemore: as a whistler local, you don't want vail any where near your resort.
  • 13 2
 At the first place I was afraid I'll never find the comments section!
  • 21 1
 Yeah, it's a shame the article had all those beautiful photos and useful info just taking up space.
  • 5 0
 Fernie is great! I try to make it there once or twice a season. Lazy lizard is worth the ride - it's only a green, but the views and lunch at Island Lake Lodge are worth it. Also one of my favorite memories - on the way down (from lazy lizard) - I joined a bike train of about 30 riders, by chance. It was late in the day - so no other riders were coming up. It was super fun.
  • 3 0
 One of the most fun green trails I've ever ridden, and lunch at the Lodge is world-class!
  • 4 0
 I’ve only been to Fernie once, and only had time for one ride.

My (life) partner and I went up Lazy Lizard, had lunch and drinks at the Island Lake Lodge, than had an absolute blast going down.

I haven’t had a lot of true perfect days in my life. That was one of them.
  • 6 0
 Nicely done, Ben! Way to carry the Local Flavours torch! Also, the comments section is why Canada >
  • 1 0
 Thanks Brice! Just trying to do justice to the series you've created. I've always really liked the Local Flavours content and was pumped to get to make a few of these!
  • 3 0
 Love Fernie so much! Spent a couple months there one winter and go a snowboard instructor qualification then visited friends again in the summer to ride bikes. This small town has so much to offer, such a rad place!
  • 6 1
 Such a nice place.....so sad the mountain owner is RCR...just like Mont-Ste-Anne. That company is just a real shame!
  • 1 0
 Surely it can’t be worse than Vail
  • 2 0
 @stormracing: Honestly I don't think it can get any worse. They don't invest anything to keep the facilities safe. The Mont-Ste-Anne is in decripitude.
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: for all the hate that Vail gets, and I love piling it on as well. There are other operators out there that are worse, maybe not as big and monopolistic as VR, but they give even fewer shits than VR does.
  • 1 0
 @frankmartineau: that sucks! Didn’t know that. Real bummer to hear!

@chacou: yeah we just never hear much about them but I can believe they are out there..
  • 6 0
 Amazing photos. Let us in Trudeau!
  • 3 0
 BC tourism associations working on overdrive in anticipation of the great post-pandemic tourist boom. Given the current state, I'd say they're a bit ahead of themselves...
  • 5 0
 Oh wow... what a great article!!! Love this town so much xoxo
  • 4 0
 Great article, happy to call Fernie home. Now I just need the trails to dry out a bit
  • 1 0
 I am lucky enough my brother lives in Fernie so I visit as much as possible. Something I’d recommend to anyone trying to do as much riding as possible during their visit is to bring a smaller chain ring. Some of the climbs to the better trails have the most sustained steep climbs I’ve ever seen. The locals who can clean them have my full respect.
  • 1 0
 Any trail in particular? I wonder if I'm worthy of respect
  • 1 0
 I remember being able to travel and going to Fernie!
I read someone's blog that said "Big Money" would be everyone's favourite trail if it wasn't so hard to get to the start. I decided if I wasn't coming back that I had to try it. It was worth the trip up. Surfing in pine needles was a hoot.
Yes, Fernie was great.
  • 1 0
 Rode Hyperventilation/Southern Comfort in the summer of 2018. Hyperextension wasn't finished yet. Loved it, even though the brakes on my rental bike went out about a quarter of the way down Southern Comfort. Didn't see any of those amazing views, though. There was so much smoke in the valley from wildfires you could barely see across it! Looking forward to going back again!
  • 5 0
 Big money is A+
  • 3 0
 Steep and loose Smile
  • 5 0
 Best town.
  • 1 0
 Massive thanks to the builders and trail associations for keeping this gem at the top of it's game. Allot of pride and passion goes into the networks of trails here and it shows.
  • 2 0
 The yearly poker run in September is a must do. 6 trails in one day, 64km, 2500m elevation gain, 6-7 hours, each year they change the trails. Awesome ride
  • 4 1
 Spoiler alert:
border is still closed. Better luck next year
  • 1 0
 true... but maybe it opens, say by august???
  • 1 0
 @adamkovics: I want to be optimistic but it doesn't look good.
  • 1 1
 That didn't stop a couple border jumping yanks I met here last summer. Gotta risk it for a biscuit!
  • 2 0
 Just in time for me not to be able to go there in real life. I miss Fernie......
  • 1 0
 Oh Jonny. Don't you know? All the good riding is at Redcliff Rampage! We're not going to Fernie anymore.
  • 1 0
 @volvoshredder: Right!!!! Crash a Peter's house. Does Mexican Hat have a Taco Bell?!
  • 3 0
 That picture of the Elk chair gave me PTSD
  • 1 0
 Would love to make it there sometime, Island Lake Lodge has been on my snowboard bucket list forever, this biking looks great too.
  • 2 0
 I'm sure Park City is fine, but man, seeing these back to back really accentuates the contrast.
  • 1 0
 I live 30 mins from PC. It's a great place to ride, but I'm making a BC road trip as soon as the border is open because the riding seems orders of magnitude better. US based, Bellingham and PNW > Park City any day of the week.
  • 2 0
 One of my favorite trips I ever done. Great town and people in Fernie. Verbotten !
  • 2 0
 Now that's a great article. Well done. Everyone come visit whenever you can.
  • 3 0
 Amazing photos!
  • 2 0
 BC, one of the best places on earth. Really miss living there.
  • 2 0
 WOW...going this summer God willing Smile
  • 1 0
 I have a week in Fernie booked right at the end of June ... fingers crossed some travel advisories lift before then!
  • 1 0
 Nice trails you got there, be a shame if customs stopped you at the border.
  • 1 0
 What is the bike rack model on the red car (3rd photo from the bottom)?

Nice read, enjoyed much! Thank you
  • 1 0
 Might be from Yakima. North Shore Racks are for sure the most popular for hanging racks. Although NSR's can leave rub marks on your forks. I think Thule and Kuat do a version as well.
  • 1 0
 Great article @coldsalt
It's now more than ever on the bucket list!
(Fernie Brewing co. is the best beer in BC hat down)
  • 1 0
 Cheers Audric! That yearly Sabro beer that Fernie Brewing does is one of my favourites! Another bonus of visiting Fernie!!
  • 1 0
 If only in my dreams.....
  • 1 0
 Fernie is a gem but difficult for most to get to, but not for me Smile
  • 1 2
 rad. border is closed. have a good life. not doing a 2 week quarantine to go ride for 3 days....
  • 1 0
 i miss you Fernie!
  • 1 0
 Trail to Ale Challenge
  • 2 5
 OPEN THE BORDER WITH COVID TESTING AND/OR A VACCINATION CARD!
  • 3 1
 Export some vaccines so we can get vaccinated as well.
  • 1 0
 I saw somebody post saying that one of the pharmacies in Squamish had some AZ vaccine available. Then somebody else chimed in - only for Squamish locals. Not only is that not the way it works; but it's so insanely mean-spirited.

I should take my own advice to keep my expectations low so as to not be disappointed but it's pretty disappointing to see that degree of hyper localism.
  • 3 2
 @leelau: Typical of a Squalish local I'd say. Not many people who are really locals there, most people have moved in and should remeber that. Also very narrow minded, Squamish is a bit of an over rated place for living and weather. The rest of BC has much more to offer as far as an all round experience. Yup , some great trails and climbing there, but man there's a shite attitude.
  • 1 0
 @pedaler: Squamish is a nice place to live in. your comment is a bit harsh coming from someone from Golden...what "shite attitude" are you talking about?
Happy trails to you and everyone!

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