Hiking Trails Fernie BC

Marked Hiking Trails 

LAKE TRAIL  / 2 km, 1 hr / Rating: Easy   FIR TRAIL Extension (add 3 km & 1 hr) Rating: Easy Access: From the trail head below the Bear Lodge, head down the trail to the lake and follow the signs. Highlights: Allows for a gentle hike around Island Lake following lunch or dinner or when your time is limited. The Fir Trail wanders through the legendary Old Growth Forest of the upper Cedar Valley.  Included on these trails are the following Iconic Photo Spots:

  1. The Boat Launch – This is the most photographed place at Island Lake. #islandlakelodge1
  2. I Dew Point – This iconic ceremony spot makes for fantastic wedding photos. #islandlakelodge2
  3. The Lake Bench – This romantic bench on the lake trail offers a unique view of the island and lodge. #islandlakelodge3
  4. Moose Grass Lookout – The grassy bank on the west side of the lake is a perfect moose viewing area and offers another view of the lake and Lizard Range. #islandlakelodge4
  5. Fir Trail – This spot will also have an interpretive sign describing the Old Growth Forest. #islandlakelodge5

RAIL TRAIL  / 3 km, elevation gain 50 m, 45min – 1.5 hr /  Rating: Rail Trail:  Easy.  OLD GROWTH TRAIL / 4 km, elevation gain 250m, 45min – 1.5 hr / Rating: Moderate. Access: The Rail Trail starts at the base parking area, 30m past the Island Lake gate and finishes at the Old Growth Trail head. The Old Growth Trail then tours through ancient cedars, finishing at the lodge. Highlights: Historical railway, lumber mill sites and old growth cedar trees. These trails are steeped in the Elk Valley’s history.  #islandlakelodge6

SPINEBACK TRAIL / 3.5 km  /7 km return / elevation gain 530 m, 3-4 hours /  Rating: Advanced Access: Via the Lake Trail and Fir Trail toward the west end of Island Lake. Once you reach the marked junction, follow the Spineback signs. Highlights: Paralleling the beautiful Spineback Ridge, the trail winds up through sub-alpine meadows, reaching the crest of the ridge and its bench. Continue another 0.5 km up to a second bench nestled between the 3 Bears’ peaks. The top of the Spineback trail offers a spectacular view, including the famous “Scot Schmidt” Bonsai tree. #islandlakelodge7.  The upper Spineback bench is located amongst alpine wildflowers of all colours. #islandlakelodge8

GOLDILOCKS TRAIL Length: 2.5 km / Type: Loop / Hiking Time 1.5 hrs / Elevation Gain: 210 m / Rating: Advanced / Access: The trail starts at the top of the Spineback Trail (at the second bench) and follows the valley between Baby Bear and Papa Bear peaks. It wraps around the back of Baby Bear to the Upper Nonstop saddle with dramatic views of the headwall and The Valley. The trail continues around the east side of Baby Bear and follows a series of switchbacks down the valley between Baby Bear and Mama Bear peaks. It then completes the loop back at the top of the Spineback Trail. Photo Spots: #islandlakelodge13 #islandlakelodge18 When Combined with the Spineback Trail – Length: 6 kms or 12 km return / Elevation Gain: 740 metres / Rating: Advanced  Photo Spots: #islandlakelodge13  #islandlakelodge19

MOUNT BALDY LOOP  / 10.5 km, elevation gain 620 m, 4-6 hours / Rating: Advanced Access: From the trail head below the Bear Lodge head west following signs for the Mount Baldy Trail. From the summit, the trail traverses the Mount Baldy ridge, continuing west. Highlights: The Baldy Trail switchbacks its way to the north summit of Mount Baldy where hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire Island Lake area. #islandlakelodge9

TAMARACK TRAIL / 8 km, elevation gain 640 m, 5 hrs / VIEWPOINT / 4 km,  elevation gain 200 m, 3 hours / Rating: Moderate to Advanced Access: From the trail head below the Bear Lodge head east following signs for the Tamarack Trail. Highlights: The trail winds its way up the south-west slopes of Mount Fernie through beautiful stands of mature Larch, with an option part way to go to the stunning viewpoint. The trail continues up through open, grassy slopes to the dramatic rock crags of Mount Fernie. #islandlakelodge10

Hiking Routes of the Cedar Valley

Rating for Routes: Difficult   These routes are unmarked with no trails above the tree-line. Significant route finding and navigation skills required. Steepness, loose rock, becoming lost, encountering wild animals, and stream crossings are some of the hazards.

HEIKO’S TRAIL  22 km, elevation gain 1,371 m,  8-12 hours / Rating: Difficult Access: The trail starts 2 km down a cart track, 3 km north west of Hartley Lake on the Hartley Creek Road, with a rewarding finish at Island Lake Lodge. Highlights: Waterfalls, caves, snowfields, big mountain passes, and the option of making it an overnight trip. A high level of fitness and route finding skills are required and hiring a professional guide is strongly recommended

CABIN RIDGE (ROUTE)  Access: Drive the Island Lake Lodge access road 3km to the Old Growth Trail head. Follow the Old Growth Trail for 1km, then take the left fork trail to the Cabin Trail. Hiring a guide is recommended.

LIZARD LAKE (ROUTE)  Access: The trail head is in The Mount Fernie Provincial Park, approximately 0.5 km from the Island Lake Lodge property boundary and gate. No trail exists above and beyond the lake itself. Loose rock, snow and complicated terrain are all aspects of this route. Hiring a guide is recommended.

BIG WHITE PEAK (ROUTE)  Access: Via Spineback Trail. Just prior to reaching the crest of the Spineback, leave the trail heading west across the alpine bowl. Big White is found in the back of the second basin through a steep scree-slope leading to the widest and least steep access point. This is the only access to the Lizard Ranges’ ridge crest above Island Lake Lodge. Hiring a guide is highly recommended. #islandlakelodge12

McPhee_IslandLake Hike5


From Our Customers

Prepare to be wowed!

Endless trails begin outside your room and the food is delicious and well prepared. The fresh, green, wilderness smell at Island Lake Lodge will soothe even the most weary souls.

Liz Tompkins - Calgary, AB