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Fernie, British Columbia

by K Gordon Schultz

Fernie: Your Summer – or Winter – Outdoor Recreation Paradise in the Canadian Rockies

This small city in the British Columbia side of the Canadian Rockies is a year-round paradise for outdoor lovers. In winter there are some 2,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding at Fernie Alpine Resort, which many powder lovers consider one of the best in Canada – both for the skiing and the resort. And not to worry if the cross-country trail is more your thing than the downhill: Fernie boasts one of the best winter trail networks in the Rockies, with plenty of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, not to mention snowmobiling, snow cat skiing – even dog-sled tours.

Best of all, while Fernie resides in the Rockies, it is nestled deep in a mountain valley; its elevation is only 1,010 meters. The surrounding mountains block the prevailing winds, resulting in perfect soft powder in the winter months. And it gets plenty of it. Fernie Alpine Resort reports an annual average snowfall of 875 centimeters (350 inches, or 29 feet) of snow.

The outdoor fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts though. There is fly-fishing, golf, and horseback riding if you’re looking for more relaxing things to do. If you want to crank up the adrenaline, you can tackle the ski trails on a mountain bike, or hop in a river raft or kayak for some water fun.

Between the word-class accommodations and trails, we think you can find plenty enough to do in and around Fernie. But just in case you exhaust all the alternatives, there are plenty of other options for outdoor recreation, scenic beauty, and comfortable accommodations. Most notably there is Glacier National Park to the south, which is just 245 kilometers away across the U.S. border in Montana, while Banff, Alberta is 356 kilometers away to the north.

Fernie Area Map

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Fernie Monthly Weather Averages

Month High (°C) Low (°C) Rain (mm) Snow (cm)
January -2.1 -11.4 45 92.1
February 1.4 -8.9 42.1 61
March 6 -5.1 53.6 37.8
April 11.6 -1.4 65 13.6
May 16.6 2.5 90.8 2.5
June 20.5 6.2 98.7 0
July 24.5 8 73.5 0
August 24.5 7.3 59.1 0
September 18.8 3.2 71.7 0.7
October 11.6 -0.8 92.7 8.4
November 2.5 -5.3 108.6 52.7
December -1.8 -10.1 59.8 88.1

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