About Fernie: Established in 1898
A famous Canadian ski resort destination….with so much more to offer.
From the jagged peaks of the Lizard Range to the unique caricature of Mount Hosmer, the mountains surrounding Fernie offer a sharp contrast to the quaint coal mining and ski town that sits at the base of the Elk Valley.
Founded in 1898, Fernie was officially incorporated as a municipality in 1904. The economy was built on extraction of the Elk Valley’s plentiful natural resources - coal and forestry. The Coal Creek mine was officially opened late in 1897, the railway followed in 1898, and Fernie came to life.
In 1963, the original ski hill, called Fernie Snow Valley, opened. It was
purchased in 1997 by the Lake Louise Group, who expanded it significantly under the new name of Fernie Alpine Resort. The new resort stimulated an ongoing surge of growth, gaining Fernie international recognition as a ski destination.
Fernie’s colourful past is rich in history and folklore. The legendary tale of the Ghostrider speaks of a curse placed on the town by an angry Indian chief. Fernie’s two great fires, in 1904 and 1908, both reduced the
town to rubble and ash and are attributed by many to the Ghostrider’s vengeance. The present day Fernie City Hall, which is located in the old
Crows Nest Pass Coal Company office, was spared from the 1908 fire and offered refuge to hundreds of the citizens of the day. While mining is still a prominent economic base, the town has evolved into a Canadian Rockies vacation destination attracting adventure goers from around the world both winter and summer.
Drawn by the promise of outdoor adventure, avid and beginner skiers, snowboarders, golfers, mountain bikers, hikers, snowmobilers and fishermen return year after year. Not only does Fernie measure up as an adventure destination, it leaves visitors charmed by the historic town and its residents. It's not uncommon for a simple BC ski vacation or golf trip to turn into a lifelong love affair with Fernie. Come to Fernie to discover adventure, history and community and soon you too will be coming back for more.
- Founded in 1898, incorporated in 1904. More on Fernie history
- Located in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, Canada, close to the Alberta border to the east and the Montana, USA border to the south. Getting to Fernie
- Year-round population 4,271 (can double during ski season)
- Town elevation 1,010 metres (3,314 ft)
- Fernie climate consists of four distinct seasons and enjoys temperate mountain weather. More details on Fernie weather
- Fernie's time zone is Mountain Standard Time (UTC-7), summer (UTC-6) for MDT.
- Fernie is home to one of Canada's largest ski resorts, Fernie Alpine Resort and exceptional catskiing at Island Lake Catskiing and Fernie Wilderness Catskiing.
- The freestone Elk River flows through Fernie and offers renowned fly fishing from June to October, whitewater rafting from May to September and general paddling opportunities. More on Fernie summer