Mount Fernie Provincial Park Campground is in a gorgeous area of forest just over 3 km from the edge of Fernie. Each campsite is surrounded by trees and feels private and secluded, even if there are other campers nearby. We normally don’t book campsites so close to cities; But this is such a quiet, nature-filled spot it’s hard to remember that you are so close to town! We woke up with a bear outside our tent, so it certainly seemed like we were in the wilderness.
The park was created in 1959 to protect the ecology of Lizard Creek at the base of Mount Fernie. Camping at Mount Fernie Provincial Park is perfect if you are spending time in the area! I’ve added a photo from the Spineback trail looking over to Mount Fernie – the campground is at the base of the mountain to the right of the clear-cut line you can see in the forest below.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park Camping map
This map is from the (BC Provincial Park website.) You can’t quite tell from the map; But sites 32, and 59-61 are all walk-in sites, where you cannot park right next to where you camp.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park Camping dates
June 1st to October 2nd.
The gates are closed in the off-season. It is possible to hike in and camp when the gates are closed in the wintertime, but it is walk-in, with no services and user-maintained. (no fees to camp in winter)
Booking campsites in Mount Fernie Provincial Park
Book campsites via the BC Frontcountry Camping Reservation website. You can book 4 months before the date you’d like to camp. There are 16 non-reservable, first come first served sites if you are unable to snag a booking. The cost in 2023 is $30.
- 52 reservable sites (all for car camping)
- 4 non-reservable walk in sites (32 and 59-61)
- 12 non-reservable car camping sites (21-31 and 46)
Mount Fernie Campsites
Each campsite is vehicle accessible and has a fire pit, a picnic bench and plenty of space to park and set up your tent (or RV.) None of the sites have electrical hook up.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park Facilities
The facilities at Mount Fernie are a little sparse, but they do have the luxury of running water/showers! The Campground has:
- Water taps
- Pit toilets (that are not too stinky!)
- Restroom with running water and showers (and dishwashing station) in the center of the campsite
- Bike washing station if you have a muddy mountain bike
- In addition to the campsites, there are two day use areas with picnic benches and loos.
The most important rule about camping is keeping a bare campsite. Basically you need to pack away all food, cups, plates, pans, grills etc., and anything that has a scent that might attract bears. Store things in your vehicle when car camping. Never leave any of food or these items unattended for even a minute, and do not keep them inside your tent.
We didn’t see any bears in Mount Fernie Provincial Park but we are pretty sure we heard one rustling in the berry bushes a few meters outside our tent early in the morning. (Marc wouldn’t let me go out to check!)
Campfire or no campfire?
I have a whole post about cooking on a campfires. Although there are fire pits at all of the campsites, depending on the fire-risk when you visit, you might not be able to use them. We ended up cooking on a campstove as the fire-risk was too high when we visited. Firewood can be purchased in the park when fires are allowed.
Wildlife in Fernie
Fernie is amaaaaazing for wildlife. We were only stay for two nights, but we saw a moose (and her babies!) for the first time and heard a bear in berry bushes. It’s normal to see Elk and we heard there was a mama grizzly who visited the Elk river each day. We also saw squirrels, pikas and marmots and so many birds! Click here for more info about local wildlife.
Eating out in Fernie
If you don’t fancy cooking, there is some really good food in Fernie. My favouites were Yamagoya for sushi, Big Bang bagels for lunch and Rooftop Coffee Roasters for coffee and decent croissants.
Hikes near Mount Fernie Provincial Park
I had sooo many amazing sounding hikes on my list for when we visited Fernie! These were the fabulous ones that we managed to do:
- Spineback trail followed by Goldilocks Loop (epic hikes near Island Lake Lodge, further up the road from this campground)
- Island Lake Lodge – if you don’t want a long hike, just visit Island Lake, it is stunning!
- Skeleton Flats hike in Fernie Alpine Resort – You can even cheat and take the gondola up.
- Fairy Creek Falls – for a quick, easy waterfall.
I hope this gives you an idea about what it’s like to go camping in Mount Fernie Provincial Park. We stayed here as part of a long (but slow, hike-filled) road trip along the Crowsnest Highway to Waterton Lakes in Alberta. Fernie was easily my favourite city along the way so I would looove to go back, camp and hike more in this area!
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