Camping – Mount Fernie Provincial Park

Camping – Mount Fernie Provincial Park

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.

Bare Campsites

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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20 thoughts on “Camping – Mount Fernie Provincial Park

  1. I’ve been there! We used to live in Kelowna in BC and Fernie was on several of the roadtrips we undertook at that time. Absolutely loved it! Thank you for reminding me. We never got to camp in the provincial park though as we were always in our motorhome. We stayed in the RV park down the road and hiked up into the park. Reading this though, I would definitely camp there – especially as we not longer have the RV.

    1. Oooh how was the RV park? We tend to avoid those as tent campers as sometime they seem to have far less privacy (because everyone has their RVs to go in!) I am such a fan of the provincial parks and their tree-lines campsites! Kelowna must have been a great place to live. We always love our visits there.

  2. What an incredible park! It’s amazing that something so scenic is close to a town, and nice that you can pop in for some good food when needed! I can’t believe you woke up to the rustling of a bear! Sounds like you had a great trip 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. I mean, it *might* not have been a bear but it sounded like it was coming from the berry bushes (and there are plenty of bears in the area.) My husband wouldn’t let me go and check!

    1. I hope you and Buddy get to!

      The bare campsite thing isn’t very hard once you get used to it – I guess it is the same in Bear areas in the States!?

  3. Ahhh I want to see moose in the wild one day! They’re such adorable animals. I’ll definitely have to check out the campground. Elk are super cool too. I’d like to see a bear, but not in a tent haha! Hearing them from the bushes would be good enough for me

    1. Lol yeah, that was close enough for us too! I had wanted to see a moose for aaaages too. We were so chuffed to see the mama with her babies! I’ve still never seen a moose-dude with the antlers, but I’d prefer to be a bit further away if/when we see one!

  4. I love that you were able to find a camground that feels private and secluded, yet close enough to civilation that you could go out for dinner!

  5. I don’t really think camping is for me but articles like these are super interesting to read about. I’m glad you get to see many different animals that way!

    1. Oooh I don’t even know about camping mode for Teslas! Yay that it means your friend will get out more. 😀

  6. Such a great camping site and provincial park, with all that wildlife. I would have been the same as Marc and not let my partner get out if it sounded like a bear was nearby.

  7. I’ve decided that my favorite way to camp is definitely in forest-y areas (especially because it gives me an excuse to use my hammock!). This park looks awesome! That’s great that they even have a bike washing station!

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