Getting To Fernie

Getting To Fernie

Canadian Road Trip
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Where is Fernie?

The town of Fernie is in the Elk Valley area of the East Kootenay region of the southeast corner of BC Canada, about 60km from the Alberta and US borders. Fernie is located on highway 3, a 3.5 hour drive southwest of Calgary International airport.

Fernie Alpine Resort is about 5km (3 miles) south of town. The ski resort is located in the Lizard Range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and is part of the Powder Highway, although we like to call it the Powderhounds Highway!

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Ski resorts nearby include:

Cat Skiing near Fernie

The Fernie ski area is blessed with a couple of cat ski operations.

Fernie Wilderness Adventures is based about 20 minutes from Fernie. FWA are the day cat skiing specialists.

Island Lake Lodge is located 15km from the town of Fernie. Island Lake Catskiing provide indulgent and luxurious multi-day cat ski packages that include accommodation at the Island Lake Lodge. Sometimes they also add day skiing (on a standby arrangement) to their bag of tricks.

Not far away (136km to the southeast) is Castle Mountain and the adjacent Powder Stagecoach cat skiing which is ideal for first time cat skiers and boarders.

Flights to Fernie

There are numerous gateway airports for Fernie Alpine Resort. The closest airport, Cranbrook (Canadian Rockies International airport – 1:15 hours away) has direct flights with Delta from Salt Lake City, as well as regional flights with Air Canada Jazz from Vancouver and Calgary.

Calgary International Airport is 3.5 hours away, whilst the Glacier International Airport in Kalispell Montana is only 2 hours away. Spokane airport in Washington is another option (4 hours away), particularly if you’re visiting Red Mountain or any of the cat skiing near Nelson. Use one of our recommended flight search engines to compare flights into any of these airports.

Obviously the cost of flights is a major factor in deciding which airport to fly into, but you should also consider the costs of car rental. Depending on the currency exchange, renting a car in the US is generally more expensive than in Canada.

Shuttles & Transport from Calgary Airport to Fernie

The shuttle between Calgary airport and Fernie operate Wednesday to Sunday. Drop offs are made at various hotels and motels in the area.  

There are also various private Fernie shuttle operators that travel between Calgary and Fernie.

Shuttles & Transport from Cranbrook Airport to Fernie

Kootenay Taxi also provides door to door transfers from Cranbrook airport to Fernie.

Transport from the Kalispell Airport to Fernie

Your best bet is to drive, or if you’re coming to Fernie to go cat skiing with Island Lake, they can organise a van for you.

Driving to Fernie

If you are only visiting Fernie Alpine Resort and don’t plan to do too much exploring, you’ll manage without a car. However if you’re staying in town or want to travel around, having your own wheels will be advantageous.

Car rental is available at the Calgary, Cranbrook, Kalispell and Spokane airports. To find a good deal, use one of our recommended car hire search engines that search various car hire companies to get the best price.

The drive from any of the airports is pretty easy on wide well maintained highways with no major mountain passes.

Getting Between Town and the Resort

There are shuttles that operate between Fernie Alpine Resort and the town. The schedules change each season so check with your accommodation or guest services for the most up to date schedule. The Smokey Mountain Ski Shuttle offers four trips in the morning and four in the afternoon, but these are spread about an hour apart. 

If you want door to door on-demand service, hail or call a Kootenay taxi (250-423-4408).

Lots of people hitchhike between town and the resort. An “official hitchhiking spot” has been designated just past the West Fernie Bridge heading towards the ski hill.

Getting Around Fernie Alpine Resort

The ski resort is compact so it’s very easy to get around on foot.

Car parking is located at the base of the resort (and at various accommodations) within easy walking distance of the slopes, and best of all it’s free!

Getting Around Fernie

The main part of town (ie Fernie historic downtown) is between the railway line and 4th Avenue, and between 3rd Street and 9th Street (2nd Avenue is the main street). This part of town is easily navigated on foot, and lots of tourist maps of the town are available at accommodations and other key spots around the resort and town.

Transport Operators

Nelson Shuttle Service Queen City Shuttle & Charters
Individual & group transport. Small passenger vehicles to large coaches. Nelson/Rossland - Castlegar/Spokane airport transfers. Inter-resort & cat / heli ski shuttle services.