I don’t usually like to stay in campgrounds near town. After all, the whole point of camping (for me, anyway) is to get away from the hustle and bustle and into nature as much as possible. However, while Mount Fernie Provincial Park may be mere minutes away from the city, it’s the perfect home base for outdoor adventuring in the area. Plus, you’ll still feel close to nature in this densely forested campground. It’s a win-win!
I really didn’t know what to expect when booking a site at Mount Fernie Provincial Park. We wanted a place to stay near Fernie, and this campground is only 3 km west of the city off Highway 3. It turned out to be a great place to stay the weekend.
About Mount Fernie Provincial Park
The 259-hectare Mount Fernie Provincial Park is located in the southern part of the Kootenay Range. Mount Fernie impressively towers over the park at 2,133 metres high. The dense forest includes western larch, douglas fir, and red cedar trees (among others), with some old-growth areas. Plantlife is quite diverse as well, with mosses, ferns, and wildflowers thriving in the area. Because of the lush forest habitat, wildlife such as deer, elk, moose, and black bears are not uncommon. I saw a black bear sow and cub at Island Lake just 20 minutes away.
The beautiful natural landscape also creates relatively secluded campsites. Even on a long weekend, I didn’t feel like I was camping too close to my neighbour. There are also plenty of nice trees for your hammock. As a frontcountry experience, Mount Fernie Campground offers all of the essentials and more!
Read more: Hiking in Fernie, BC at the Spineback Trail
How To Get There
The drive from Calgary to Fernie is about 3 hours through Crowsnest Pass. We travelled south on the Cowboy Trail through iconic towns like Frank, where you’ll find interesting “Alberta’s History” stops like the famous Frank Slide.
To reach the campground, continue past the City of Fernie for about 3 km on Highway 3. You’ll see the sign for Mount Fernie Provincial Park on your right. Turn onto Mt Fernie Park Rd and drive until you arrive.
Why Visit Mount Fernie Campground?
Staying at Mount Fernie Campground means you’re close to almost everything. Just 8 minutes from downtown, it’s very convenient to go for a meal or explore the nearby shops. And you’ll still feel secluded from city living when you’re back at your campsite (at least I did).
With 61 sites for RVs and tents in this Fernie campground, there are several options for you and your family or friends. Booking a site relatively last minute is even possible, too. I reserved our campsite about 2 weeks out, which isn’t easy for many Alberta campgrounds. There are no RV hookups available. On the August long weekend, I noticed way more tents than RVs in our section.
If you don’t want to completely rough it, Mount Fernie Campground offers a comfortable frontcountry camping experience. Campground amenities include flush toilets, showers, dishwashing sinks, drinking water taps, and bike washing stations. The available amenities make this an ideal tenting spot for folks wanting some creature comforts.
Know Before You Go
If you’re new to BC camping, here are a few helpful tips to help plan your trip:
Reservations: Book your campsite online after creating your account or through the call centre at 1-800-689-9025 (7am to 7pm PT). Reservations can be made two months in advance on a rolling basis. In 2021, BC residents were able to book in March, while non-BC residents could book in July.
Fires: There was a fire ban when we visited, so we had to get creative with a lantern and dry bag. Be sure to check for fire bans and advisories before heading to the park.
Additional vehicles: We were permitted to have another vehicle at our campsite for a nominal fee.
Read more about BC Parks policies for frontcountry camping before you go.
Things To Do in Fernie
There are many things to do in Fernie in the summer months. If this is your first visit, I’d suggest visiting Island Lake Lodge near the campground. It’s a beautiful place with dining options, canoe rentals, and hiking trails, all on over 7,000 acres of pristine wilderness. I personally enjoyed Spineback Trail and the Lake Trail.
If you’re not a hiker or it’s too hot, consider floating down the Elk River. You’ll fit right in with the locals and you’ll have a blast doing it!
And if you’re looking for low-key options, perhaps head over to James White Park for some disc golf or stroll the main street downtown. The Lunchbox is a delicious spot for wraps, soup, and smoothies.
Read more: 7 Things To Do in Fernie in the Summer
Have you ever stayed at Mount Fernie Provincial Park Campground? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.
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