Fast forward 7 years (yes, our child is now 7 and time has definitely flown) and we finally made it back to Fernie Alpine Resort as a family. We braved the long drive from Calgary, we rode lifts we honestly didn't know existed before, and we discovered glorious beginner-friendly terrain that was perfectly groomed and easy to learn on. Fernie gave us a very pleasant surprise and we might have a new favourite hill on our hands.
|Skiing the lower mountain at Fernie Alpine Resort|
First Impressions of Fernie Alpine Resort as a Family
The drive really wasn't that long from Calgary. It took us roughly 3.5 hours to reach Fernie via the Crowsnest Pass into British Columbia and we even made it home Sunday in daylight! (totally doable if you leave early afternoon)
While the hill might only have 30% of its terrain dedicated to beginners learning to ski, we never ran out of runs to do as a family. We were pleasantly surprised at how many chair lifts we could go up together, how many different runs we could do as a family, and how much fun we had! We needed another two days added on to our weekend to fully appreciate everything this hill has to offer families.
There is tons of groomed corduroy at Fernie Alpine Resort! (and I'm a huge fan of groomers I can race down without a mogul or bump in site.) You'll even find intermediate terrain that's groomed.
|End of the first day and we were ready to tackle intermediate runs together|
|Ready to ski down from the Timber Chair together on our second day at Fernie|
Ski In / Ski Out Accommodations at Fernie Alpine Resort
|My fireplace in the Lizard Creek Lodge|
We enjoyed having breakfast at the newly renovated "Cirque" restaurant at Lizard Creek one day and also chose to eat out at the Kelsey's Family Restaurant on the hill for dinner Saturday night. Our condo had a full kitchen though and we made use of it for lunches and for Sunday's breakfast. Families on a budget would definitely appreciate being able to make their own meals right from the comfort of their own kitchen.
The other thing we loved about Lizard Creek was the outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, located right beside the ski hill. We could watch people ski by us from our cozy warm oasis at the end of the day. - and trust me, I could get used to a lifestyle like this!
|Lizard Creek Lodge, Fernie Alpine Resort|
|Swimming in the slope-side pool at Lizard Creek|
|Hot tub anyone?|
|The Ice Bar Experience at Lizard Creek|
Fernie Alpine Resort - A Winter Destination for the Whole Family
I really wanted to wrap up this review by mentioning that Fernie Alpine Resort is so much more than just a downhill ski resort! The resort maintains 14 km of cross country ski trails along with other trails dedicated to snowshoeing and fat biking. A family could spend a week at Fernie and never run out of things to do.
I went on a short snowshoe tour Sunday morning to get a feel for the trails near the resort and was very glad I did. The trail system was easy to follow and the trails were well packed down for easy hiking and biking. I saw several families out for a short morning walk with young children and I also saw many people out walking dogs on the trails. Having these extra trails right on the doorstep of your condo definitely adds to the resort experience and gives you more value for your money.
Both snowshoes and fat bikes can be rented at the resort as well so if you've been longing to try out this new "Fat bike" trend, Fernie will give you the opportunity.
|Snowshoeing at Fernie Alpine Resort on the Multi-use Hiking and Biking Trails|
We will definitely be back to Fernie next winter and we will have to stay longer than two nights! Next time I want to get up to Island Lake Lodge for some cat-accessed snowshoeing or cross country skiing. I also never did get the opportunity to try out the cross country ski trails at Fernie Alpine Resort. Just not enough time to do everything.
|Family-friendly skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort (photo: C. Truman)|
10 More Reasons for Families to Visit Fernie
|Family-friendly Fernie Alpine Resort|
The Fernie Alpine Resort website has a great list of reasons families should check out their resort this winter. Reasons include free night skiing for kids included with their day pass, $5 meals for the kids at Kelsey's, a kids' carnival in March, and a secret kids' ski area off the deer chair where the little ones can learn to ski trees just like mom and dad.
To read the full list, follow this list to 10 Kid Friendly Activities to Try this Season.
|Exploring the Kids' Trails off the Deer Chair (photo: C. Truman)|
For More Information...
For information on the Ski Resort, please visit the Fernie Alpine Resort website.
For information on other activities and things to do in the Fernie area, please visit the Tourism Fernie website.