Fernie is located in western Canada in the British Columbia province. The nearest international airport is Cranbrook, which, is about 100km to the west. Calgary receives the majority of the international flights into the area as Cranbrook is relatively small. Calgary is around a 4 hour drive to the north east of Fernie, across the border from Alberta. For more information on the location of Fernie in Canada as well as getting there and around see our location page.
There is accommodation available in Fernie both in the town and on the Ski Hill with a regular bus linking the two. The majority of the weekly accommodation is located on highway 3 and at the ski resort, while the seasonal accommodation is available around the town. Be aware that Fernie is renowned for the amount of powder, which makes it a popular location for season long stays. This results in the limited seasonal accommodation filling up early, make sure you book before arriving in town. For more information on the accommodation in and around Fernie see our dedicated accommodation page.
The emergency services number in Canada is 911 and the nearest police, fire and ambulance stations are situated in downtown Fernie. The local hospital (Elk Valley) can be found directly behind the Best Western Hotel (which is located on Highway 3).
Health Care is chargeable in Canada, a doctors appointment will cost you around $50 with any presciption costs on top. Hospital visits are a lot more expensive so travel insurance is a must, make sure you have some organised before you leave home.
Emergencies on Fernie ski resort will firstly be dealt with by Ski Patrol who will get you off the hill and issue first aid as required. They do not generally charge for this service and will order you a taxi or ambulance if required.
Tipping is expected in Canada for meals, drinks and taxis, you should expect to tip around 10-15% for these services. Meals for groups of 6 or more will often find a 15% service charge has been added to their bill before they receive it. Be sure to read the small print about service charges on the menus, most establishments will state that they reserve the right to charge for service on bank holidays and for groups. This is standard practice across Canada.
It is also worth being aware that some of the prices quoted for various goods and services do not include sales tax, this can unexpectedly increase the price of your purchases. You can always ask if you are unsure if tax is applicable.
Although there is a regular ski bus that runs people to and from the resort, hitching is a popular method of transport. There are 2 hitching spots in Fernie, one just across the bridge towards west Fernie (on the corner of Riverside Drive), and the other at Fernie Alpine Resort. The one at the resort is located by the exit to the carpark area at the fork in Ski Hill Road (opposite The Mountain Pantry).
Hitch hiking is currently legal in BC providing you are stood near the road and not on it. Stick to the hitching spots and you should be fine, if there is a queue just wait your turn they tend to move quite quickly. As with all hitching there is an element of risk attached, make sure you take all reasonable precautions . If you are not comfortable with the driver or vehicle don't get in and if you are just not comfortable with hitching then get a bus or taxi!
Another thing to be aware of is that it is a legal requirement in BC to wear seatbelts in both the front and the back. Fernie's RCMP regularly stop and spot check vehicles at the bottom of the access road to the ski hill, not wearing a seatbelt could get you a $167 fine.
The currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted throughout Canada and cash point machines can be found at the banks. The majority of the bank machines in Fernie are located in the foyers of the various banks along second avenue. Many of Fernie's bars and hotels also have cash points inside, however some of these do not accept Visa debit, and most will charge for withdrawals.