A dappled light drops through the dense canopy and the underbrush is impenetrably lush. In some areas the ground-level plants reach waist high, but depending on the light reaching the forest floor, the ground-level vegetation can also be very sparse in other sections along the trail. Growing under the canopy of trees is a vast diversity of plant species. In the spring, bright yellow glacier lilies blanket the forest openings. Pink trilliums attract attention between waist-high ferns, false hellebore and devil’s club. The avalanche slope southwest of the trail is thick with alders.
The Cabin Ridge trail can either be hiked for a short distance to just explore the old growth or hikers can climb the trail all the way up to the Thunder Meadows Hut. The hut is used predominantly by skiers in winter to reach Lizard Ridge and the steep and deep backcountry powder slopes of Snow Valley.
Island Lake Resort maintains the first kilometre of the trail, as it is on their private property and part of their Old Growth Trail.
Beyond that intersection, Cabin Ridge breaks off steeply on its own, south, toward Lizard Ridge and the cabin. There may be blowdowns and indistinct sections and loose rock near the cabin.
Thunder Meadows Hut
The following is a quote sent from the Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club, formerly the Elk Valley Ski Touring Association. This name change more accurately describes their four-season outdoor activities in the Fernie area.
We are a non-profit BC Society that has a commercial backcountry licence for the Thunder Meadows Hut. We built the Thunder Meadows Hut in 1993 and manage it for public use to enhance ski touring and summer hiking in the Lizard Range. Our hut fees just cover our expenses for the permit fees, taxes, insurance and maintenance.
For contact information, see the club’s website, at www.fernietrails.com, and also Contact Information and References.
Check out some of the many Fernie trails in entry #55 for more trails built and maintained by Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club.
Island Lake Resort Trails
Island Lake Resort owns a large property on both sides of Lizard Creek. They maintain and sign hiking trails for their guests and the public. See their other trails listed from entry #61 to entry #63.
Old-growth cedar grove only
Time: half day through old-growth cedar forest, unbridged small creek crossing, steep trail
Distance: 1 to 2 km in the old growth
Elevation gain: 180 m (600 ft.)
Continue to Thunder Meadows Hut
Rating: moderately long
Time: full long day to ridge
Distance: 3.8 km to Lizard Ridge
Elevation gain: 760 m (2,500 ft.) to Lizard Ridge
Lizard Ridge: 1900 m (6,245 ft.)
Trail: steep, braided trail; loose rock near ridge; forest and slide path
Maps: 82G/6 Elko; 82G/11 Fernie (NAD27)