Posted along the trail is a sign reading: “The Trail Crosses Private Property – Please respect the privilege – Use at your own risk.”
0 km: BC Tourist Information Centre/Fernie Chamber of Commerce parking lot. Trail heads into the bush on the east side of the building and angles steeply upward.
600 m: When the trail intersects an old dirt road, turn left. Follow the road uphill through a grassy meadow (ignore a small road that intersects from the left, downhill of the main trail/road; it formerly was the trail). Cross the fence and take the small trail uphill on the left.
750 m: The trail continues uphill and, in less than 100 m, intersects another road. Again turn left. Hike west on the wide trail through a lush forest of aspen, poplar and fir.
1.5 km: Just after the second gate, take the right fork. The trail heads steeply upward to the falls and the base of the mountains. (Avoid the left fork, the wide forest road you were following; it just continues along Fairy Creek.) For the next 400 m the trail gains 76 m (250 ft.), and then levels off again.
2 km: Welcoming rest spot at a picnic table, N88301-E39463, at 1120 m (3,670 ft.). This is the junction to the Fairy Creek Falls viewpoint trail. The table may be hidden in the bush above the trail. If, within 50 m or less the trail crosses a creek in a narrow steep gully, you have gone too far. Backtrack and look uphill for the picnic table, or look downhill to a steep, narrow side trail heading toward the creek.
2.1 km: A falls view trail descends 30 m (100 ft.) from the main trail, but this is the best view of the tiny waterfalls. Climb back up to the main trail and continue northwest to the end of the Fairy Creek valley.
4 km to 7 km: The forest opens out into thickets of 3-m-tall alder bushes. The lower slopes of Mount Fernie rise on the left. Good trail to here and the trail steepens and eventually peters out.
Fairy Creek Falls in mid-September, with a diversity of plant species, most in autumn colours.
Hartley Lake and Dicken Road
Road access for hikes:
Three Sisters Mountain
Mountain Lakes Trail (Three Sisters Mountain to Island Lake Resort)
Map: 82G/11 Fernie (NAD27)
Road map: see Fernie road map
Road: high-clearance vehicle
On Highway 3 from the BC Tourist Information Centre in Fernie, Dicken Road is the paved sideroad parallel to the highway. Dicken Road loops back onto the highway again in 4.1 km northeast.
0 km: From north Elk River Bridge in Fernie, head toward Sparwood on Highway 3.
800 m: BC Tourist Information Centre; continue on the highway.
5.1 km: Turn left (north) onto Dicken Road (northeast end).
5.6 km: In 500 m from the highway turn right (north) onto Hartley Lake Road; entrance is obscure but signed.
Reset odometer to 0.
Hartley Lake Road is steep and often muddy. A 4x4 is preferred for traction on the steep grade, but high-clearance is not required.
0 km: Hartley Lake Road junction with Dicken Road, N90400-E43300. Stay on the main road (barely one lane), smaller roads branch.
6.6 km: Trailhead and parking for Ghost Rider on Mount Hosmer, unsigned, well-worn trail to the right (east) side into the bush at a wide pullout on a left curve, N95907-E47349, at 1443 m (4,730 ft.). (There are several similar left curves along here, but only one has a well-used trail to the right.)
8 km: Continue on Hartley Lake Road for Three Sisters Mountain. (Avoid the fork downhill on left; it is the access to Hartley Lake).
8.5 km: Stay on main road (avoid small road on left, which is an old trail to Three Sisters).
10.6 km: Turn left (west) off Hartley Lake Road onto a prominent dirt road for the Three Sisters turnoff (at 7 km sign), N98894-E39167. Hartley Lake Road continues past the trailhead turnoff and on to the Sulphur Creek/Bull River roads. After leaving Hartley Lake Road, drive southwest for 100 m to a large field, where there is good parking for low-clearance vehicles. The remaining road is rocky with deep mudholes, but the grade is not steep. There is a weird steel bridge that you must align your tires with exactly or your vehicle will slip into the tiny creek. Drive 3.1 km to the wide turnaround at the trailhead.
13.7 km: Trailhead for Three Sisters, N97100-E37400.
Road: any vehicle; Highway 3