Rugged limestone passes and ridges are part of the route, but fabulous scenery and open alpine meadows completes the day hike. You can do the hike from either direction. Stop at Island Lake for a drink after you complete your car shuttle.
Wilderness skills are necessary for this route, as it was constructed for experienced hikers only and is not suitable for dogs. The route takes at least eight to ten hours. Wildlife such as bears, both black and grizzly, live in these high places and it is advisable to hike in groups and let the animals know of your approach.
Mount Fernie cutoff, a.ka. “Rocky Way”
The Rocky Way–Mount Fernie Trail cutoff intersects with the Mountain Lakes Trail at 8.3 km from Island Lake Resort at West Fernie Pass. Begin at Island Lake Resort and descend via the cutoff about 15 km, or start from Three Sisters Trailhead and take the cutoff to shorten the hike by about 5 km. The trails may be hiked from either direction.
At West Fernie Pass, N89461-E35123, 2133 m (7,000 ft.), the trail heads generally south to a pass on the ridge of Mount Fernie, N87207-E37297, at 1975 m (6,480 ft.). The route heads east and down the open southeast slopes of Mount Fernie. The exact final location was not complete in 2008, as it fades out on the power line by the development on southeast side of Fairy Creek. The trail builders are trying to create an improved terminus at a public parking area. (Trail research by DH and PG.)