Nestled in the heart of the stunning Kootenay Rockies, in the far southeast corner of beautiful British Columbia is the peaceful mountain community of Fernie. At first glance, Fernie is a sleepy mining town that just happens to lie at the foot of one of BC?s many mountain ranges. Scratch a little deeper though, and you will discover a history rich in folklore, roots and legends, a vibrant arts and culture scene and a wilderness playground unrivaled in its diversity, beauty and wildlife population. The surrounding mountains are the spectacular Lizard Range, which towers over 2,000m above the town, and they just begin the circle which encompasses the city and continues through the boxy sweep of Mount Fernie, the dramatic peaks of the Three Sisters, the striated face of Mount Hosmer, and the gentle curves of Castle Mountain to the south.
Fernie?s reputation as a top recreational visitor destination has been assured by its prominent central location in the Elk Valley, which stretches from the rural lakes of Elko and Baynes Lake in the southwest, to the rugged wilderness of Sparwood and Elkford to the northeast. The valley boasts a wide range of activities that are sure to tempt everyone who ventures along the Crowsnest Highway. From the collection of lakes and rivers offering water sports, swimming, rafting, canoeing, to the rugged mountains that are crisscrossed with biking and hiking trails, you won?t be short of adrenalin-pumping sports to keep you active. If you prefer to spend your leisure time at a more sedate pace, then you will appreciate the golf courses at Sparwood and in Fernie, or you may like to try the world class fishing on the Elk River or one of the nearby lakes. Guides are ready to escort you by foot or boat to the best spots to pluck Kokanee Salmon or Rainbow Trout from the crystal clear waters. In winter, snow blankets the mountains, and the south facing aspect of Fernie Alpine Resort becomes a mecca for powder hounds from around the world seeking Canada?s legendary ?white gold?.
For nature lovers, 1,000-year old redwoods at Island Lake and an abundance of wildlife, including elk and one of Canada?s few growing Grizzly bear populations will surprise and delight the senses. In early summer, mountain flowers spring to life, painting the slopes with flashes of colour, while in fall the vibrancy of the changing foliage is heightened by the deep greens of the fir trees.
When William Fernie first came here in 1897 as a pioneer seeking the coal seams which have sustained the Elk Valley ever since, little did he know that he had begun a legend all of his own. By promising to marry the local Indian Chief?s daughter in return for the secret location of the famous ?black diamond? he began a chain of events that would not be resolved until 1964. On August 15 of that year, Fernie?s then Mayor, James White, smoked the pipe of peace in a curse-lifting ceremony with Chief Red Eagle of the local Ktunaxa and Kootenai tribes. The curse had plagued Fernie after being placed on the town by the Chief of William Fernie?s day, after he reneged on his promise to wed the Indian Princess who had worn the fateful necklace made of polished coal which had first led the prospector to ask for the secret of the source. Two fires in 1904 and 1908 razed the wood-built city to the ground, and in 1916 the Elk River, which snakes through the city, burst its banks and flooded West Fernie. In the Great Depression of the 1930?s, the final chapter of the ?fire, flood and famine? curse was written, as the population was ravaged by poverty, disease and starvation. Fernie is now a prosperous city, but on sunny evenings in summer, the legendary ?Ghostrider? – an image of the mounted Indian Chief, flanked by his daughter on foot, ride out of the face of Mount Hosmer, in a shadowy reminder of past wrongs.
To enjoy all that Fernie and the Elk Valley have to offer, stay at the Snow Valley Motel and RV Park, centrally located for easy highway access. The Motel, one of Fernie?s first highway accommodations, was first established in the early 1950?s with just six guest rooms. Over the years a second building was added with a further 13 rooms, and the RV Park was added around 1990. The Motel and RV Park were purchased in 1999 by keen outdoor lovers, Jason Burt and Veronique Roy. With tender loving care they have nurtured their motel, constantly upgrading and improving, including a major facelift in 2003 which gave the Motel an attractive natural-toned wood facade, cheerful planters, and two popular large family suites sleeping seven guests each. The RV park is an intimate tree-lined setting of 10 sites, with water and power available at each. Two sites also have sewer facilities. Shower and washroom facilities are located at the end of the park, and are provided at no extra charge. Fires are not permitted within the city boundary, however BBQ?s are welcome and picnic tables are also provided. Guests are welcome to use the whirlpool located within the motel. Within four blocks are grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, several restaurants, a bar and a coffee shop. Downtown Fernie is a an easy ten minute walk and has all the amenities you might require, including among others, hardware and sporting goods stores, nightlife, the popular local ?Arts Station? and the Vogue two-screen movie theatre. Jason and Veronique are the proud parents of two young children and when they are away from the motel enjoying family life, full time staff are on hand to answer any questions you might have and assist you with check in.
The Snow Valley Motel and RV Park is open year round and is located at 1041 7th Ave, Fernie, adjacent to Highway #3, opposite the Memorial Arena. Fernie is approx. 300-kms (190 miles/3 hours) from Calgary, Alberta, and approx. 190-kms (120 miles/2 hours) from Kalispell, Montana.
Office and reservation hours are 8 a.m. – midnight during the ski season, 8:30 a.m. – midnight throughout the rest of the year.
For more information, please call toll-free 1-877-696-7669, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org