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Heiko's Trail (Mountain Lake Trail) | Fernie, British Columbia

Hiking Trail or Trailhead

Heiko's Trail is a diverse trail that takes hikers past waterfalls, caves, canyons, alpine meadows, old growth forest and high mountain passes, in British Columbia.

Heiko's Trail – Tourism Fernie

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

Approximately 45 minute drive from Fernie, British Columbia. Drive 5.3 kilometres east on Hwy 3 from the north-east end of Fernie and turn left onto Dicken Road. After 600 metres turn right up Hartley Lake Road (not signed, yard on each side of the road) and drive another 15 kilometres on this windy dirt road that climbs past Hartley Lake. Continue on this road and just after your second left you will see a trail marker post. Turn left, it is recommended that you park at the first lot. If you have knowledge of driving rough backcountry roads and a 4x4 vehicle with high clearance, you may continue on to the last parking lot. There is a large trail sign showing the elevation of the trail at the second lot, where Mountain Lakes Trail actually starts.

Estimated Time it Takes to Experience this Trail

8-12 hours

Access: The trail starts 2 km down a cart track, 3 km north west of Hartley Lake on the Hartley Creek Road, with a rewarding finish at Island Lake Lodge. Close to the trailhead is an impressive waterfall that comes out of the side of a mountain. You then pass by the very impressive Bisaro Cave. After a bit more climbing you reach a beautiful canyon full of bathtub waterfall features. After approaching the headwall there is a moderate section up the alpine meadows (which are full of wildflowers mid July - early August) under the south face of Mount Bisaro to the west ridge of Three Sisters Mountain. A steep descent down to Fairy Creek Meadows is followed by another climb to Windy Pass on the northern flank of Mount Fernie. Another long descent and traverse along the west flank of Mount Fernie ends at the top of Tamarack Trail overlooking the Cedar Valley and with views to the Steeples near Cranbrook. The final 4 kilometres is a steep descent through Old Growth forest down to Island Lake Lodge.

Highlights and Best Features of this Trail

Waterfalls, caves, snowfields, big mountain passes, and the option of making it an overnight trip. A high level of fitness and route finding skills are required. Island Lake Lodge offers guiding on this trail.

Trail Distance

22 km

Trail Vertical Gain or Loss

1,371 m