Club profile: Fernie Snowmobile Association

Sled freak or ski bum, the Fernie Snowmobile Association has been making the Elk Valley more accessible to all fans of the snow-cloaked Rocky Mountains

by Kirsten Armleder

Four sledders parked on top of a mountain with the Rockies in the background.
Thumbs up to the sledders in Fernie who’ve worked hard over the years to keep riding areas open and make the terrain more accessible. Photo courtesy Throttle Ops Photography

Members of the Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) look after 150 kilometres of trails, but they aren’t the only ones using them. Throughout the winter, Fernie is a hotspot for sledders, as well as snowshoers, skiers and fat bikers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and beyond.  Over the years, the FSA has worked closely with these user groups to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to access the backcountry.

Main Fernie snowmobile area

The Coal Creek Trail System is the most popular place to begin your Fernie snowmobile adventure as it offers easy access to some inclusive play areas, such as the Rolling Hills. For more info, see our destination article.

Where is the staging area?

The Coal Creek Staging Area is approximately 3.5 kilometres up the Coal Creek Road east of Fernie. The parking lot is plowed regularly and there is sufficient space for trucks with enclosed trailers, but keep in mind that on the weekends, it tends to fill up fast. For more specific driving directions, see the FSA website.

Where to get trail passes for Coal Creek near Fernie, B.C.

Trail fees apply to the Coal Creek Trail System and they are $25 per day per sled or you can purchase an annual membership. Day passes are available at the Coal Creek Staging Area and at Ghostrider Motorsports and the GearHub in Fernie.


The FSA has three snowcats: a 2007 Prinoth Bison 350, a BR 180 and a BR 400. 

Last winter, the Fernie Snowmobile Association clocked over 5,600 trail-grooming kilometres. photo courtesy Fernie Snowmobile Association


The FSA maintains three cabins in the Fernie area—namely the Rolling Hills Cabin, the Wrangler’s Cabin and the Ram Cabin. The Rolling Hills Cabin is the newest and it can be found at the entrance to the popular Rolling Hills area. All three cabins have drying racks and are stocked with firewood.

The Rolling Hills Cabin is only 16 kilometres from the Coal Creek Staging Area and it is open to all sledders, skiers and snowboarders. Photo courtesy Elk Valley Snow Shepherds
The Wrangler’s Cabin, which is in the Morrissey area, is another great place to warm up while you’re sledding Fernie. Kirsten Armleder photo

Fernie Snowmobile Association meetings

FSA meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Park Place Lodge.

Annual snowmobile events for Fernie

  • Snow Drags: Organized by the FSA, the annual Snow Drags are a huge event that usually take place in early February. Sled freak or not, you’ll enjoy watching (or participating) in this high-energy event that sees racers coming from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • Moonlight Rides: Keep an eye on the FSA website because the club usually has moonlight rides going on throughout the season.
  • Family Days: Family Days usually take place at one of the FSA’s cabins and they are good opportunities to bring the little ones out for a fun and safe day in the snow. Keep an eye on the FSA website for the dates for this year.

How to join the Fernie Snowmobile Association:

Memberships are available at Ghostrider Motorsports and the GearHub in Fernie. You can also buy memberships online. It is $175 for a primary membership and $60 for the secondary.

Fernie Snowmobile Association club contact:

Nicole Matei, administrator. Contact by email.

Connect with the Fernie Snowmobile Association:

Club start date:

March 1, 1990

Current president:

Dave Hozjan (2017-2018)

Have you gone snowmobiling in Fernie? Got photos? Share them with SnoRiders and be entered to win cool prizes in our Hotshots contest

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