9.3 miles
Distance
2,794 ft
Climb
-4,571 ft
Descent
03:42:35
Avg time

Heiko's Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
    Mount Fernie Provincial Park
    Fernie, British Columbia
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Wilderness Trail
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular in reverse
  • Climb Difficulty
    Double Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Season
    Hiking only from mid-June to mid-September.
  • Alpine Trail
    Yes
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #9357 in Hiking [+]
    • #77536 in Trail Running
  • Local Popularity
    70 in Hiking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running

A stunning hike that starts with a steep climb up the side of a waterfall, zigging and zagging back to the falls until you get to the very top of them, with a jet of water gushing out of a hole in the rock.

2km into the hike you reach Bisaro Cave – a huge cave that you can head into and explore the waterfall that pours down the back of it. While you can climb to the top of this waterfall, going any further is not recommended without expert caving and diving knowledge.

After the cave two creek crossings are made by traversing metal girders. Look for the names of the grandchildren of the couple that paid to have these girders heli-dropped into place.

A solid climb takes you to Three Sisters Pass, with stunning views, an option to climb to the summit of the Three Sisters (a solid 2-3 hour extra hike) and the trail that takes you down into Fairy Creek Meadows. Head down into the Meadows, full of alpine flowers, and then climb sharply back up to Windy Pass.

From Windy Pass, depending on your itinerary, either head towards the Tamarack Trail and Island Lake Lodge, or take the Rocky Road that leads over the top of Mount Fernie and back down to Fernie.

Island Lake Lodge is a worthy destination. A word- class lodge sitting above an alpine lake with majestic views up to the Three Bears mountain peaks. In the summer months you can sit on a stunning deck surrounded by flowers and enjoy gourmet lunch options and a cold beer.

Safety note: Rescues are required up here from time to time and it should be noted there is no cell signal for much of the trail and wildlife is abundant. A trip plan should be left with a responsible person in town, first aid and basic survival gear is needed, as is bear spray. Island Lake Lodge can provide hiking guides .

Access Info

Most people organise to leave a vehicle at Island Lake Lodge, and then drive another one to the trailhead, which can be picked up later using the one left at Island Lake.

The hike can be done in either direction, but most start at the Hartley Lake end: Drive out of Fernie heading North and turn left immediately after the Visitor Centre onto Dicken Road. Drive 4km down Dicken and then turn left onto Hartley Lake Road (signed). This road rapidly turns into a rough gravel road and you need to follow this 11.5km, past Hartley Lake, over Hartley Pass and down the other side. Turn left into Sulphur Creek road. This goes another 2.5km to the trailhead and requires an SUV. Big potholes full of water and a slightly tricky creek crossing with two metal girders to drive over. A big wooden signboard signals the start of the trail.

An alternative is to start as above, but to have a spare vehicle in Fernie (rather than Island Lake Lodge). In this case start at the Hartley end and come back via Rocky Road and Mount Fernie. Total journey time is about the same. Route is described below.

The trail can also be accessed via Olivia Creek: proceed as above but shortly after passing Hartley Lake and summiting Hartley Pass (about 8.5km after turning off Dicken Road), turn left into Olivia Creek road and drive for about 1.5km and then park to begin the hike. This trail joins the Mountain Lakes Trail at Three Sisters Pass. The Olivia Creek route is harder to follow and not recommended without local knowledge or good route-finding skills.

Safety note: Rescues are required up here from time to time and it should be noted there is no cell signal for much of the trail and wildlife is abundant. A trip plan should be left with a responsible person in town, first aid and basic survival gear is needed, as is bear spray. Island Lake Lodge can provide hiking guides .

Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Heiko's Trail hike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -1,777 ft
  • Altitude min
    4,596 ft
  • Altitude max
    7,477 ft
  • Altitude start
    6,372 ft
  • Altitude end
    4,596 ft
  • Grade
    -3.604%
  • Grade max
    -70.872%
  • Grade min
    59.373%
  • Distance climb
    4 miles
  • Distance down
    5 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,723 ft
  • Avg time
    03:42:35
  • Avg reverse time
    05:42:20
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Sep 24, 2021
Avg: 4.7 (7 votes)
Your vote: 0

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
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  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
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  • Videos
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  • mountain biking (>6 month)
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      Directions to heiko-s-trail trailhead (49.523680, -115.153940)
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      Heiko's Trail Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Sep 24, 2021 @ 9:17am
      Sep 24, 2021
      wasp nest by the cave, be careful.
      Sep 22, 2021 @ 10:04pm
      Sep 22, 2021
      reporter Reports of a large wasp's nest just below the Bisaro Cave that is very hard to avoid (and avoid getting stung). Previous hikers left blue gloves...
      Sep 22, 2021 @ 2:59pm
      Sep 22, 2021
      Grizzly bear bluff charged a hiker. A Grizzly momma bear and 2 cubs were also seen by other hikers (separate from bluff charge)
      Aug 31, 2021 @ 7:05am
      Aug 31, 2021
      reporter Closed Tuesday, Wednesday August 31 ' Sept 1 2021 while elevated boardwalks are replaced at the waterfall end.
      Aug 24, 2021 @ 4:58pm
      Aug 24, 2021
      Trail is in great condition. There is a large wasp nest after the Bisaro Cave right on the trail. The nest is right by the large tree that is down...
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 0 rides
      •  
      All
      • 14 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      15 |
      Aug 17, 2021 @ 6:46am
      Aug 17, 2021
      21 |
      Aug 17, 2021 @ 6:46am
      Aug 17, 2021
      35 |
      Aug 17, 2021 @ 6:46am
      Aug 17, 2021
      31 |
      Aug 17, 2021 @ 6:46am
      Aug 17, 2021

      Routes with this trail

      titledistance
      Three Sisters Summit [hiking only]7 miles
      Mount Fernie to island lake10 miles

      2 Reviews & Comments

      • + 1
      jefe (Jul 2, 2018 at 9:24)
       Why is this marked as Hiking only?? It was open to bikes last I did it and it made for a great all day adventure.
      [Reply]
      • + 0
      zerqz (Jul 26, 2020 at 13:32)
       Absolutely beautiful hike, fantastic views from the summit. I'm not a mountain bike rider, but I highly doubt you would be able to ride a bike on 90% of this trail.

      Brought my dog, he loved it, didn't have any issues. However there are some wooden ladders by the waterfall that might cause you some issues if you don't have a dog harness.

      The snow at the Three Sisters basecamp area was still melting when we went in July, so access to water for filtration was easy. If it's later in the summer when you go, you should probably fill your bottles are one of the streams getting close to the central ascent.

      10/10 will do again.
      [Reply]





      Videos

      more »
      Bisaro Cave
      0:28 | 457 | Jul 16, 2017 , Fernie
      Watergate on Heiko's Trail near Bisaro Cave
      0:15 | 243 | Jul 16, 2017 , Fernie
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