The Three Sisters Trail is located near Fernie, British Columbia.
[1- Three Sisters from Fernie - click to enlarge]
8 hours, difficult, elevation gain 770m (2,525 feet)
[2- Elk River near the Three Sister - click to enlarge]
The trailhead is accessed by starting at the bridge over the Elk River, on the north end of Fernie, travel east on highway 3 for 5.2km to Dicken Road. Turn left onto Dicken Road and travel for 600m. Turn right onto Hartley Lake Road. Set odometer at “0”. Follow rough, two wheel drive gravel road for 9km, passing Hartley Lake. At odometer 9, turn left onto a rough, 4-wheel drive track. Follow this track for 3 km.
[3-click to enlarge]
It is 6.4 km to the first saddle. The first half of this trail is through an old growth forest and is easy to follow. As the trail leaves the forest, the views open up as it enters a meadow and heads west. At the edge of the meadow, near Olivia Creek, there is a primitive campsite. Red triangles on the far side of the meadow mark where the well-defined trail resumes. The rest of the trail is very exposed. Hikers should be prepared for sudden weather changes, as shelter is limited. From the meadow, the trail begins to climb steeply.
Take care, as this steep section is slippery when wet. Until the Sulphur Creek basin is reached, the trail continues to be challenging and care must be taken, as falling rock, steep cliffs below the trail and a rocky face must be crossed.
After this rugged section, the trail enters the meadow at the top of Sulphur Creek, where another primitive campsite can be found. In this area, the trail passes near an area of Karst topography with sink-holes, caves and huge limestone boulders that tumbled off the shoulder of the Three Sisters. From Sulphur Creek, it is an easy hike up a good trail to the ridge.
[4 - Hikers on scree slopes of the Three Sisters - click to enlarge]
[5-Mt. Bisaro from Three Sisters Trail - click to enlarge]
Once on the ridge, there are fine views down into Fairy Creek, Fernie, and the surrounding mountains.
[6 - Backside of The Steeples from the Three Sisters looking toward Cranbrook - click to enlarge]
Lucky hikers may get to see mountain goats.
[7- Mountain goat - click to enlarge]
Less lucky ones may encounter a grizzly or black bear.
[8- Grizzly bear]
[9- Hiking out from the Three Sisters]
The Three Sisters are part of the Washburn Range in the Rocky Mountains, adjacent to the Elk River Valley. There is a legend about the Three Sisters: an Indian Chief was enamoured by three maidens and could not decide which one he would choose as a bride. When the elder chiefs asked the gods for their help in making this decision, the gods punished their indecisiveness by turning the young chief into a mountain (Mount Proctor). Upon hearing about this, the grief of the maidens was so great that they asked the gods to turn them into a mountain also – and so became the Three Sisters in Fernie.
Source: BC Forestry
Photo Credits: -Dru! CC=nc-nd-flickr, -Calypso Orchid CC=nc-nd-flickr, -steeljam CC=nc-nd-flickr, -atonal CC=nc-sa-flickr.
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