Middle Sister via Heiko’s Trail (2 days / 18 km)

Heiko’s Trail (also known as Rocky Road, or Mountain Lake’s Trail), is a popular route that takes hikers into the alpine backcountry near Fernie, BC. The trail has a nice diversity of ecozones and trail styles and can be done as a relaxed overnight trip. It was created by the late, legendary founder of Fernie Alpine Resort, Heiko Socher.

I’ve done this trail twice and will include details from both trips, but with a focus on the more recent September 2023 trip. The hiking on Heiko’s is not too difficult, but the route is remote with no services, so hikers should be familiar with backcountry travel.

Trip Completed: September 2023/August 2022

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Hartley Lake Road Trailhead

Ending Point: Hartley Lake Road Trailhead (out and back)

Total Distance: 18 km (including summit hike)

Elevation Gain: 1360m

Duration: 2 days/1 night

Difficulty: Intermediate

Location: Fernie, BC

Traditional Territory: This route passes through the following traditional territories: Ĩyãħé Nakón mąkóce (Stoney), Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis

Maps & Resources


Rumors, Routes & Rapids by Bernie Palmer and Steve Short

Hiking Heiko’s Trail in Fernie BC | Tourism Fernie 

Topographic Maps for Heiko's Trail:



Permits & Reservations

Campsite Reservations / Permits: This hike is on crown land, no reservations or permits are required.

Know Before You Go

Season: Mid June-Early October

Cell Reception: Some cell reception in summer

Water: There is water up until km 10, at Fairly Creek Meadows. No water at Windy Pass or summit.

Wildlife: The area is known for its grizzly bear population. Encounters are common at Fairy Creek Meadows and Windy Pass.  

Waste: Outhouse at Trailhead and lower campsite. Pack out all garbage.

Outfitters & Shuttles

Outfitter: We did not use an outfitter for this trip. Hike Fern...

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