Climate & Geography in BC’s Lower Columbia

The West Kootenay’s Lower Columbia Region


The pleasing four season climate is varied and perfect for year round outdoor adventure. Sports and recreation are a way of life here.

Hot dry summers and mild snowy winters make this mountainous, river and lake-filled region a large visually stunning playground. Throughout the year, temperature and weather conditions are pleasant and easy to accommodate when recreating outside. Mountain terrain at high elevation may retain snow levels until July, while water sports become the norm in the valleys. The average temperature in winter is -10°C (14°F), and summer temperatures in July and August can climb to 35°C (95°F).

These links provide current BC weather conditions and driving conditions in BC.

Due to its rugged geography, the Lower Columbia boasts two unique climatic zones that are less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) apart, where the current weather conditions in Trail can vary greatly from Rossland. As moisture laden Pacific Ocean air from the West flows inland, it first passes over the Monashee Mountain range depositing moisture on its way East. Due to its location and elevation, the City of Rossland gets more than twice the annual snowfall than that received in the City of Trail located only 8.7 kilometers below in the Columbia River valley.

Known as both “Canada’s Alpine City” and “Canada’s Mountain Bike Capital”, the City of Rossland lies at an elevation of 1023 meters (3,356 feet) and receives 421 cm (14 feet) of annual snowfall. Slightly higher, Red Mountain Ski Resort’s reputation for “steep and deep” powder snow averages 760 cm (25 feet) of annual snowfall, making it an incredible tourist destination for world class skiing in winter and mountain biking in the summer.

Children having fun at Trail's water park in the summer months

The City of Trail, also known as “BC’s Number 1 Sports Town”, is nestled along the mighty Columbia River. This semi-arid valley bottom location has an elevation of only 413 meters (1,355 feet).

The Beaver Valley area surrounds Fruitvale and Montrose. Historically, this lush area was considered the best fruit growing area in the West Kootenay. At Columbia Gardens, just north of the Canada/US border crossing at Waneta, you can taste the local climate and geographic conditions when you visit our emerging wineries.