Weather and Climate

Climate of the upper Columbia Valley

Valley weather
Photo by Bev Duthie

The Columbia Valley is a wonderful vacation destination, partly due to its weather. Snowy winters and long hot summers attract visitors from all over the globe. World class ski areas and golf courses help you to take advantage of the weather conditions. The lakes freeze over in the winter and are warm in the summer making for great recreational opportunities.

Winters are fairly mild with the average temperature between -10°C and 0°C. Seldom are there large amounts of snow in the valley with most of the snow falling in the mountains. When needed the local ski areas augment their main runs with excellent snow making and grooming. Back country skiing, heli-skiing and snowmobiling are well loved ‘valley’ activities. Make sure you check the weather conditions and the avalanche bulletins on this page before you head out. Lake Windermere and Columbia Lake are usually frozen over by the beginning of December. The Lake Windermere Whiteway is constructed on the ice each winter, with more than 30 km of trails that are enjoyed by hundreds of cross-country skiers, skate-skiers, skaters and walkers.

Spring comes early to the valley and the golf courses are usually open by the end of March. Ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon! Golf in the valley is excellent all season and there are many courses for all abilities to choose from. The weather gets a bit hot in the afternoons in August which is great for lake activities but, even then, it seldom feels too hot for the other summer activities like golf and hiking.

Rainbow
Photo by Mi Kai Lee

Hiking in the valley bottoms is a great spring activity. The snow in the mountains doesn’t melt until sometime in July so back country hiking becomes a great activity when the snow is gone. However, be prepared for snow at any time in the back country. Check this site for weather forecasts before venturing into the back country – in any season.

The Columbia Valley experiences a wonderful, warm and sunny fall. The lake stays warm, the golf is great, and hiking opens right up. Come and experience the sun and the valley activities that come with it!