Located on the western, warm side of the Rocky Mountains the Kootenays has four distinct seasons. Spring wraps the valleys in bright green and begins at the end of March with the arrival of swallows and American Robins. Harbingers of the near summer are the hummingbirds, which return to their summer quarters at the end of April.
Summers are sunny, hot, and dry. They usually last until late September and offer the ideal weather to discover nature in a variety of activities. Autumn brings warm days with bright blue skies, in which the deciduous trees and larches turn the forests golden. Winters are relatively mild but so snowy that ideal conditions are given for any kind of winter sports.
In summer, hikers can experience all four seasons in a single day. While summer flowers bloom in the valleys and swimming and canoeing on the lakes provide cooling on days over 30°C, the mountain lakes are still under snow and ice. In the alpine valleys, the first spring flowers do not sprout until the end of June, but within just a few weeks the flower meadows unfold a blaze of colour that surpasses any domestic flower garden.