The best time to visit western Canada is in summer from mid-June to mid-September. This time frame offers the best chance for sightseeing and hiking in good and dry weather; however, this seasons also sees the largest crowds and highest rates for accommodation. Consider a trip during the shoulder season such as mid-May to June and mid-September to October: the crowds are thinner; the room rates are lower compared to the summer months; and your chances of spotting wildlife are much better, especially towards autumn, when dozens of grizzlies converge on the spawning channels along the coast to feed on salmon. British Columbia is notorious for its abundance of rainfall in autumn, winter and spring, so unless you like non-stop drizzle and heavy rain, you best avoid traveling during this period. However, the Rockies are located far more inland and protected from most winter storms, making early December through March a perfect time for winter sports such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.