The eastern two-thirds of the country is composed of the rugged foothills of the Rhätikon Mountains, part of the central Alps.
The highest peak is Grauspitz, which rises to 8,527 feet (2,599 metres), and much of the principality is at an elevation above 6,000 feet (1,800 metres). The lower slopes of the mountains are covered by evergreen forests and alpine flowers, while their bare peaks are blanketed by snow.
The mountains contain three major valleys and are drained by the Samina River. The western section of the principality is occupied by the Rhine River floodplain, which, together with the valley of the Ill River, forms a triangular lowland widening northward.
The river valley was once marshy, but a drainage channel built in the 1930s has made its rich soils highly suitable for agriculture.
The climate of Liechtenstein is mild and is greatly affected by the warm southerly wind known as the foehn.
Annual precipitation ranges, according to location, from about 35 to 47 inches (900 to 1,200 mm), though some areas in the mountains can receive as much as 75 inches (1,900 mm).
In winter the temperature rarely falls below 5 °F (−15 °C), while in summer the average daily maximum temperature varies from the high 60s to the low 80s F (about 20 to 28 °C). These conditions allow for the cultivation of grapes and corn (maize), which is unusual in a mountainous area.
Liechtenstein has a remarkable variety of vegetation. Water milfoil and mare’s-tail as well as reeds, bulrush, bird’s eye primrose, and orchids can be found.
The forests comprise a mixed woodland with copper beeches, common and Norway maple, sycamore, linden, elm, and ash. Liechtenstein is also rich in wildlife, including red deer, roe deer, chamois, hares, marmots, blackcocks, pheasants, hazel grouse, partridges, foxes, badgers, martens, polecats, stoats, and weasels.