Hills is located about 30 km (19 miles) south-east of Nakusp
and 17 km (11 miles) north-west of New
Denver on Hwy 6.
Hills was originally known as Hills Siding, named after two brothers,
Alfred and Wilson Hill, who had a local sawmill in the area in the
late 1920's. The brothers built a siding next to the CPR spur line,
the Nakusp & Slocan Railway, which was then used to haul the
timber coming out of the north side of Slocan Lake.
During the period 1929-1934 Hills Siding eventually became settled
`as a small lumber community consisting mainly of Doukhobor families
coming from Saskatchewan. The settlement grew larger with other
work being provided by the CPR establishing a local economy that
was able enough to support two general stores, as well as a gas
pump and a post office.
To avoid confusion with other rail sidings along the CPR - Nakusp
& Slocan Railway route, the name was officially changed to Hills
when the post office opened in 1952. Eventually, the post office
had to close during a period of federal budget cutbacks occurring
in the 1970's.
Today Hills is a rural community with most of the residents living
in a few farms spread on either side of Hwy 6 and a few recreational
homes bordering Bonanza Creek where it empties out at the north
side of Slocan Lake. There is very little commercial enterprise
present with most of the economy revolving around small-scale forestry,
agriculture and tourism spread throughout the area.
Hills Garlic Festival
What started out as a local event at the Hills Community Park has
grown from a potluck supper to one of the major events in the Slocan
Valley. Outgrowing the facility at Hills the festival has since
moved to the waterfront along Slocan Lake at Centennial Park in
New Denver. The Hills Garlic Festival whose slogan, "Where
culture meets agriculture," occurs on the weekend following
the Labour Day weekend, bringing together people who love garlic,
bluegrass music, crafts and enjoy food kiosks.
Lake Provincial Park
If you would like to RV or tent near Hills, there is a provincial
campground situated at Summit Lake just north-west of Ski Summit
Lake. At Summit
Lake Provincial Park, you can find 35 vehicle-accessible fairly
small campsites near the lake that has fishing opportunities for
Rainbow and Cutthroat trout, boating, mountain biking and swimming
Beach Recreation Site
Situated on the east side of Slocan Lake just south of Hills is
one of the nicest beaches in the area at Wragge Beach. Here you
can find a great camping spot with a total of 13 fairly large waterfront
campsites with plenty of shade trees. To get here from Hills, take
Bonanza Road at Hwy 6 and proceed over the bridge to the beginning
of the Shannon Creek Forest Service Road. From here the way in is
a little confusing as the roads take several series of left and
right forks and the correct directions in need to be studied carefully
from the Recreation Sites and Trails BC webpage for Wragge Beach.
& Slocan Railway
Hills can also offer you great hiking along mountain trails or mountain
biking down the abandoned railbed along Bonanza Creek south to Hills
eventually to Rosebery and Three Forks just north of New Denver
or north along the east side of Summit Lake. The Three Forks to
Nakusp 57 km (35 miles) route uses the abandoned Nakusp & Slocan
Railway right-of-way. Access can be gained near the south side of
Summit Lake at Hwy 6 north of Hills or through the privately owned
Three Islands Resort where you can find full service RV Park.
Emptying in to Slocan Lake, Bonanza Creek, a major tributary comes
down the pass from Summit Lake through Hills into Slocan Lake. At
Summit Lake there is a small ski hill providing winter recreation
for the people of Hills, New Denver, Silverton
Besides Summit Lake for RV camping there is also another provincial
campground 5 km north of New Denver on Hwy 6 at Rosebery. Rosebery
Provincial Park has 36 vehicle-accessible sites and offers campsites
adjacent to the banks of Wilson Creek and near Slocan Lake on a
first-come, first-served basis. The campground is also near the
start of the Galena Trail, a recreational path that leads towards
New Denver, Three Forks and Sandon making
for an excellent mountain-bike ride.