Summit Lake has a small year-round population and quite a few seasonal residents. The community has a provincial park campground and a private campground on the lakeshore, and a ski hill with tube park. Elevation: 710 metres/2329 ft.
Hills is a hamlet at the north end of Slocan Lake with small farms and a quiet lifestyle. The Hills Garlic Festival started here and got to be so popular it had to move to the larger Centennial Park in New Denver.
Rosebery is a few minutes’ drive north of New Denver, a small community of summer homes, retirees and a scattering of locals. The community has a provincial park campground, Rosebery Parklands waterfront regional park, and one of the trailheads for Galena Trail, which follows the old rail bed from Rosebery to Three Forks.
Sandon is a ghost town from the mining days and brings in thousands of visitors every year. A very few hardy people live here year-round. The Sandon Museum is full of interesting artifacts. Many alpine trails are accessed from Sandon, including the very popular Idaho Peak trail.
With a population of about 500 and spectacular vistas across Slocan Lake to the peaks of the Valhalla Mountains, New Denver is small-town B.C. living at its best. The main street is inviting, with heritage charm and a laid-back, friendly vibe. There is a K-12 school, Community Health Centre and 24/7 emergency ward, community halls, a credit union, post office, grocery store, pharmacy, health food store, liquor store, gift stores, outdoor recreation store, a youth centre, accommodation options, camping, beaches, restaurants, and cafes.
Named after Denver, Colorado, with which it shares a mining history, New Denver was founded in 1892 by silver miners. It was incorporated as a village in 1929.
Elevation: 560 m/1840 ft.
Named for the rich ores discovered nearby in the 1890’s, this tranquil village of 200 residents is situated on the east side of Slocan Lake, five kilometres south of New Denver. Silverton has a café, a bustling hardware and building supplies store, a dental office and a healing arts professional centre, a curling and skating rink, a newly renovated community hall and performance centre (originally the Miner’s Union Hall) complete with grand piano, an art and performing arts centre, beaches and a municipal campground.
A small outdoor mining museum in the village, a trove of fascinating mining lore, and decaying relics on the mountainsides are what remains of Silverton’s boom days. By the 1950’s mining had all but ceased. Now, Silverton is B.C.’s second smallest incorporated municipality. In summer, the population doubles as the village comes alive with seasonal residents and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
Elevation: 550 m/1800 ft.
Red Mountain Road
Red Mountain Road is a mountainside scattering of homes in the thick forests south of Silverton. Back-to-the-landers gravitated here decades ago, and it still provides refuge for independent, self-sufficient families.
Slocan is located 28 km south of Silverton, at the mouth of Slocan River. With a population of 300, Slocan has a K-10 school, a post office, a community hall, a café, a grocery and liquor store, a restaurant, a gas station, and a few other businesses. BC transit provides daily bus service to Nelson and Castlegar. A mill town until very recently, Slocan appears to be on the cusp of a renaissance. Its waterfront has a beautiful park and sandy beach, a boat launch, and is the trail head for the Rails to Trails hiking and biking trail that parallels much of the pristine Slocan River. The village is also the gateway to Valhalla Provincial Park.
Like New Denver and Silverton, Slocan began as a mining boom town with hotels, saloons, and miners looking for wealth. Slocan became a city in 1901 and a village in 1958.
Elevation: 450 m/1480 ft.
Lemon Creek is a smattering of residences 9 km south of the Village of Slocan. Homes are spread out along a few roads off Hwy. 6.