The Painted Hills
Secwépemc: megmágalus stcwelgin (Brightly coloured or glowing hills)
Tsilhqot’in: biʔedetl’es dẑelh (paint mountain)
Stl’atl’imx (Fraser River): metsál̓tsen sqwéqwem̓ (paint on a rock, hill)
Nsyilxcen: miƛʼmən wist (paint mountains)
Liľwat7úl: q̓wázan sqwéqwem (blacken paint or dyed hill)
English Translation: The Painted Hills
16 Mile, BC
Located 15 Km north of Cache Creek on Highway 97.
Also known as location of the BX, The Ochre Hills, and Mother Nature’s painted hills.
Making your way north from Cache Creek on Highway 97 watch out on the left for the Painted Hills. So uniquely coloured, the hills are dubbed Mother Nature’s Painted hills and the Ochre Hills.
The Painted Hills are part of the Marble Range of Mountains which includes the Marble Canyon. The languages of the region were Secwepemctsín (Shuswap) and St’át’mic (Lillooet) with the boundaries of the peoples overlapping through the Marble Range. The closest two indigenous communities to the Painted Hills are St’uxwtéws (Bonaparte) and Tsk’wéylecw (Pavilion).
The hills get their sunny yellow and orange colours from the large amounts of iron and quartz in the serpentinite and dolomite outcroppings of this end of the Marble Mountain Range. Their striking beauty surely has been and will be appreciated by mankind through out the ages.
Interesting facts: On site you will find a provincial commemorative plaque that was conceived as part of the celebration of the centennial of British Columbia in 1958 with the B.X. plaque being added in 1966 to mark the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The stagecoach of the historic Cariboo Wagon Road also passed by this beautiful scenery in the 1860s.
Researched and wrote by Lana Rae Brooks