What We Do

Hill Hiker, Inc. is a family owned inclined elevator manufacturer and contracting company specializing solely in outdoor systems also known as trams, lifts or funiculars.

Founding and Vision

Hill Hiker, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Bill and Laurel MacLachlan with the vision to create a better outdoor lift system that would lead the industry in design, safety and value.

They drew on 15 years of elevator industry experience, and the engineering expertise of Laurel’s father, Noel Davis (MIT Graduate and Inventor), to develop an innovative and award-winning design known worldwide for its superior functionality and attractive appearance.


1997 - 2000: Founding

1997 – Hill Hiker, Inc. founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota

1997 – First residential tram is installed on Lake Minnetonka, MN

1998 – First commercial lift is installed at a Eco Tourism resort in Belize

2000 – Hill Hiker® opens its own manufacturing shop in St. Cloud, MN

2001-2005: Milestones Reached

2001 – First golf course elevator is sold for Clifton Highland Golf Club in Prescott, WI

2002 – 100th system installed in Gull Lake, MN

2002 – Longest lift installed to date (505ft) in Belize

2003 – First lift in Alaska installed in Juneau

2004 – Hill Hiker® is featured on Today’s Family, a TV program

2005 – First Hill Hiker® on Catalina Island, CA is installed

2006-2010: Increased Capabilities

2006 – Hill Hiker® moves to bigger manufacturing shop in Annadale, MN

2007 – First Industrial application is constructed at hydro-utility plant in NH

2007 – Steepest lift (80 degree incline) to date is installed on St. Thomas, USVI

2008 – First camp retreat job is installed for Camp Maria Retreat Center in MD

2009 – First public school job is installed for Anna Arundel Public Schools in MD

2009 – Hill Hiker® acquires new heavy equipment (press break and shear) to improve shop capabilities

2010 – First job in Australia is installed in Sidney

2011-2014: Future Focus

2011 – First lift in the Bahamas is installed in Exuma

2012 – First state park job is installed for Ozark Folk Center in AK

2013 – First federal government job is installed for the Smithsonian in Panama

2014 – Focus on continual improvement and innovation are goals for the new year

Years In Business
Years Industry Experience
US States and Territories
Custom Made


The first Hill Hiker® Lift system was installed on the hilly shore of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. Since then, the Hill Hiker® product line has grown to include versatile lift systems manufactured to stand up to all climates and terrains — from the tropical rainforests of South America to the freezing tundra of northern Minnesota and Alaska.


Today, residential and commercial customers worldwide enjoy the comfortable ride, advanced safety features and reliable performance that only a Hill Hiker® incline lift system provides. Hill Hiker, Inc. can handle your project from planning and permitting to manufacture and installation.

Project Locations

Hill Hiker Team

Hill Hiker® Team

Hill Hiker Team Picture January 2014

Hill Hiker® Shop

Hill HIker Manufacturing Plant with fabracating tools and Outside inclined lift components and equipment

Hill Hiker® Service Truck

Hill Hiker hillside lift installation and service truck

Hill Hiker® Lift Systems

Hill Hiker US Installation Location Map as of April 2014