I remember walking through the Othello Tunnels as a child, splashing through puddles in my gumboots and squeezing my father’s hand when bats would flutter by. The Othello Tunnels, a part of Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, are a fun walk through local history with many great photo opportunities.
In the early 1900s, the Canadian Pacific Railway decided a route was necessary to link the Kootenay Region with the BC coast by rail. The railway was built over three mountain ranges. In the Coquihalla Gorge – the river cut a 300 foot deep channel of solid granite. A straight line of tunnels were built through it which are known now as the Othello Tunnels. There are spectacular viewing opportunities available on the trail, through the tunnels and on the bridges. This park highlights the Kettle Valley Railway grade that passes through the canyon and 5 tunnels which were built in 1914. [BC Parks]
Fans of the Bard will appreciate some of the nearby hiking trail names — like Lear, Jessica, Portia, Iago, Romeo & Juliet, and of course Othello — as engineer Andrew McCullough was an avid reader of Shakespearean literature. Pop by the next time you’re visiting Hope, BC or traveling up the Fraser Canyon. The Provincial Park is 1h 45m from Vancouver and just minutes outside of Hope.
Note: The tunnels are closed during the winter months due to unstable conditions, falling rocks and ice. They will re-open for the May Long Weekend.