The Othello Tunnels Rail Trail - Hope, British Columbia
The Othello Tunnels are located in the scenic mountains outside of Hope, BC, Canada. These tunnels were a part of the former Kettle Valley Railway which ran a rail-line through southern British Columbia. This section of the railway was decommissioned in 1959 and is one of the most picturesque rail trails in Canada.
Kids and adults alike will love the outdoor adventure and thrill of walking through the series of tunnels, emerging on the other side to spectacular Canadian scenery. Being former railway lines, the Othello Tunnels are tall and wide and not claustrophobic.
This section, along the rugged and picturesque Coquilhalla Canyon, is said to one of the most expensive railways ever built in the world.
The tracks have been removed and the old rail-bed is now a part of the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. This park, accessible from the Coquihalla Highway and from the town of Hope, BC, is a perfect rest area to stretch your legs.
History of the Othello Tunnels
The Othello Tunnels are located in the scenic mountains outside of Hope, BC, Canada. These tunnels were a part of the former Kettle Valley Railway which ran a rail-line through southern British Columbia. This section of the railway was decommissioned in 1959. Kids and adults alike will love the adventure of walking through the series of tunnels, emerging on the other side to spectacular Canadian scenery.
The tunnels were blasted through some towering BC mountains next to the Coquilhalla River. Each one is are large and wide and dark!
There's a total of 5 tunnels that make up the Othello Tunnels with bridges spanning between them. The powerful Coquihalla River rages below.
The 5 tunnels are straight in a row.
The easy walk is 2 km long (one way) from the parking lot to the end of the last tunnel. The trail continues south to the town of Hope, BC. Going through this passage feels like your discovering a secret portal for the first time. Forget about all the horror movies that you've seen otherwise the darkness may creep some people out.
The tunnels are about a 10 - 15 minute walk from the parking lot along the heavily treed banks of the Coquihalla River. There are spectacular viewing points both before and after the tunnels but the most stunning view points of the canyons from the connecting bridges.
The park is 159 hectares and offers hiking, walking, viewing and picnic areas. There's a small parking fee.
Cyclists must dismount when passing through the dark passageways for safety reasons. A flashlight is recommended but not necessary. The Othello Tunnels are straight so just keep walking towards the light.
How to Get to the Othello Tunnels
The park is located 5 km north of Hope BC. When heading south on Highway #5 (towards Vancouver, BC), take the turn-off on Othello Road and continue south for about 4 kilometers. Look for the sign to the provincial park at Tunnels Road.
When travelling away from Vancouver, BC, turn into the town of Hope and take the Kawkawa Lake Road for about 4 km. Turn right on Othello Road for another 4 kilometers. Look for the sign to the provincial park at Tunnels Road.
View Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park in a larger map
Source: Drive BC - Current Driving Conditions, Hope, BC.
Note: Much to the disappointment of travellers, the walking trail is closed during the winter due to frequent rock slides and slippery conditions. Access is closed to the tunnels as a precaution. Frequent rock slides were one of the reasons for the demise of the Kettle Valley Railway.
The Coquihalla Gorge is 300 ft deep in some places.
Things do to in Hope, BC
- Swimming at Kawkawa Lake
- Kayaking, Canoeing & boating
- Horseback Riding
- River Rafting
- Helicopter Tours
The following movies have filmed at Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park:
- Rambo - First Blood
- Shoot To Kill
- Far From Home: Adventures of Yellow Dog
Hope, BC is located 154 kilometers (1.5 hours) from Vancouver, BC and 239 kilometers (2.5 hours) from Kelowna, BC. The turn off to the Othello Tunnels is unassuming but this walk back in time is an unforgettable experience. This is just one of the many things to do in BC.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.