Othello Tunnels also known as Quintette Tunnels in the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park

There are five tunnels which make up the Othello Tunnels built on the Kettle Valley Railway near Hope, BC. The pictures below are the Othello Tunnels also known as Quintette Tunnels as there is actually five of these tunnels.

The town of Hope is about a 1½ to 2 hour drive from Vancouver.  The Othello Quintette Train Tunnels are located just North Hope Off Highway # 5, in the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park.  As Dad likes to say, we’re “beyond Hope”.  To get to the tunnels from the town of Hope: take Kawkawa Lake road and proceed about 4 km, then turn right on to Othello Road and proceed another 4 km and look for the sign.

Thanks to Tracey for allowing me to use these photo’s from her Facebook album. Tracey writes, “It’s an easy hike along the tunnels and beyond, but I always feel like I’m discovering a secret place when we go there.”

1The trail leading from the parking lot to the tunnels.

The trail leading from the parking lot to the tunnels.

A view of a shallow part of the Coquihalla River along the pathway.

A view of a shallow part of the Coquihalla River along the pathway.

Nature...what a soothing sight for the eyes.

Nature...what a soothing sight for the eyes.

Some history of the Kettle Valley Railway that ran through here during the early part of the 20th century

Some history of the Kettle Valley Railway that ran through here during the early part of the 20th century

4Some history of the Kettle Valley Railway that ran through here during the early part of the 20th century

Some history of the Kettle Valley Railway that ran through here during the early part of the 20th century

The entrance to the first of the five tunnels

The entrance to the first of the five tunnels

Light at the end of the tunnel. It's very dark

Light at the end of the tunnel. It's very dark

The second tunnel is in sight

The second tunnel is in sight

Part of the sheer rock wall that the tunnels were blasted through, often at the expense of immigrant workers' lives

Part of the sheer rock wall that the tunnels were blasted through, often at the expense of immigrant workers' lives

It feels like a secret passage

It feels like a secret passage

The Coquihalla River. You walk right over top of it on the railway trestles

The Coquihalla River. You walk right over top of it on the railway trestles

Trestle that takes you over the river

Trestle that takes you over the river

The shortest of the tunnels. You can see the entrance to the next tunnel behind

The shortest of the tunnels. You can see the entrance to the next tunnel behind

Some trees carried by the river and caught in the chasm below

Some trees carried by the river and caught in the chasm below

The roaring water

The roaring water

16The sun starting to rest behind the mountains.

16The sun starting to rest behind the mountains.

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. It contains a 135 hectare land base. It is a popular tourist attraction for the town of Hope and provides viewing, walking, fishing and picnicking opportunities. The hiking trail links to the historic Hope-Nicola Cattle Trail. The engineer Andrew McCullough was an avid reader of Shakespearean literature, and used characters such as Lear, Jessica, Portia, Iago, Romeo & Juliet to name stations of the Coquihalla subdivision.

Park Size: 159 hectares
Special Notes:

A flashlight is recommended as lighting is dim while walking through the tunnels.

In recent years, the tunnels have become a favourite location for movie producers. Cyclists must dismount from bicycles while passing through the tunnels.

About Clayton Kessler

In addition to TracksAndTrails, I am proprietor of First Page Solutions, the home of Kelowna's Digital Marketing Agency. It is the base for my team and I to build secure websites with responsive mobile design and help entrepreneurs reach top Search Engine Rankings through SEO. I live in Kelowna, let me buy you a cup of coffee and show you what I do. Just send me a text that says, "lets beat the competition on Google" to 1 (250) 470 - 8704