Othello Tunnels — a Historic Attraction North of Hope, British Columbia

Othello Tunnels

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE PARKS WEBSITE, JUNE 2020: Othello Tunnels are closed for the season. Please respect this public safety closure as unstable rock conditions exist within the tunnels at this time. 

We drive the Coquihalla Highway #5 in British Columbia many times a year but have never stopped just north of Hope to see the Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. This time we decided to do it, and it was worth the extra time on our trip!

In the early 1900s, Canadian Pacific Railway built these tunnels to connect more of the province to coastal BC. To cut these tunnels into the solid granite in the 300-foot-deep channel was an engineering feat with workers risking their lives to complete. You can read more at the link to BC Parks website at the end of this post.

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.

It’s hard to believe this beautiful gorge and the Othello Tunnels, rich with history, is right beside the main highway and so many people miss this, just like myself, by focusing on our destination instead of the journey. This park provides picnic tables, areas for fishing, and an easy 1.75km walk on rough gravel to view the tunnels. The path was the railway tracks and has been converted to a loose gravel path with a gentle slope. It is a bit rough for wheelchairs and bikes but I saw both on my visit.

Tip: Bring a flashlight for walking through the tunnels, as the ground is uneven. When inside the tunnels, you will get dripped on. It water…we let our imaginations run wild and thought of the tunnel filled with bats watching us…not the case. 😉

You can read the detailed history on the BC Parks website and there are photos below this location map!



    • June 7, 2017 / 9:21 pm

      Thank you so much!

  1. Diana
    June 7, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    BC is so freaking beautiful! Looove the park’s tunnel and green river! You should give us a tour of your home country or at least show us some more BC!

    • June 7, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      Yes Diana! I agree. I’d like to arrange a tour for some of our gorgeous BC locations.

  2. Nina Tekwani
    June 7, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    Ohhh so many cool photos. It looks like a really pretty destination. Canada is so beautiful. I can’t wait to visit in a few weeks!

    • June 7, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      You’ll only see a tiny bit of Canada. Next time you can spend more time and explore!

  3. June 7, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Wow Sherri! I can’t believe that these photos were taken almost in your “backyard”! Beautiful Canada – someday I will visit and hopefully soon! It’s just too pretty to miss!

    • June 7, 2017 / 9:23 pm

      Thanks Grace! There is so much to see in just BC alone. Each part of Canada is so different. I hope you can visit soon!

  4. June 9, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Looks like a fun and popular adventure! I need to explore Canada… It’s so close yet I never get up there!

    • June 10, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Yes you should! There’s so much to see and each part of Canada is so different!

  5. June 10, 2017 / 9:30 am

    WOW! These photos are beautiful! I didn’t get to venture much further east than Burnaby, but next time I’m in BC I’m definitely checking this out!! I love our country – Canada’s full of so many beautiful places 🙂

    • June 10, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Thanks! Yes you need to go further than the Vancouver area, there’s so much to see all over BC!

  6. June 10, 2017 / 10:02 am

    The photos are beautiful! love the little fun fact about the stations being named after Shakespeare characters 🙂

    • June 10, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Thanks! When driving the Coquihalla you can see all the names along the way. I always wondered why they were named that way, now I know!

  7. Nerissa
    June 10, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    This place looks incredible!!! I have to add this place to my list! Such beauty, I love nature like this and history. Thanks for the great post.

    • June 10, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      Thank you! There is so much like this to see in BC. 🙂

  8. Afshin Chaker Ghorboon
    July 31, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    I loved it . do at least 5k in

    • July 31, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Great idea, next time I will or maybe bring a bike!

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