Last weekend my family and I drove out to Hope and hiked around Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park (the park is more commonly known as Othello Tunnels!). We’ve all been here before as a family, but that was years ago, and we were due for another visit.
The tunnels were once a part of the Kettle Valley Railway in the early 1900s. Today, the tunnels and the rest of the park are tourists attractions where visitors can walk, hike, picnic and go fishing! Swimming isn’t really encouraged due to the rocky ledges and unpredictability of the river; visitors can enjoy the view of the beautiful turquoise water from the bridges and walkways.
Whenever I hike with family or friends there is this running joke where we keep track of how many times I’ve tripped or almost-tripped during the hike. When visiting Othello Tunnels I prepared myself to reach ten, maybe fifteen almost-trips. However, to my own and everyone’s surprise, I kept my trip count to zero during this little adventure (YES!!).
In all seriousness, the tunnels are incredibly dark. I encourage any of you who consider visiting this place to bring a headlamp or flashlights just to be safe!!
After going through the tunnels the main path enters a forest and splits into the Hope-Nicola Valley Trail. My family and I tackled this tricky 6 km trek, which eventually loops back to the main parking area. What made this part of our hike difficult was the incline along the mountain. As the path got steeper, we were huffing, puffing and sweating buckets. You should have seen our faces when we realized the trail was winding downwards – we were so, so happy.