Trail: Othello Tunnels
Distance: 3.5 km
Location: Hope, British Columbia
Distance from Vancouver: Approx. 1 hour and 45 mins
Directions with a Link to Google Map: Click here for Google map
Ages of Children Hiking: 10,7,4,2
Stroller Friendly: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash
Time it took to complete: 1 hour 20 mins
Jelly Bean Rating: 1/5
Your kids may not care that you’re visiting a famous place where “Rambo-First Blood” was filmed, but they will be amazed at the enormous tunnels that they get to walk through!
**Please note: The Othello Tunnels are closed from November until usually late May due to falling rocks and unsafe conditions.
In the early 1900’s the Othello tunnels were carved out to be used by Canadian Pacific Railway. It’s an amazing thought when you’re there and realize what had to have gone into the making of these tunnels-especially 100 years ago when machinery was not nearly as advanced as it was today.
The tunnels are no longer used by the Railway and the tracks have been removed and the entire stretch has been turned into a wonderful family friendly trail!
**This is a popular destination. If you come here on a weekend you may have difficulty finding parking. If you haven’t had luck at the parking lot you can park along the road coming in. Be mindful of some areas, however, as some are quite clearly marked “Do not park”.
Even the view from the parking lot is pretty!
Head toward the entrance. Here you’ll find three outhouses. These are the only ones so encourage your kids to go now, or else there aren’t many secluded spots for the rest of the trail.
You’ll reach a little fork just past the outhouses. The left takes you out to the road, so hang a right.
There are a couple little trails down to the Coquihalla River. If you decide to go down to that area PLEASE be mindful that the river runs very quickly. There are signs advising against any contact with the water.
Keep following the trail. In about 20 minutes of walking at a 2-year-old pace you’ll come to the first tunnel. Just before the first tunnel, however, is a neat little rock face with a “cave”. My kids insisted we stopped here for a little climb.
Right ahead is the tunnel, but take a peek to your left first.
We’re so lucky to live in British Columbia, eh?!
The first tunnel of the Othello tunnels is the darkest, so if you’ve got a kiddo that’s a little fearful of the dark you may want to get out a flashlight or put one on your phone. If they’re not troubled by the dark it’s a really neat sensation to walk through the tunnel with limited visibility. We got to talk about what it must be like to walk through the tunnel at night, whether or not bats lived in the tunnel, and the possibility of vampires, obviously.
Once you’re through the other tunnels come quite quickly after. You get to cross a couple bridges that offer some pretty spectacular views!
Once you’ve gone through all 4 tunnels you’ll come to an opening on a trail. This is part of the Kettle Valley Trail that turns into the Hope-Nicola Valley Trail at the KVR junction. This is a considerably longer trail (5.4 km) but will lead you back to the parking lot. We didn’t go this way. Instead we turned around and followed back the way we came.
The kids were excited to go through the tunnels again! We got to see a date stamp that we didn’t notice on the way:
The kids were excited to know that the Othello Tunnels were older than Grandpa! We stopped again at the climbing rock for a while before heading back to the parking lot.
Jellybean Rating summary for Othello Tunnels
I give the Othello Tunnels a 1/5 in the Jellybean Rating. It’s an easy walk on simple terrain. There’s SO much to see and many spots for kids to have a break from just walking. As a bonus, in the summer time it’s super shaded so it’s nice and cool so you don’t have to worry too much about heat stroke on a super hot day! My kids and I have loved coming here for years and will continue to go back for years to come!