Hiking the Othello Tunnels

Hiking the Othello Tunnelsfoot

“The three tunnels cut through the thick granite of the Coquihalla Canyon and all lined up perfectly straight.”


Originally used as a train route in the 1900s by the Canadian Pacific Railway,

the Othello Tunnels have become an amazing part of the Coquihalla Canyon near Hope, BC.

The trail is approximately 3.5 km long and is very easy hiking. The trails are wide and graveled, and there are wooden bridges that stretch across the river running at the bottom of the canyon.

Much filmography has happened at this location, and the best known of them is probably scenes from the film Rambo: First Blood.

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When I went to the tunnels, I didn’t really know what to expect.

I never expected them to be anything overly exciting, but went there with an open mind and eager to see something special.

I was not disappointed at all.

As soon as the trail took me into the canyon, I was amazed with how beautiful the location was.  Thick granite walls stood almost completely vertical around me, and the roaring of the creek in the canyon below gave the location a peaceful ambiance. Thick moss covered much of the rock, and trees grew thick everywhere.

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When I seen the tunnels, I was surprised at how long they were.

I expected them to be short, but they stretched for quite a distance and the ceilings were much higher than I had imagined also.

On the interior of the tunnels, it became quite dark and difficult to see where you were walking, and water bled through the cracks in the rocks above.

The view from the bridges connecting the tunnels was amazing!

The deep canyon was full of color and intensity.

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I, of course, veered off the main trail to hike down to the river myself,

and was quite glad I did. I sat on a huge rock that hung over the water for about half an hour, alone with my thoughts, nature, and God.  It was very peaceful.

I didn’t stop there though. I spotted a log that stretched from one side of the river to the other, right before the strong rapids, and decided it would be a GOOD idea to get to the center of it for a photo opportunity.

After scaling a rock surface and one soaked shoe, I was able to crawl across and get a gorgeous photo.

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After returning to the main trail,

I played with some monochrome photography and light measures. I played with opposites and ended up with some of these wonderful shots…

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Playing with the light and dark inspired me to start on a new project for the end of the year. The shades were wonderful to work with!

I ended the visit to the Othello Tunnels with a selfie in front of the mouth of one of the tunnels.

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If you decide to visit, be sure to bring good hiking shoes, water, and a flashlight!

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