Author and historian Joe Smuin will lead us on a walking tour through the Othello Tunnels, one of many engineering marvels of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR).
In celebration of the KVR’s 100th birthday, Joe will share some of the hair-raising stories of the railway’s construction and day-to-day operations. Joe has published a number of books about the KVR and given numerous public talks. His photo collection is extensive and he’ll be able to show you detailed historic photos of the Othello Tunnels as they were being constructed and during the heyday of their operation.
In addition to the tunnels tour, you have the option of exploring the historic “Hope-Nicola Valley Trail”. Built by the BC Public Works Department in 1876 to bring cattle over the mountains from Merritt, the trail offers scenic views and old-growth forests. The trail forms a loop, bringing you back to the Othello Parking Lot where the program began.
$45/person – NEW PRICE!
- Historian Joe Smuin
- Naturalist Kelly Pearce
- Guided tour of KVR Othello Tunnels and historic Hope-Nicola Valley Trail
- First aid support
Othello Tunnels provide easy walking on gentle railway grade, with a round-trip distance of 4 km. The Tunnels are also wheelchair accessible. Trail surface is gravel.
Hope-Nicola Valley Trail is optional, adding 1.4 km to your outing, for a total round-trip distance of 5.4 km. The trail has some steep sections but is easily travelled by people of average fitness. Wheelchairs can’t access the Hope-Nicola Valley Trail.
10:00 AM – Meet at Othello Tunnels Parking Lot in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. Sign waiver, begin walking tour.
Noon – Enjoy lunch on the trail.
1:00 PM – Walk back to the parking lot through the tunnels (30 minutes), or join Kelly Pearce for a hike back to your car via the historic Hope-Nicola Valley Trail (1 hour).
2:00 PM – Arrive back at Othello Parking Lot.
Participants are responsible for their own transport and carpooling is encouraged.
Recommendation for things to bring:
- Clothes for changing weather
- Sturdy footwear
- Historic books, photos, artifacts you may want to share
While we love dogs, we ask that you please leave yours at home.
Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions.
Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
If you are bringing children that you are not parent or legal guardian for, you need to get the informed consent form done ahead of the program and bring it along to participate.
If a registration is cancelled 7 days or more before a program starts, HMCOL will refund the program fee and equipment rental fees (as applicable) minus an administrative cost of $20 per person. Program and equipment rental fees will not be refunded if a cancellation is received less than 7 days before the start of a program. A program may be cancelled at the discretion of HMCOL. If a program is cancelled, participants will receive a full refund of program and equipment fees.
A note about liability
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants. While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.