A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)

Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

The Othello Tunnels have finally re-opened.

The webpage for Sea to Sky Parks, the contractor which operates Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, lists it as open, and when contacted by the Hope Standard, Sea to Sky’s Bethany Bill verified it.

“I am happy to confirm the Othello Tunnels are now open and welcoming visitors,” she said. “All visitor information for the park and tunnels can be found online.

The BC Parks web page for Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park has not been updated since March of 2020, when rock slides forced the popular outdoor destination to close.

In recent weeks, geological testing has been used to make sure there are no hazards and it is safe for the public to enter.

There were concerns that people were entering the area despite the closure, putting themselves at risk. An update posted April 6, 2021 asked them to “respect this public safety closure as unstable rock conditions exist within the tunnels at this time.”

Opened May 15, 1986 the 159 hectare park features five tunnels that were built in 1914 to accommodate the now-decommissioned Kettle Valley Railway.

Othello Tunnels is annually one of the top-10 most visited BC Parks.

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