Before we moved out here, we had visited with my cousin who moved a few years ago. He's been a great resource for us on things to see, and thankfully my boyfriend remembered his tip about checking out the Othello Tunnels in Hope.
The Othello Tunnels are old railway tunnels that had been blasted through mountains back in 1911. They are no longer in use and you can now go and walk them. It's a pretty eerie experience, and I'd recommend bringing a flashlight as a couple of the tunnels are very long and dark, and the ground can be pretty uneven.
I love being able to walk on the old bridges out over the rapids. It's one of those experiences that can really remind you of how majestic nature truly is. It's also pretty unbelievable to think about all of the man hours (and lives) that went into creating these tunnels...
About half an hour North of Hope, on Hwy 1, you will find Hell's Gate - a pretty well known attraction out in this area. Though the prices a little high, the views and history of the area are well worth the visit (plus when you visit once, you can reuse your tickets for the remainder of the year! Great deal if you think you will go back more than once... and we know we will!). This is one place where the true beauty and force of nature will "Wow" you!
Be sure to take the Air Tram from the upper terminal to the lower, and take a stroll over the suspension bridge. Though I am afraid of heights, I conquered my fears and did both and it was well worth it. The views from the AirTram will wow you, and the sights and sounds of the raging rapids below the bridge will take your breath away.
While you are there be sure to try the Salmon Chowder at Simon's Cafe - pretty pricey but absolutely delicious! Also stop into the Fudge Factory! Though we didn't purchase any Fudge, we did sample it and it's some of the best I've had. It's made directly on site, so you can't go wrong. If Fudge isn't your thing, get some ice cream! They're single scoops are bigger than you would expect and the ice cream is delicious... especially on one of their waffle cones that they make.
It's a very family friendly trip to take as the kids will love trying out gold panning on sight and can even get a history lesson while they are there.
If you are more of an adrenaline junkie - there are also opportunities to raft these waters!
This piece of the #1 highway winds along beside the Fraser River most of the way. There are 7 tunnels on this road, the longest of which is near Boston Bar. You travel through some really beautiful scenic areas along this roadway. This would be an awesome road to travel on a bike, too.
We actually stopped along the highway and explored an old tunnel that is no longer in use. If you walk all the way through this tunnel, you won't believe the view from the other end! It is hard to imagine that the original highway used to be a "bridge" attached to the side of the mountain when you came out of this tunnel! I'm not sure I could have drove on that old road!
Yes there are a lot of them around Hope.
There is a story to this carving, it is of "chip" an R.C.M.P. service dog, who was killed in the line of duty near Hope, British Columbia, on September 13th ;l996, while protecting his partner and friend Cst. Doug Lewis.
The carving has the above inscription on it.
Carver - Peter Ryan.
ENLARGE FOR FULL EFFECT
Famous Hell's Gate, in the scenic Fraser Canyon, is nature at its most magnificent. Descending smoothly from highway level in one of our two comfortable 25-passenger cabins, you'll experience a breathtaking flight directly above the unique Hell's Gate fishways, where two million sockeye salmon challenge the river each year on their epic journey to their inland spawning grounds.
At the lower terminal, after a 502 foot (152m) descent across the canyon, there are observation points to view the mighty Fraser River, where at peak level, 200 million gallons of water per minute leap and surge through the 110-foot-wide (35m) gorge.
Learn about early explorer Simon Fraser & view the award winning video: "Run Sockeye, Run". Open daily March 28 to October 20, 2002.
Hope is located 150 km east of Vancouver, and is at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway (\#1) Crowsnest Highway (#3), the Coquihalla (#5) and the Lougheed Highway (#7).
The city has a magnificent setting on the banks of the Fraser River with the Cascade Mountains forming a natural amphitheatre behind it. Hope is known as “the Chainsaw Carving Capital” and offers walking tours to sites of 20 giant wooden sculptures, all carved by local artist Peter Ryan.
Don't miss the Othello Quintette Tunnels. One of the world’s greatest engineering feats, this series of tunnels was blasted for the now defunct Kettle Valley Railway. You can walk through these tunnels, where the Rambo-series movie First Blood was filmed, and over the two bridges that span the spectacular Coquihalla Gorge.
Built in 1914 by the C.P.R. Five tunnels were dug simultaneously, an engineering feat. Engineer Andrew McCulloch designed the tunnels as a unique way to get through the Coquihalla gorge where the river had cut a 300-foot deep channel in a wall of solid granite. The tunnels took five years to build and were completed in 1916 to finish the Kettle Valley Railway. The location was used for
filming several major motion pictures, including First Blood (Rambo), Shoot To Kill and most recently Far from Home: Adventures of Yellow Dog. Hiking trails, parks, and lakes dot the area, and flashlights are recommended for inside the tunnels.
This chainsaw carving of the great bear, was the first in Hope's collection of chainsaw carvings, and can be viewed on Wallace Street. by the Memorial Gardens.