Location: Near the junctions of Highways 1, 3, 5 and 7 (the TransCanada, Crowsnest, Coquihalla and Lougheed Highways); 154 kilometres (96 miles) east of Vancouver. Hope is at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland region and the southern end of the Fraser Canyon, where the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers meet. Population: 6185. Visitor Information: Hope Visitor Centre and Museum Complex 919 Water Avenue, Hope BC V0X 1L0; Phone: (604) 869-2021; Email: email@example.com; Website: www.hopebc.ca
The history of Hope began up to 10,000 years ago when the Stó:lō First Nation established the village of Ts'qo:ls at the confluence of the rivers. In 1808, Simon Fraser was the first European to visit Ts'qo:ls as part of a North West Company exploration. In 1848, the Hudson’s Bay Company determined this area to be the ‘best hope’ for finding a trailhead inland and established Fort Hope. The 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush altered the landscape and the relationship between First Nations and European inhabitants. In 1859, Rev. Alexander Pringle founded the first library on the BC mainland and the local Anglican Church. Now, Christ Church National Historic Site is the oldest church on the mainland still holding services on its original site.
The Hope Museum, located downtown with the Visitors Centre at 919 Water Avenue, has a number of permanent and temporary exhibits related to the human history of the area. Fifteen minutes east of Hope, the Sunshine Valley Tashme Museum recently received a Heritage BC Award for its tribute to Japanese-Canadians confined at the WWII internment camp formerly located there.
Hope is home to a number of natural and manmade attractions. The most popular is Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, home of the Othello Tunnels, which were completed in 1916 as part of the Kettle Valley Railway. The KVR was decommissioned in the 1960s and ultimately turned into a walking and cycling trail. The tunnels are open from May to October and the trail provides a spectacular view of the Coquihalla River as it passes through a deep, narrow gorge. The Othello Tunnels Campground and RV Park is within easy walking distance from the Park.
Hope’s summertime outdoor recreation opportunities include hiking, biking, trail running, swimming and golf. In the winter, enjoy snowshoeing, skating, back-country and resort skiing and incredible nordic skiing. Hope is a popular location for filming, with titles including Rambo: First Blood and Shoot to Kill. In the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area on Highway 5, Steinbok Peak was used for the climbing scenes from the movie K2.