In 1808, Simon Fraser was the first explorer to visit the region, but it was decades later in 1848 when the Hudson’s Bay Company established a fur trading fort in Hope. Ten years later, during the Fraser River and Cariboo gold rushes, Hope swiftly rose to prominence as a gateway city to riches. Situated on the banks of the Fraser and edged up against the Coast and Cascade Mountains, Hope is a favourite resting point for travellers along the Gold Rush Trail as it’s the gateway to British Columbia’s most diverse scenery.
The Hope of yesteryear is best seen at the Hope Museum and Visitor Centre Complex where exhibits on the fur trade and gold rush days are displayed in historical settings. Explorers can take a few hours to walk through the Othello Tunnels located in the most rugged section of the Coquihalla Canyon. A feat of engineering, the tunnels are cut through the solid granite of Coquihalla gorge as part of where the Kettle Valley Railway once operated.
Hope to Yale – 24 km
SIDE TRIP: When travelling east towards Hope, consider taking the scenic Highway 7 (Lougheed Highway), stopping at the Kilby Historic Site located near the junction of the Harrison and Fraser rivers. The site stands as the only reminder of the once thriving community of Harrison Mills. Step back in time with a tour of the 1906 General Store Museum, heritage Post Office and Manchester House Hotel, each an integral part of the Harrison Mills community at the turn of the twentieth century.