The Othello Quintette Tunnels were built in 1914 for the Canadian Pacific Railway for the purpose of navigating pass the mountains and connecting the west coast of Canada with the Kootenay region. To bypass the mountains the railway built 5 tunnels through the mountains, instead of around.
In 1959 the railway discontinued running trains through the tunnels. It was soon later the route was transformed into a recreation trail which forms the KVR (Kettle Valley Rail Trail) and part of the Trans Canada Trail which explores the entire country.
The five tunnels form part of the world famous KVR. The KVR is a recreation route that stretches from the community of Hope, BC to Greenwood, BC. It is most popular for biking and hiking. Some sections of the trail permit snowmobiles and horseback riding.
The Kettle Valley Railroad Trail connects to other railway trails in British Columbia including the Columbia & Western Railway (Midway, BC to Castlegar, BC) and the Nakusp & Slocan Railway (Slocan, BC to Nakusp, BC) and the Columbia & Kootenay Railway (Salmo, BC to Nelson, BC).
To access the Othello Quintette Tunnels there is a parking lot with a short access trail which hooks into the trail and leads to the tunnels. From the parking area to the end of the last tunnel is about 1.5 kilometres one-way. The short walk includes some fantastic views of the Coquihalla Canyon and Coquihalla River.
Near the parking lot are a few picnic tables and some pit toilets. The parking area, the short access trail and the Othello Quintette Tunnels form part of the 159 hectare Coquihalla Canyon Park.