Hope and Laidlaw, British Columbia Travel information on TransCanadaHighway.com



Fraesr River at Hope
The District of Hope, with its 6800 residents, is at the eastern end of the fertile Fraser Valley and is the gateway to the Lower Mainland. Popkum and Bridal Falls are west on Highway 1, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs are west on Scenic Highway 7, Yale & Hell's Gate are north on Highway 1, and Manning Park is east on Highway 3. Located at the junction of the Coquihalla and Fraser Rivers, and flanked by mountains on three sides, Hope is squeezed in between the Coast Mountains and the Cascade Mountain Range.

Laidlaw is just west of Hope on TransCanada Highway #1, and is the gateway community to Jones (Wahleach) Lake. A 9 km steep gravel BC forestry road gets visitors to this high elevation lake, created by a Hydro dam at the north end. The water is diverted to the Wahleach powerhouse via a tunnel through the Four Brothers Mountain. Road conditions vary and may require 4 wheel drive; also, watch for logging trucks.

Hope District Offices BC Hydro maintains a recreation site at Jones Lake, with boat launching facility, fishing, picnic day-use area, and 30 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. The location offers spectacular views of the Cheam Ridge mountains, rising over 2100 metres above sea level with year-round snowcap. There is a hiking trail that begins at the midpoint of the east shore, leading to the Lucky Four mine shaft and Foley Peak. Boaters need to be alert for sudden winds changes, rough waves, fluctuating water levels, floating and submerged debris, and cold water.

Hope History

The Sto:lo first nations people called the area "Where the River Widens." In 1848, Hope began as a Hudson's Bay Company fur trading fort, though during the gold rush of 1858, fur trading became a sideline. That year, the first steamboat, the "Surprise" landed at Hope, and the town site was laid out. In 1868, The Canadian Pacific Railway trans-continental railway facilitated the continued mining of gold and silver. In 1914, Canadian National Railway came through the canyon into Hope, and the C.P.R. built a spur line over the Fraser River through Hope, the Coquihalla and into the southern interior of B.C (known as the Kettle Valley Railway). By 1929 logging was a major industry and Hope was incorporated as a village. The Hope-Princeton highway was constructed between 1945 and 1949, giving better access to interior recreation and resources.

FoundLocally's Business listings for Hope


Hope Image Gallery


Hope -Fraser River View 360degree panorama

Hope Attractions

Centennial Park
Alongside the TransCanada Highway #1 and Fraser River in Hope.
Centennial Park offers some of the best river and mountain views in town. A signpost points to the many mountain peaks surrounding Hope - Holy Cross Mountain, Mount Chawuthen, Crack Mountain, Dog Mountain, Mount Ogilvie, Thacker Mountain and of course, Mount Hope. The cairn also tells the story of Hope's origin, and the park gives visitors a close-up view of the majestic Fraser River on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Greenwood Island, directly across from Centennial Park, is an Indian reserve and a sanctuary for great blue herons.

The Fraser River is named for Simon Fraser, the first white man to paddle the river to the sea in 1808. He thought he was descending the Columbia River until the wild river made its abrupt westward turn at Hope (too far north to be the Columbia).

Christ Church
corner of Park and Fraser
Constructed by Rev. Pringle in 1861, before Confederation, it is the oldest church on the mainland still on its original site. The early Royal Engineers, under Captain Grant, helped in the planning and design of the church, which is commemorated with lags inside the church.

Chainsaw Carvings
Located throughout Hope
24 large chainsaw carvings by local carver Pete Ryan since 1991. They feature local wildlife-eagles, bears, mountain sheep, and cougars and Hope's past. Hope is also known as the "Chain Saw Carving Capital." Check wththe Hope Visitor InfoCentre for information on where Pete might be working throughout the summer and watch his carvings take shape under Pete's chainsaws.
Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park
Hope, off Highway #5. Take Exit #183, north.
Enjoy the tunnels, the Coquihalla Canyon and a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs. It is an easy stroll from the parking lot, through the tunnels and back).

Friendship Garden in Hope
Downtown Hope
Dedicated to the Japanese-Canadians interned during WWII, at a camp 14 miles east of Hope known as Tashm. Built in 1991, the authentic Japanese gardens were carefully modelled after the Japanese blossom trees that form the garden's outer rim to the circular walkway that leads up to the garden gazebo.

Christ Church (Anglican)
corner of Park St. and Fraser Ave.
Built in 1861, it is the oldest church in B.C. still on its original foundation.

C.N.R. Station
Located at the junction of Highways 1 & 3.
Built in 1915, it was moved to its present site in 1985 by the Hope Arts and Crafts Society. It now houses a tea house and art gallery.

Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park
off Highway #5 from Hope, Take Exit #183, north
It is an easy stroll from the parking lot, through the tunnels to view the Coquihalla Canyon and a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs.

Hope's Airpark Hope Airpark
Vancouver Soaring Association offers introductory glider rides and training. The VSA operates on Weekends from April to the end of October and is a noon-profit all volunteer organization. For more information call: (604) 521-5501.
Hope Flying School & Charters offers flying lessons, scenic air tours, and charter flights. Phone (604) 869-2819 (604) 795-7861

Hope Museum
919 Water Avenue (at the Hope Info Centre), Hope
(604) 869-7322
Hope Museum showcases Hope's history as a Hudson's Bay fur trading post and gold rush town. Depicts the various periods of Hope's development, with displays of native artifacts and early logging equipment as well as five historical settings including a parlour, kitchen, school room and blacksmith shop. Open May through September. Admission by donation.

Hope Slide
15-minute drive east of Hope on Highway 3.
View the site of the Hope Slide where 4 people died when Johnson Peak collapsed on the morning of Jan. 9, 1965. The slide sent tons of rock, mud and trees onto the Crowsnest Highway just south-east of Hope. Three vehicles were caught in a wave of mud, and the damage is still clearly visible, including the bald portion of the mountain that remains. The slide was triggered by a minor earthquake, and moved 46 million cubic metres of rock, soil and snow. Hope Visitor InfoCentre sells souvenir commemorative newspapers commemorating for $2.


Hope Station House
Hope's renovated 1916 Great Northern Railway Station now serves as Hope's community arts centre and has a gallery upstairs. It offers a vast selection of local arts and crafts and home cooked food.

The H-Tree
Located on Hudson's Bay St.
The story is that two little girls tied two young saplings together, the girls went their separate ways but the trees remained entwined together. They have grown into a giant H-tree, poetically symbolizing the first letter in the name of Hope.

Othello Quintette Tunnels
Coquihalla River at Hope Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park.
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.

The Skagit Valley Provincial Park
36 km south on the Silver Skagit Road, accessed 3 km west of Hope, via Flood-Hope Road.
This 27,948 hectares provincial park was the site of one of the first major environmental protests in BC, dating back to 1906 when the Seattle City Light Company had begun to dam the Skagit River on the Washington side. By 1949, additional dams flooded two square kilometres of Canadian territory and 1969 planned expansion finally led to a heated protest by citizens on both sides of the border. Eventually an international joint committee withdrew its approval and the park received its class A status in 1995.

The Chittenden Meadow self-guiding interpretive trail meanders through a dry ecosystem of prairie grasses and majestic ponderosa pine. The nearby lush Skagit River Trail takes hikers through lush coastal old growth and some spectacular groves of wild Pacific Rhododendrons (blooming in June).The 1998 addition of the Whitworth Horse Camp gives horse lover miles of trails, campsites individually equipped with corrals, high-line posts and hitching rails. The provincial Park also provides access to the Ross Lake national Recreation area in Washington State

Hope Parks

Coquihalla Campsite sign Here are the more popular parks in Hope, from north to south (see other area parks):

Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park
off Highway #5 from Hope, Take Exit #183, north
It is an easy stroll from the parking lot, through the tunnels to view the Coquihalla Canyon and a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs. Built in 1914 by the C.P.R. the five Othello Quintette 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.

Centennial Park
Alongside the TransCanada Highway #1 and Fraser River in Hope.
Centennial Park offers some of the best river and mountain views in town. A signpost points to the many mountain peaks surrounding Hope - Holy Cross Mountain, Mount Chawuthen, Crack Mountain, Dog Mountain, Mount Ogilvie, Thacker Mountain and of course, Mount Hope. The cairn also tells the story of Hope's origin, and the park gives visitors a close-up view of the majestic Fraser River on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Greenwood Island, directly across from Centennial Park, is an Indian reserve and a sanctuary for great blue herons.

The Fraser River is named for Simon Fraser, the first white man to paddle the river to the sea in 1808. He thought he was descending the Columbia River until the wild river made its abrupt westward turn at Hope (too far north to be the Columbia).

Jones Lake, Laidlaw
Take a 9 km steep gravel BC forestry road to this high elevation lake, created by a Hydro dam at the north end. The water is diverted to the Wahleach powerhouse via a tunnel through the Four Brothers Mountain. Road conditions vary and may require 4 wheel drive; also, watch for logging trucks. BC Hydro maintains a recreation site at Jones Lake, with boat launching facility, fishing, picnic day-use area, and 30 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. The location offers spectacular views of the Cheam Ridge mountains, rising over 2100 metres above sea level with year-round snowcap. There is a hiking trail that begins at the midpoint of the east shore, leading to the Lucky Four mine shaft and Foley Peak. Boaters need to be alert for sudden winds changes, rough waves, fluctuating water levels, floating and submerged debris, and cold water.

The Skagit Valley Provincial Park
36 km south on the Silver Skagit Road, accessed 3 km west of Hope, via Flood-Hope Road.
This 27,948 hectares provincial park was the site of one of the first major environmental protests in BC, dating back to 1906 when the Seattle City Light Company had begun to dam the Skagit River on the Washington side. By 1949, additional dams flooded two square kilometres of Canadian territory and 1969 planned expansion finally led to a heated protest by citizens on both sides of the border. Eventually an international joint committee withdrew its approval and the park received its class A status in 1995.

The Chittenden Meadow self-guiding interpretive trail meanders through a dry ecosystem of prairie grasses and majestic ponderosa pine. The nearby lush Skagit River Trail takes hikers through lush coastal old growth and some spectacular groves of wild Pacific Rhododendrons (blooming in June).The 1998 addition of the Whitworth Horse Camp gives horse lover miles of trails, campsites individually equipped with corrals, high-line posts and hitching rails. The provincial Park also provides access to the Ross Lake national Recreation area in Washington State

Manning Provincial Park
26 km east of Hope on the Princeton Highway #3
The Visitor Centre and core area of the park in the heart of the Cascade Mountains is located 68 km east of Hope.

As you enter Manning Park from Hope, you pass the carved marmot at the West Gate. A short trail loops through the forest along the historic Royal Engineers route.

Sumallo Grove is a great spot to get a feel for the wet coastal old-growth forests, with a wheelchair accessible interpretive trail. June is the best time to walk through Rhododendron Flats, with the bright blossoms of the Pacific Rhododendron.

Manning Park Resort, in the center of the park, offers a meeting place, camping, lodging, dining, and chainsaw carvings. is a favourite place to meet, enjoy a hearty meal, or admire the chainsaw carvings. From the resort to the Cascade Lookout, take the paved road across the highway a few kilometres to some of the most extensive sub-alpine meadows in Canada. Mid-July to early-August offers stunning apline floral displays. .The E.C. Manning Park Visitor Centre is one kilometre east of the resort.

Lightning Lake is a beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic, rent a canoe, try your luck fishing, or even take a refreshing dip in the clear mountain waters. The Skyline Trail, beginning & ending from the Lake, climbs up through the forest to scenic ridges leading towards the spectacular Hozomeen Peaks. This trail also traverses into the Skagit Valley Mt. Frosty Trail leads to the highest peak in the park, with stunning views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

Manning Park is also a popular winter destination. Enjoy the thrill of downhill skiing (with night skiing), snowboarding, tobogganing, groomed cross-country trails, or 73 km of back-country touring routes from Fat Dog Creek and Three Brothers.


Highway Notes

Hope is a major junction of five highway: the #1 Trans-Canada Highway, which turns into a divided highway west all the way to Vancouver, the scenice #7 Lougheed Highway which winds through the gently rolling farmlands of the north shore of the Fraer Valley, The scenic #1 Trans-Canada Highway which is a two land road to the north up the Fraser River canyon, The Coquihalla Highway #5 (originally built as a toll highway) which is fast and direct limited-access route to the Okanagan and to Kamloops (with Merritt being the only community with services along the way), The Crowsnest Highway #3 which is a scenice up-and-down 2 lane road thoorugh southern BC, ending up in Medicine HAt, Alberta. Everybody driving coast-to-coast needs to see the stunning Thompson and Fraser River canyons, though the two lane road can be a bit nerve-wracking in the busy summer tourist season. For those in a hurry, the Coquihalla makes the drive to Kamloops a tight four hours.

Bicylists must take the #7 west of Hope, which takes you right into downtown Vancouver (we've marked some distance-saving shortcuts on that city's map), with a number of towns, cities and fruit-stands along the way for sustenance. Cyclists should take the #1 going north, since the Coquihalla has virtually no services. Though the #1 along the Fraser is busy, the route is very scenic and cyclists have the advantage of being able to stop at many more places to enjoy the stunning scenery (cars just can't safely stop fast enough at highway speeds at anything of interest).

Map of Hotels and Attractions

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