Travel Back in Time to the Hope – Princeton Highway in 1966

Manning Park _1966_2

As many of you already know, we’ve been digitizing 16mm photolog footage from 1966 to give you our BC Road Trip Time Machine video series. We love this stuff and you do to. In fact, some of you have loved it so much, you’ve set out on your own road trips to document modern day roads and compare them to our time machine footage – awesome stuff. Get ready for more amazing footage with our latest installment, which takes us from Hope to Princeton on BC Highway 3, as it was in 1966.

What makes this footage so special?
Some of you may know that, a year before this photolog footage was taken, the largest known landslide in Canadian history occurred on this stretch of highway. Devastatingly, it took four lives with it and changed the landscape of the area forever.

Boulder at the foot of Hope Slide_January_1965

A Department of Highways worker stands in front of a massive boulder at the foot of the Hope Slide in 1965.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 9th, 1965 nearly half of Johnson Peak collapsed and descended into the Nicolum Valley, approximately 20 km east of Hope, destroying nearly four kilometres of Highway 3 (the Hope-Princeton Highway) and filling up the bottom the valley with rock and mud up to a depth of 200 feet. Outram Lake at the foot of the slide area was completely filled with debris.

Department of Highways (our old name) crews worked tirelessly for 13 days in order to re-establish the highway connection and in this photolog video you can actually see the path they cut through the debris to reconnect the road. In the early 1980’s the highway alignment was rerouted around the base of the slide debris field, instead of through it. Visitors to the area today can pull of the highway and visit a monument dedicated to the event.

Map of slide

An overview of the Hope Slide, the old Highway 3 alignment and the current alignment.

In the years since the slide occurred, the Hope-Princeton Highway has seen many other changes and improvements including:

Before the construction of the Coquihalla (BC Highway 5) in 1986, BC Highway 3 (also known as the Southern Trans-Canada Highway) was one of two primary routes for motorists travelling from the Lower Mainland to the interior of the province and beyond.  The other route was the Trans-Canada also known as BC Highway 1, which heads north out of Hope through the Fraser Canyon, toward Kamloops and then east across the province toward Alberta. Have a look at that stretch of road in 1966, here.

Hope Princeton exit sign

An old illuminated Hope – Princeton exit sign, now located in the parking lot of Manning Park Lodge, which is located in Manning Provincial Park on BC Highway 3, between Hope and Princeton.

What are Photologs?
“Photologs” were created to capture road condition information across the province and give our engineers the ability to study a particular stretch of road without having to travel into the field. The original photologs were collected by rigging a camera onto the dash of a car that took still images every 80 feet or so and then running them all together as a single film.

Looking back on these old reels reveals a lot more than just pavement condition. The camera installed onto the dash of a car and driven over 9,000 km of BC highways captured some incredible glimpses of our province during the heyday that was the 60’s. So sit back, relax and watch this glimpse of a world long gone by in the rear view mirror.

Are you patiently waiting to see footage of a particular BC highway that we haven’t shared yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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21 Responses to Travel Back in Time to the Hope – Princeton Highway in 1966

  1. Ron Klein on August 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I asked when the hope Princeton was paved. Not the history of the highway. Why can’t I get an answer.

    • tranbceditor on August 16, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Hi Ron – we’re sorry – did you send us this request previously? We can find a record of it on this post. The Hope Princeton Highway was paved prior to its opening in 1949 and many, many times since then. Does this help?

  2. Sandra Hawthorne on January 23, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Do you possibly have footage of Hwy 3A from Keremeos to Penticton. The portion of road I am really interested in is when they built the section of Hwy around Yellow Lake through around Trout Lake replacing the section of road through Marron Valley. I believe it was around 1949 or early ’50’s. Our road (Taggart Cres) which comes off of Hwy 3A now used to be part of the old Hwy. Curious to see where the old hwy was and when the present hwy was build. Thanks…it is an interesting piece of hwy history.

    • tranbceditor on January 23, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Hello Sandra,

      We most likely have a photolog of 3A in the film canisters but we have not captured it yet. The furthest back these videos go is to 1966, so if you are looking for something that falls in the 1950s range (or older), I am afraid we don’t have that. You might be able to find local alignment maps in the Keremeos or Penticton museums? Hope that this helps. We are working to capture and produce these videos as we have time to do them. They do take some time to release. We have added 3A to the wish list. Hope that this helps!

  3. Brad miller on January 12, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    My dad worked at Allison pass forever. He started when they used to actually shovel the sand out of the trucks onto the road. He retired as senior road foreman when they privatized. I worked in manning park for a year in 1980/81

    • tranbceditor on January 14, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Hi Brad – thanks for sharing this with us. I too worked at Manning Park for a few seasons in the 90s. Great, great memories.
      It’s an amazing place and you can be proud of your history with it. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  4. Richard S. on August 25, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Do you have Hwy 499 from US border to Oak Street Bridge?

    • tranbceditor on August 27, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Richard,

      I’m not sure if we have the photolog of Highway 499 from the US border to the Oak Street Bridge.

      I will forward your request to our person who is managing the photolog collection. If the footage is there, and usable, we’ll put a video together with it, and post it here on TranBC.

  5. Mark on October 16, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hi – Do you have the route from Abbotsford to Hope? I would really enjoy seeing that stretch!!

    • tranbceditor on October 17, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Hello Mark,

      We surely do, we just haven’t gotten to it yet. We hope to get to more of it soon and will put your request on our wish list!

  6. John Elcoate on September 23, 2016 at 11:03 am

    This great historical footage. I know that the camera and equipment were in car top boat that was mounted on top of a station wagon. At the time it was used to check on maintenance and crews throughout the province. The reason for the short black out around half way through is a stop at the Allison Pass Camp (possibly for lunch at the bunkhouse dining room). In the mid 60s we traveled this route every summer when my father attend the army reserve camp on Vernon and saw first hand the devastation caused by the Hope Slide. I later lived and worked at Allison Pass for the ministry and contractors from 1973 to 2003

  7. David Lee on September 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    I’m currently a bridge worker for a local highway’s contractor, and have been so for 8 years, and prior to that, I worked in the roads division for 18 years. The 18 years worked, were at Allison Pass, in Manning Park. First of all, I want to say thank you, and that this video is truly amazing! So many familiar sights! Plus sites that were there in 66, but long since abandoned before I started in 89. To reply to Brian Lang’s comment, the road IS MOSTLY 4 lane, as opposed to what it used to be, and some of it will always be 2 lane. We don’t always need to drive so fast, that we don’t see the beauty of our surroundings. BTW… The company I work for, actually built the Hope-Princeton Hwy in the 40s. Thank you again for this wonderful video!

    • tranbceditor on September 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the video, David!

  8. KD on September 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Is it possible to slow the video down?

    • tranbceditor on September 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Hi KD,

      Thanks for asking about the video. Yes, you can slow it down. Click on the gear shaped icon in the bottom right corner of the video screen. Click on the word “Speed” and choose your desired speed. (We find .5 to be the best speed for catching more of the details).

  9. Mackenzie RR on September 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm


    In the “Time Machine” video, are those dials and scopes added for an aesthetic effect? Or would they have been present within these trips? If these scopes are real, what purpose do they serve?

    Mackenzie RR

  10. Brian Lang on September 22, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    You wrote: “Two lanes in each direction for the majority of the Hope to Princeton stretch”
    I’d love to see the statistics on that. After driving it this summer, and repeatedly getting stuck behind slow moving RV’s, I highly doubt this point. A lot more work needs to be done to 4-lane this route – all the way through to Keremos. East of there the amount of traffic dropped off significantly.

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