(November 25, 2021). Since June 2020, when public health restrictions first eased, Great Divide has been operating its guided hiking and snowshoeing tours. We have special measures in place to keep our guests safe. Owner and guide Joel Hagen is fully vaccinated. Because vaccines are now widely available, and crucial for safeguarding public health, we will only accept fully vaccinated guests on our guided trips. This applies to those age 12 and older. Guests will be asked to provide proof of vaccination to participate on one of our guided hikes or snowshoe tours.
Our Safety Measures
We have successfully run three seasons of guiding since the pandemic began, and our fourth — snowshoe season 2022 — begins on December 1. Because our trips are conducted outdoors, in small groups, and with the ability to keep safe distances from one another, our activities are low risk. Our safety measures are as follows:
at any indoor meeting location (hotel lobby, park visitor centre), guide and guests will wear masks. Masks are not required out on the trail.
there will be no carpooling: guests will self-drive to the trailheads.
during our tours, we will maintain social distancing on the trail.
we will provide hand sanitizer if needed.
Information for International Travellers
The Canada / US border reopened in August, 2021 to American visitors, and in September, 2021 to those from abroad. International visitors must be fully vaccinated and have received their second dose at least 14 days before their travel date. There are also other requirements, so make sure you check the government of Canada’s border crossing checklist. For more info, see Health Canada’s travel info website.
Canada’s Vaccine Rollout
There are four Covid-19 vaccines approved in Canada, and the country has a high vaccination rate, ranking in the top 20 of nations around the world. The country does not have a formal target of how many people it wants to see vaccinated, but as of November 13, according to Health Canada, 89% of all eligible Canadians (age 12 and over) have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 85% have been fully immunized. Health Canada publishes a weekly update of vaccination rates every Friday. On November 19, Canada approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 – 11, and this vaccine rollout starts this week.
Latest updates in Alberta
Due to quickly rising case counts stating in late August, Alberta re-instituted masking bylaws and other restrictions in early September. The situation here has improved, but restrictions remain in place. For information about the restrictions, visit Alberta’s Coronavirus page. For more info on how well we’re doing, go to Alberta’s Covid-19 Statistics page.
Latest updates from the town of Banff and Parks Canada
The Town of Banff has a great COVID-19 page, which includes current case rates and vaccination rates for Banff National Park.
Our Cancellation Policy
We will accept, without penalty, any cancellations due to travel restrictions, public health advisories, national park closures, or your contracting of COVID-19. We do not want to cause any financial hardship for guests who are unable to make a trip to the Canadian Rockies.
If your guide contracts COVID-19, you will be notified, and any trips that fall within the recovery period of the guide will be cancelled.
Since the response to the COVID-19 outbreak is in constant flux, everything listed above is subject to change. We revise this information regularly as the situation evolves, usually every one to two weeks.
In the meantime, we ask you to look after yourselves, your loved ones, and your friends & neighbours.
Joel & Nadine