(September 11, 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.
Our Safety Measures
We have successfully run three seasons of guiding since the pandemic began. 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.
A Special Offer: Weekly free Covid-19 hikes for 2021, starting May 31 through October 1
Are you a frontline or healthcare worker? This summer, as a thank you during the Covid-19 pandemic, Great Divide Nature Interpretation is offering one free hike per week to healthcare and frontline workers and their families.
Call Joel Hagen at 403-522-2735, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your hike. Great Divide will take the first request for each week of the summer, subject to availability. You can also look at Great Divide’s availability calendar to see whether there’s still a hike available during your visit.
Information for International Travellers
The Canada / US border has reopened to both American visitors and 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 relatively high vaccination rate. Unfortunately, vaccine uptake rates have slowed, and the country is having a hard time reaching its final vaccination targets. As of September 4, according to Health Canada, over 84% of all eligible Canadians (age 12 and over) have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 77% have been fully immunized. Health Canada publishes a weekly update of vaccination rates every Friday.
Latest updates in Alberta
As of September 4, due to quickly rising case counts in late August, Alberta has re-instituted masking bylaws and other restrictions. Alberta’s vaccination rate lags behind the rest of the country by about 5%. For information about the restrictions, visit Alberta’s Coronavirus page. For stats on Alberta’s Covid rates, hospitalization rates, and vaccination rates, 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. After a dramatic rise in case counts in August, cases are now dropping, but per capita case counts remain higher than many parts of the country, and most cases are the Delta variant, which is highly infectious. Approximately 95% of Banff residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 80% are fully vaccinated.
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