(July 28, 2022). 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, and received his booster shot on January 4. 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 four seasons of guiding since the pandemic began, two summer hiking seasons and two winter snowshoeing seasons, and are now partway through hiking season 2022. 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), your guide will wear a mask. 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 Canadian border reopened late summer, 2021 to travellers from the US and abroad. To enter Canada without quarantining, international visitors must be fully vaccinated and have received their second dose at least 14 days before their travel date. Testing requirements at the border were eliminated in early April, 2022, but random testing was re-instated in July. Since the restrictions / requirements are changing all the time, 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
Canada has a high vaccination rate, ranking in the top 20 of nations around the world. As of July 22, according to Health Canada, over 86% of all Canadians age 5 and over have been fully immunized (2 shots), and over 56% have also received at least one “booster” shot. Health Canada publishes an update of vaccination rates every four weeks.

Covid updates in Alberta
Alberta lifted its final restrictions (vaccine passports, mandatory indoor masking, masks on public transit, etc) on June 15, 2022. Alberta has had higher per capita case counts than the rest of the country, and the province still lags the rest of Canada in vaccination rates. For information, visit Alberta’s Coronavirus page. For more info on how well we’re doing, go to Alberta’s Covid-19 Statistics page. If you really want to geek out, the Alberta Covid Tracker, from the University of Calgary, is an amazing resource.

Latest updates from the town of Banff and Parks Canada
The Town of Banff has a good COVID-19 page. They show vaccination rates for Banff and Lake Louise, and news & guidance for park visitors.

Banff National Park has a COVID-19 page showing what is open in the park, and what is closed. The same is true for Yoho and Kootenay parks. Almost everything is now open, so updates are infrequent.

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, or who test positive for COVID-19 once they are here.

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 month.

In the meantime, we ask you to look after yourselves, your loved ones, and your friends & neighbours.

Best wishes,

Joel & Nadine