(July 20, 2021). Great Divide opened for 2021’s summer guided hiking season on May 31, after safely operating last summer and winter. We have special measures in place to keep our guests safe. Owner and guide Joel Hagen is fully vaccinated.

Our Safety Measures
We have successfully run two seasons of guiding since the pandemic began. As of July 1, there are no more Covid restrictions in Alberta. 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. For fully vaccinated guests, we have removed most of our safety measures. But for guests who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated:

  • we do our pre-trip “meet and greet” information sessions over the phone or by Zoom

  • at any indoor meeting location (hotel lobby, park visitor centre), guide and guests will wear masks. Masks are not required out on the trail.

  • guests are asked to print and sign waivers in advance

  • there will be no carpooling: guests will self-drive to the trailheads.

  • during our tours, we will stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart from our guests

  • we will provide hand sanitizer on the trail

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 info@greatdivide.ca 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
For travellers from outside of Canada, the border between Canada and the USA is currently closed to non-essential travel, but this is finally about to change! On July 19, the government of Canada announced that the Canada / US border is scheduled to re-open for non-essential travel on August 9. Eligible Americans must be fully vaccinated, and have received their second dose at least 14 days before their travel date.

The border is tentatively scheduled to reopen to other international visitors on September 7. For more info, here is the government’s July 19 press release. Also, health Canada updates its travel info website regularly.

Canada’s Vaccine Rollout
Four Covid-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada, and the vaccination program is being rolled out rapidly. As of July 10, according to Health Canada, almost 79% of all eligible Canadians (age 12 and over) have received at least one dose of vaccine, and over 50% have been fully immunized. The next Health Canada report will be published on July 23, and will include data up to July 17.

Latest updates in Banff and Alberta
On July 1, the province of Alberta went into the third and final phase of its re-opening plan, and almost all Covid restrictions have now been removed.

COVID-19 information from the province of Alberta, Parks Canada, and the town of Banff
For information from public health officials, you can visit Alberta’s Coronavirus page. The Town of Banff has a great COVID-19 page, which includes current case rates for Banff National Park. As of July 20, there are three active Covid cases in Banff and Lake Louise. Approximately 90% of residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and approximately 63% are fully vaccinated.

Banff National Park is regularly updating its COVID-19 page to show what is open in the park, and what is closed. The same is true for Yoho and Kootenay parks.

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.

Best wishes,

Joel & Nadine