Spring 2020 Trail and Road Conditions

While Alberta and British Columbia cautiously move into the next phases of living with COVID-19, the Great Divide Trail Association is considering what is best for the health and safety of the trail community that we serve. With provincial and national parks re-opening, staying active in the outdoors is an excellent way to keep your body and mind healthy but we need to continue to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.

At this time, the GDTA supports single-day hikes or horseback rides on the GDT and longer (weekend or multi-day), self-sufficient trips that don’t require resupply if they are in your local area, where trails and trailheads are open. 

Please observe 2-metre physical distancing at all times on the GDT and avoid long-distance ‘thru’ hikes that involve resupplying and interaction with people in communities along the GDT. To limit the potential transmission of the virus between you and others, being completely self-supported on GDT outings is essential. Stay local, bring everything you need, avoid side trips from the trail to resupply, and always Leave No Trace.

TRAIL CLOSURES AND NOTICES: 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hikers with plans on the GDT this summer should be prepared to change their plans, including considering the possibility of cancellation. 

  • Both Alberta and BC have declared public health emergencies.
  • Parks Canada – On June 1, limited access and services will be offered at some national parks, where visitors will be permitted to access some trails, day use areas, and green spaces. All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. All existing national park reservations prior to June 21 will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full. If you have a national park campground reservation after June 21, you do not need to cancel your reservation at this time. You are encouraged to check back closer to your arrival date regarding cancellations.
  • Alberta Parks is taking an incremental approach to relaunching outdoor recreation by easing restrictions on access to provincial parks, camping and public land. Effective May 1, vehicle access restrictions are lifted and campground reservations opened on May 14 for Alberta residents only for camping dates starting June 1, temporarily limiting occupancy to 50 per cent capacity.
  • On May 14, BC Parks will start to reopen the majority of provincial parks and on June 1, BC Parks will re-open most provincial campgrounds and backcountry camping. Backcountry campgrounds in some parks with high day use will remain closed. Campground reservations will be available online on May 25 at 7:00am PT to BC residents only. 
  • Snow levels in the Rockies are above average for this time of year and avalanche conditions continue to exist. For up to date snow level data in BC, check out the Snow Survey Bulletins and Commentaries which include links to the Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin and map. In Alberta, check out the Alberta River Basins map (turn on the snow pillow layer).

ACCESS ROADS: 

  • Highways and roadways which pass through national parks remain open.
  • Akamina Parkway and Red Rock Parkway in Waterton Lakes National Park are closed.
  • Highway 40 from junction Highway 742 to junction Highway 541 is closed for the winter until June 15, 2020.
  • For more information, check out Alberta 511 and Drive BC.

National and Provincial Park Trail Conditions:

Banff National Park
Jasper National Park
Kootenay National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Yoho National Park

Akamina‐Kishinena Provincial Park
Castle Wildland Provincial Park
Castle Provincial Park
Elk Lakes Provincial Park
Height of the Rockies Provincial Park
Kakwa Provincial Park
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
Mount Robson Provincial Park
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

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