ADVENTURES IN THE TIME COVID-19:

How We’re Preparing For A Safe Season With You!

MONTANA IS REOPENING

Our famous wide open spaces have always been good for the soul, but in times of pandemic, they’ve been good for infection rates, too. Montana’s COVID-19 numbers are among the lowest in the nation. Montana is in Phase 2 of reopening.

Here at Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we spent the spring preparing to greet you, and our employees, in the safest ways that we can. You’ll find information about our updated, and ongoing, procedures here. Safety has always been our #1 focus, as your Glacier National Park guides. That hasn’t changed. Read on to find out what has.

CONSIDERING MONTANA

Where to travel, how to travel, who to travel with – these questions are deeper in light of the current COVID-19 situation. Your safety and comfort, physically and mentally, is what matters most to us. And of course, that involves many factors, some of which are within our control as your outfitter, and some of which aren’t. We believe that in “normal times” and in pandemic times, life is never risk free. But only you can decide whether travel is right for you.

Below, you’ll see the extra precautions we’re taking to help you decide when you’re ready to travel again. As you prepare for your rafting, hiking, fishing, and biking adventures with us in Summer 2020, know that Glacier Guides and Montana Raft will be following enhanced protocols in reaction to COVID-19. Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines prior to travelling to West Glacier for your trip with us. We expect that these procedures will remain in place until Montana reaches Phase 3 of re-opening – and possibly beyond.

GROUP SIZE

Also, we want you to know that our trips have always been small, and typically offer plenty of room for natural spacing even before socially distancing was a thing! In 2020, we expect our average hiking and rafting group size to be around 8. For fishing, we’ve always hosted 1-2 guests per guide, per boat. Biking will return in 2021. And private tours are always available, too!

PARTING THOUGHTS

Despite Montana’s wide open spaces and peaceful rivers and mountains, we know it might be a challenging decision to travel to Glacier National Park at the moment. We’re following local and national guidelines to run our trips safely and hope the outlined procedures, below, provide the information you need to make a decision. We welcome your questions about any of our safety procedures, always. And don’t forget about our flexible reservation and cancellation options that easily allow you to transfer to a future trip with us, should that become a choice you need to make.

Questions? info@glacierguides.com or 406-387-5555

EVOLVING COVID-19 PROCEDURES

READY TO GUIDE YOU

Staying Informed & Keeping You Up to Date  

We’re guides. We’re used to preparing for the best possible trip experiences, but training for the worst. The COVID-19 situation is no exception to that overall philosophy of keeping you safe and comfortable. Our decision making is guided by the latest recommendations from the CDC and WHO, along with Montana and Glacier National Park leadership. We’ll communicate anything you need to know by email. That said, we encourage you to reach out anytime you have questions!

Staff Training

Our Guides and Staff are always certified in First Aid and CPR at a minimum – and many of them have additional training. Each trip will have a protocol to follow in case of any health issues. A new training program for our staff will set them up to support you as we travel in these unusual times. They’ll be proactive communicators and prepared to manage logistics around any adjustments needed during your trip.  

Face Coverings

As per CDC guidelines, we’re recommending that all guests bring their preferred face coverings, preferably washable and re-usable, but whatever you are comfortable with. We will strongly encourage face coverings during transportation, but not necessarily during activities, if social distance is possible. If you forget, we’ll have a small supply on hand. We’ll make every effort to have hand sanitizer available, but it’s always a good idea to have your own personal supply on your person.

Private rafting tours of Glacier National Park on the Middle Fork Flathead River, Montana.

Whether you rent a raft, a daypack, or e-bike from us, rest assured that our rental equipment staff has cleaned that piece of gear thoroughly before you receive it with an appropriate cleanser. If we’re giving you a river shuttle or transporting you to a trailhead, we’re disinfecting surfaces in our transportation fleet before and after every trip. While you’re riding with us, hand sanitizer will be available to you. You’ll be socially distanced by our 50% capacity transportation standards and strongly encouraged to wear a face mask. We encourage you to bring your favorite mask, as our supplies, like everyone else’s, are limited. You can read more about equipment rentals and shuttles here.

Glacier National Park rafting with kids!

We are lucky to be able to offer our Guests lodging at our very own Glacier Guides Lodge and Glacier Guides Guest House, depending on availability, of course. Our warm Montana hospitality has long been famous, and our cleaning standards and food preparation procedures have always exceeded industry standards. In light of COVID-19, we’re taking extra steps to enhance our safety protocols for cleaning and social distance in our lodging facilities. You can read more about these here.

Glacier National Park rafting is family friendly and fun!

Our commercial kitchens prepare all of the meals you receive from us, whether you’re staying at our Lodge, enjoying an all day fishing, rafting, or hiking experience with us, or off on an overnight adventure. Each year, everyone who prepares food for you in our kitchens or out on our Glacier National Park tours completes food service training. 

This year, in addition to that training, they’ll be receiving additional best practices for food handling as per CDC guidelines. They’ll be wearing masks and gloves, too. And of course there will be frequent hand washing and sanitization opportunities available to them — and for you, too.

COVID-19: What To Expect On Day Trips with Glacier Guides and Montana Raft

BEFORE THE TRIP

We are counting on you, our guests, to contribute to the effort to keep yourselves safe between your adventures with us. Please make every effort possible to arrive at the start of the trip free of COVID-19, i.e. by abiding by CDC guidelines while in public before  on the way to their trip. For example, following guidelines for air travel, when getting gas, and going to stores.  

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft advises all Guests that there are risks inherent to outfitted overnight and day rafting, hiking, fishing, and biking trips. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Glaciers Guides and Montana Raft advises guests that viruses such as COVID-19 exist indoors and outdoors, and that transmission is possible even when appropriate mitigation of risk is employed.  A Guest’s decision to participate in an outfitted experience is theirs alone to make. Deciding to participate presents acceptance of these inherent risks, including the possible transmission of COVID-19 by the Guest.

Our staff and guides always put safety first, and are always prepared for emergencies. They hold varied certifications such as Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Food Safety, Bear Management training and beyond. In light of COVID-19, we’re adding a new layer of training for any health issues that come up during an event. Our team will vigorously monitor the health of all participants.

Prior to the trip, Guests and staff members must be prescreened for health by Glacier Guides and Montana Raft. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including but not limited to fever, shortness of breath, and cough) will not be allowed to utilize outfitted services. Prescreening can include a temperature check and questions on general health and travel history.

A guest or staff member will be removed from the trip if he or she has been in close contact with someone (within approximately 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.

A guest or staff member will be removed from the trip if he or she develops flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.

ON THE WAY TO AND FROM THE TRIP

Travel With Social Distancing 

When possible, we will meet Guests at the trip’s starting location. When transportation is required, everyone in the vehicle will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Groups traveling together/family groups will be seated as normal. Unrelated traveling parties will be seated in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines, such as masking or seating vehicles at or less than 50% capacity. Vehicle interiors will be cleaned and disinfected after each trip. 

DURING THE TRIP

Social distancing must always be maintained. If social distancing is not possible, face masks should be worn. We’re asking everyone to bring their preferred face coverings for safety. While we won’t necessarily be requiring coverings while rafting, hiking, fishing, or biking, we ask that everyone wear one while traveling in a support vehicle. If you forget to bring a face covering, our staff will have limited quantities available on hand. We are monitoring local restrictions and this policy could change depending on where a trip is scheduled.

However, we cannot require our guests to wear face coverings. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with the possibility of traveling and adventuring with nonrelated travellers not wearing face coverings, we strongly urge you to consider booking a private trip.

We’ll make every effort to have a generous supply of wipes and hand sanitizers on hand, but we ask that you bring your own as well. All surfaces will be wiped down on a regular basis.

Should a Guest become sick with COVID-like symptoms during a trip, we will have procedures in place to isolate them, and will contact local medical authorities and follow their advice. Our guides and staff will be trained to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19. 

If a Guest or staff member develops flu-like symptoms during a trip, as per CDC guidelines, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft will socially distance the individual(s) from the rest of the group and any community items, disinfect any suspected items or areas of contamination, encourage them to wear a surgical mask (to help prevent the spread of their illness), and consult local agencies about the possibility of an evacuation.

Fishing

 We only book family groups or travel partners together on our fishing trips. That being said, maintaining a 6-foot social distance can be accomplished on float trips by having the front-seater fish while standing and the back-seater fish while seated.  The guest area can be disinfected if guest moves to a different boat or location. 

Hiking

Guests will be able to socially distance on the trail and at campgrounds.

Rafting

For private day rafting or overnight rafting adventures, family groups or travel partners will be able to travel and raft together without face coverings. Face masks will be worn by guides when social distance is not possible.

– For regularly scheduled, public day rafting or overnight rafting adventures, we will do our absolute best to socially distance distinct family groups/traveler partners from other distinct family groups/traveler partners. For example, we may ask different different groups to seat themselves in the front or back of a raft. If social distancing is not possible, face masks will be worn by guides. Guests will be strongly encouraged to wear masks if not social distancing is not possible, but we cannot require them to do so. If you are uncomfortable for any reason with the possibility that social distance will not be achievable on regularly scheduled, public rafting trips, we strongly encourage you to consider booking a private trip instead. 

Equipment

Guests should be encouraged to bring their own equipment and touch their own equipment only. If guide equipment is used, it must be disinfected after use. Social distance of 6 feet or greater will be maintained. If not possible, masks will be worn. 

Meals

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft provides meals for some day trips. When meals are provided, they will be of the grab-and-go variety and placed in a neutral location for social distancing pickup. Guests may bring their own personal snacks.

Toilet

Bleach or other approved cleaning agent should be used to clean the lid, seat, and door (if there is one) before and after use.  Wash hands after use for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if hand wash station is unavailable.

COVID-19: What To Expect On Overnight Trips with Glacier Guides and Montana Raft

BEFORE THE TRIP

We are counting on you, our guests, to contribute to the effort to keep yourselves safe between your adventures with us. Please make every effort possible to arrive at the start of the trip free of COVID-19, i.e. by abiding by CDC guidelines while in public before  on the way to their trip. For example, following guidelines for air travel, when getting gas, and going to stores.

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft advises all Guests that there are risks inherent to outfitted overnight and day rafting, hiking, fishing, and biking trips. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Glaciers Guides and Montana Raft advises guests that viruses such as COVID-19 exist indoors and outdoors, and that transmission is possible even when appropriate mitigation of risk is employed.  A Guest’s decision to participate in an outfitted experience is theirs alone to make. Deciding to participate presents acceptance of these inherent risks, including the possible transmission of COVID-19 by the Guest.

Our staff and guides always put safety first, and are always prepared for emergencies. They hold varied certifications such as Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Food Safety, Bear Management training and beyond. In light of COVID-19, we’re adding a new layer of training for any health issues that come up during an event. Our team will vigorously monitor the health of all participants.

Prior to the trip, Guests and staff members must be prescreened for health by Glacier Guides and Montana Raft. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (including but not limited to fever, shortness of breath, and cough) will not be allowed to utilize outfitted services. Prescreening can include a temperature check and questions on general health and travel history.

A guest or staff member will be removed from the trip if he or she has been in close contact with someone (within approximately 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.

A guest or staff member will be removed from the trip if he or she develops flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.

ON THE WAY TO AND FROM THE TRIP

Travel With Social Distancing

When possible, we will meet Guests at the trip’s starting location. When transportation is required, everyone in the vehicle will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask. Groups traveling together/family groups will be seated as normal. Unrelated traveling parties will be seated in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines, such as masking or seating vehicles at or less than 50% capacity. Vehicle interiors will be cleaned and disinfected after each trip.

DURING THE TRIP

Social distancing must always be maintained. If social distancing is not possible, face masks should be worn. We’re asking everyone to bring their preferred face coverings for safety. While we won’t necessarily be requiring coverings while rafting, hiking, fishing, or biking, we ask that everyone wear one while traveling in a support vehicle. If you forget to bring a face covering, our staff will have limited quantities available on hand. We are monitoring local restrictions and this policy could change depending on where a trip is scheduled.

However, we cannot require our guests to wear face coverings. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with the possibility of traveling and adventuring with nonrelated travellers not wearing face coverings, we strongly urge you to consider booking a private trip.

We’ll make every effort to have a generous supply of wipes and hand sanitizers on hand, but we ask that you bring your own as well. All surfaces will be wiped down on a regular basis.

Should a Guest become sick with COVID-like symptoms during a trip, we will have procedures in place to isolate them, and will contact local medical authorities and follow their advice. Our guides and staff will be trained to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.

If a Guest or staff member develops flu-like symptoms during a trip, as per CDC guidelines, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft will socially distance the individual(s) from the rest of the group and any community items, disinfect any suspected items or areas of contamination, encourage them to wear a surgical mask (to help prevent the spread of their illness), and consult local agencies about the possibility of an evacuation.

Fishing

 We only book family groups or travel partners together on our fishing trips. That being said, maintaining a 6-foot social distance can be accomplished on float trips by having the front-seater fish while standing and the back-seater fish while seated.  The guest area can be disinfected if a guest moves to a different boat or location.

Hiking/Backpacking

Guests will be able to socially distance on the trail and at campgrounds. In campgrounds, tents will be spaced to the greatest extent possible. We encourage even those Guests travelling in family units to alternate their sleep positions – head to toe, toe to head to further increase distance.  

Rafting 

– For private day rafting or overnight rafting adventures, family groups or travel partners will be able to travel and raft together without face coverings. Face masks will be worn by guides when social distance is not possible.

– For regularly scheduled, public day rafting or overnight rafting adventures, we will do our absolute best to socially distance distinct family groups/traveler partners from other distinct family groups/traveler partners. For example, we may ask different different groups to seat themselves in the front or back of a raft. If social distancing is not possible, face masks will be worn by guides. Guests will be strongly encouraged to wear masks if not social distancing is not possible, but we cannot require them to do so. If you are uncomfortable for any reason with the possibility that social distance will not be achievable on regularly scheduled, public rafting trips, we strongly encourage you to consider booking a private trip instead.

Equipment

Guests should be encouraged to bring their own equipment and touch their own equipment only. If guide equipment is used, it must be disinfected after use. Social distance of 6 feet or greater will be maintained. If not possible, masks will be worn.

Meals

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft provides meals for some day trips. When meals are provided, they will be of the grab-and-go variety and placed in a neutral location for social distancing pickup. Guests may bring their own personal snacks.

Toilet

Bleach or other approved cleaning agent should be used to clean the lid, seat, and door (if there is one) before and after use.  Wash hands after use for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if hand wash station is unavailable.

What Our Guests Say About Our Private Glacier National Park Tours

“Katie was perfect for our group! My parents were quite nervous and she was very nurturing which eased their fears. i think they also appreciated the safety education and the description of what was coming up on our trip down. Thanks for the fun experience!”
Gingie G., Half Day Whitewater
“Greetings! Just wanted to comment on a GREAT rafting experience we had with your company this week. From the first call I made to you until we finished back at your office, I want to say EVERYONE there was just GREAT! Very Friendly, efficient, and confident that a land-lover from ND could make the trip! I expecially want to thank DEAN for his patient instruction, his wealth of information about the river and the park, and his FUN attitude! What a nice guy! Thanks again for a great time and I will most certainly recommend your company to anyone that might be going to Glacier!”
Barb and Tom P., Half Day Whitewater
“Made me want to choose Glacier Guides because staff was generous with their time. What to wear? What to bring? What to expect? All of these were answered fully and (we discoverd) honestly. Even after all the changes I made, I still felt wanted.
I know it was not in your control, but weather was perfect. Our guide, Amy, was friendly yet professional – we felt at ease and safe in her hands. Glacier Guides are happy, friendly people who love what they do always make a great experience for customers…move to Chicago, so that we can enjoy your service more often!!”
Eileen G., Half Day Whitewater
“Teal was our guide. She did a fabulous job! Our family had a great time. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Glacier Nat’l Park. Thanks!”
Timothy M, Half Day Whitewater
“Emily was amazing. She was fun and personable and very knowledgeable on the area, not just the water! I have rafted with another group and would definitely recommend you over them. You made it a fun and memorable experience!”
Miranda B., Half Day Whitewater

Our guide, Jessica was outstanding! Your company felt smaller and more personal than some we have used in the past. -Jacqueline M.

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