A river guide is more than just a job, it is a lifestyle and experience unlike any other.
River or raft guides come in all shapes in sizes but generally have a huge love for the outdoors, rafting or being around people. If you are interested in being a guide, here are some traits that we find in raft guides all the time! Plus, If you are unsure about becomming a river guide, just spend a day in the Chacos (river shoes) of a raft guide. Just being in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with the sun reflecting off the rolling rapids while spotting mountain goats and mule deer mingling on the rocks may change your mind.
Raft guides have an appreciation for the great outdoors. The simple things in life are the best things and they are what river guides experience and appreciate the most. Living at an outpost in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in tents and campers all summer with your rafting amigos makes for memories and friends you’ll never forget.
Not only do guides get to experience the great outdoors. They have incredible people skills. People skills are a necessity with this job, because you have to be able to safely navigate your crew of people down river through rapids. This takes a good deal of communication. They deal with guests every single day, therefore they get to meet people from all over the United States and even people from different countries. The ability to to make guests feel like they have had a great overall experience that goes beyond just the rafting is what distinguishes a good guide from a great guide.
River guides are very passionate about what they do. If you don’t take pride in your lifestyle and what you do then this isn’t the job for you. If you’re a guide you have an overall love for the river, camping and being outdoors. A lot of raft guides finish the season in Colorado and then seek whitewater all over the world. Look for them anywhere from the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee to way down by the equator in Costa Rica or even over in Europe.
If this sounds like the right experience, the right lifestyle, and the right job for you apply here. AVA is proud to have a rigorous (but fun) training program for first year guides in addition to plenty of Class IV and V rapids for more experienced guides.