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Experienced Whitewater Raft Guide

We are currently accepting guide applications for our 2021 river season. Applications for 2021 will be accepted through mid-February 2021. Your chances of being accepted onto an interview trip are greater if you apply before mid-January.

Thank you for considering a switch from the company you currently work with to Wilderness Aware. We are looking for you if you are interested in upgrading the quality of trip that you currently guide, or are interested in working a larger variety of trip types. We will not hire guides that have trouble with their current employer due to poor guest service, cockiness, failure to care for equipment or poor work ethic. We are willing to complete your training if you received inadequate initial training and are willing to learn new skills.

Wilderness Aware was established in 1976 and was bought by the current owners, Joe and Sue Greiner in 1985. We have grown from three boats and 800 user days in 1986 to 32 boats and over 8,000 user days in recent years. We use self-bailing boats exclusively. Boats not capable of holding pressure for a 2-day trip are fixed or replaced. All of our equipment is top-of-the line and is fixed immediately when broken, or replaced when shabby.

We run very conservatively. We concentrate on Class III and IV sections of rivers, although we train on class V on a regular basis with guides and friends of guides. Our policy of intense training and conservative commercial guiding has resulted in 40 years of lawsuit-free rafting.

Wilderness Aware runs a very tight ship. We have certain ways of doing things, and we like to standardize our procedures as much as possible so that when you are working with different combinations of guides, you are concentrating on having fun instead of re-inventing the wheel on every trip. We also like our guides to enjoy a supportive atmosphere, where everyone gets along and contributes to a team effort. That requires some self-sacrifice from guides for the good of the whole. We also look for very intelligent, personable people, with new ideas that can help our system improve and run more smoothly. These things are extremely important to us, not only philosophically, but also because we run so many different kinds of trips it is important for there to be good communication between guides. If you continue this application process, be sure you are comfortable with this kind of work situation.

See the job description page for the pay scale and our benefits package.

HOUSING? Wilderness Aware owns an 18 unit mobile home park. Guides are assigned to a unit with 2-4 roommates. This park is within biking distance from our office just outside Buena Vista. Many guides do not have cars. All renters pay $550 (+$100 security deposit) to cover your rent for the season, water, sewer, trash, gas and electric bills for the summer.

INTERVIEW TRIPS: Wilderness Aware sponsors several training trips for inexperienced guides each year. We are trying to encourage experienced guide participation by subsidizing the trip cost by $100. We will offer advice on what works for us and show you policies that keeps our team running smoothly. Our energy is focused on entry level training for inexperienced trainees that will constitute the bulk of the applicants. You will be asked to help head up work crews and guide the harder rapids. Please go to Guide Job Training and Hiring Process to see how and where our interview program operates.

REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS: Once you are invited and have paid for the trip, there will be a $20 fee for any cancellations if we are able to find a replacement for the spot you are vacating on the interview trip. If we are not able to find a replacement, there will be no refund issued.


The bottom line is if you read this letter and contract very closely and feel you can meet our expectations and can work in the environment we’ve described, we want to meet you. In order to be hired, you must complete the application and attend an interview raft trip in the spring. Also, if you have a summary of your river experience, please mail or e-mail us a copy. Be sure to indicate on your application if it is okay to call your present rafting employer. Please let us know if you do not want us to contact your current employer. Check out the job description for more details on the position. Also check out the info for inexperienced guide training program to learn more about our trips. Thanks for considering joining us.

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