Guide Training

Buena Vista — Apply Now


River Runners offers an annual raft guide training program in Buena Vista, Colorado. No whitewater experience is needed. Learn to guide class III rapids in Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River. Raft guide training starts Monday, May 20, 2024, at River Runners Browns Canyon in Buena Vista, Colorado.

$300 raft guide training fee – Get back for a complete season

The raft guide training fee for accepted applicants is $300, but you would get this back if you work through August 11, 2024. This includes two weeks of formal training. Wetsuits, splash tops, booties, and PFDs are provided during this time. Trainees must provide their own personal gear after two weeks and will be expected to log additional training miles for the remainder of the season. Meals are not included. Camping is available.

Colorado raft guide qualifications

River Runners requires at least 100 hours of training to be logged before a qualification run can be attempted. This should take about three weeks. Trainees must successfully qualify to become an employee at River Runners. All commercial raft guides in Colorado are also required to have a current First Aid and CPR certification (online courses are not accepted). Required personal equipment includes a type III PFD, throw bag, flip line, helmet, whistle, and river knife. Splash tops, splash pants, polypro, fleece, neoprene socks, and/or similar gear are recommended. Pro deals are available through River Runners upon acceptance.

Raft guide training is demanding and rewarding

Raft guide training involves inherent risks and you must be willing to accept that risk and sign a waiver. Training is physically demanding and involves long and sometimes cold days on the river. Swimming and swift water techniques will be practiced every day.

To apply:

Submit your cover letter, résumé, and three references to 
Please designate “Raft guide training – Buena Vista, Colorado” in your application.

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