Colorado White Water Rafting Guide Jobs

Thanks for your interest in finding jobs in whitewater with Echo Canyon. We are currently reviewing applications for the 2021 raft guide training program. Training begins May 18, 2021.

Training for white water rafting jobs is challenging – it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll take on in life! You’ll meet new friends who absolutely love living and working outside, and your training will include activities and scenarios that are incredibly fun! So let’s get you started…

We are currently accepting applications for white water rafting guide jobs – rafting guide trainees (no experience necessary) and experienced guides. Our goal is to find outstanding individuals and train them to become outstanding guides. Here at Echo Canyon we have developed the most intensive training program for white water rafting jobs in the state of Colorado. We will invest in you if you dedicate the time and energy to invest in developing your skills with us. Our whitewater jobs training program is definitely a challenge, but it may just be the most rewarding summer job you will ever have!


Are you interested in applying for white water rafting guide jobs? It’s pretty painless – here are the steps:

  • Complete a whitewater jobs online application
  • Email a current photo of yourself to our staffing manager – [email protected]
  • We’ll reach out to you to schedule a short telephone interview
  • Soon thereafter we’ll let you know if you’ve got a spot in our whitewater jobs training program
  • Submit your first payment for training, and then let’s have some fun starting in May!

Need more info about applying?

Aside from submitting your online application we do request you email us a recent photo of yourself participating in a hobby, sport or outdoor activity you love. Why do we ask this? We like to establish a personal connection with our staff members, and there’s no better time to start getting to know you than when we initially ‘meet’ you with your application submission. We can put a face to a name. This is the same reason we encourage the short interview to take place so we can meet each other prior to training. We can’t require you to submit a photo, but we appreciate it when we receive them. Feel free to send us a current resume as well – it can only help you. Photos and resumes should be directed to [email protected].

White water rafting guide jobs create lasting bonds.The state of Colorado requires river guides must be at least 18 years of age and be certified in Basic First Aid and CPR for white water rafting guide jobs applicants. Rafting guide trainees are selected by online applications, resumes, references and phone or personal interviews. After interviews and reference checks, you may be offered a spot in our program. If you receive an invitation we will need your non-refundable $300 training payment within 14 days to secure your spot. The initial 10 days of training will include a multi-day trip of at least 3 days in length, as well as swiftwater rescue training and plenty of on-river time. On or around day 10 we will cut those trainees with negative attitudes, poor work ethic, or who are struggling severely with the physical demands of guide training. Following the cut of trainees, an additional $200 will be due to continue the remainder of training. All prospective guides need to remember that an invitation to join the whitewater raft guide job training program does not necessarily guarantee employment. The hiring of trainees from the training class will be based on training performance and growth, ability to perform essential job skills, work ethic, and ability to work in a team setting. Due to the time and monetary investment we are both putting into training we will require you to work at Echo Canyon for at least two seasons if you are hired. Please do not apply if you only plan to be a rafting guide for one season.

Who applies for white water rafting jobs? College students, Grad students, individuals in-between college and a real job, average ordinary individuals who started out as a guest and fell in love with white water rafting – the lifestyle of being a raft guide. Read all of their stories on our staff bio page.


The 2021 white water rafting jobs guide training program begins at our Echo Canyon office. We expect you to arrive with Basic First Aid and Adult and Child CPR certifications. Most years we host a more intensive advanced wilderness first aid class at our office in the days preceding the first day of training. Ask us about this during your phone interview if you are interested.

River rescue skills while guide training with Echo Canyon

Your white water rafting jobs guide job training will be comprehensive to say the least. A minimum of 50 hours of on-river training is required by law to guide in the state of Colorado, but it’s been our experience that rafting guide trainees usually don’t attain the professional skills required in that short amount of river time. You can thus expect to accrue more than 100 river hours before we are comfortable certifying you on the river. This extensive whitewater jobs training lasts four to five weeks, and includes camping during training, all transportation from Echo to and from the river, use of the best rafts and boating equipment money can buy, as well as your trainers, who are dedicated long-term Echo Canyon staff members. Our training staff will dedicate themselves to long days and miles of river time to provide you with a unique learning environment. On-river training will be supplemented with classroom clinics covering topics such as river features, guest relations, equipment maintenance, liability and accident prevention, emergency protocols, conservation, leave no trace, swift water rescue procedures and much more. Written and practical tests are yet another tool we utilize to inform us of overall progress.

Your white water rafting jobs guide training will include the following:

  • Free camping at our staff camping area, which in gives you access to our staff bathrooms with flush toilets and showers.
  • You will be provided with a life jacket for the duration of training, as well as a used wetsuit for use during the program. You will be responsible for bringing your own helmet and any additional clothing/ gear necessary to keep you comfortable on the river, as well as camping gear if you choose to camp at our training sites. Those applicants accepted into the program will have several pro-purchase programs available to them for river gear and apparel.
  • We provide all necessary boating equipment including rafts, paddles, oars, frames as well as all transportation to and from the current training locations.
  • A generous amount of river time, 35 hours or more a week of actual time on the river, including both oar and paddle boat training.
  • You will also have some of the most experienced guides on the river available to you as a resource not just through rafting guide training but throughout the season.
  • When you have completed your white water rafting jobs training you will have an abundance of documented on-water time before your certification run.
  • Upon completing your certification run a conference will take place between you and your trainers. At this time we will discuss the strength of your guiding skills, growth and overall performance, as well as possibly offering a full time white water rafting guide jobs position.

Why is guide training with Echo Canyon different?

Watch the in-depth video below and see first-hand why Echo’s guide training program offers so much more than any other program in Colorado. We aren’t saying it’s always fun, but you will never stop learning…and most of the time it’s a lot fun!

Our training is physically and mentally demanding. You should plan on investing much of your time and most of your energy into this whitewater jobs training program. Please be aware that your level of physical fitness may affect your success in training, so the more prepared you are the better off you will be.

Please note that while you are training for our white water rafting jobs, you are not considered to be an employee and are not eligible for workers compensation. Therefore, we strongly suggest you have your own health insurance so you are covered for the duration of training. Since you will not be paid to train with us, all funds necessary for living expenses should also be secured in advance of training. In addition to the $500 training fee and $20 deposit for your training manual and course materials, you should also be prepared to purchase some personal rafting gear. The cost of these materials can range from $400 to $450, depending on what you choose to buy. More information regarding costs and detailed equipment lists will be made available to you should you be invited to training.Raft Guid Training with Echo Canyon River Expeditions

White water rafting jobs are paid by the trip and you will be paid $40 per half-day trip and $80 per full-day trip in your first season. First year white water guides can make well over $2000 or more in wages; an additional $1000 in gratuities is common for first year guides who work the full season. Senior guides can make $9,000 or more per season in wages alone, not to mention gratuities.

Due to the conservative nature of our clientele, as well as the fact that we are a family-oriented business, we require that you observe the following rules: Drugs and underage drinking will not be tolerated. Alcohol is not to be consumed on company time or prior to your performing duties for the company. There is no smoking or chewing allowed on company property or while working an Echo Canyon trip. Body piercing needs to be confined to the ears on both men and women and gauges must be no larger than that necessary for a standard earring. Long hair should be kept in a ponytail while at work. No dreadlocks, please. All new guides are required to pass a drug screen prior to employment. Staff is able to live on the company’s designated property for a flat $350 a season; payment is due the third week of July. Pets are not allowed on company property or in the staff camping area.

A day in the life of a white water rafting guide job: