Grand Canyon Whitewater guides are each highly skilled and talented. They have the training to share interpretive thoughts about the Grand Canyon, geological facts and historical events. Your guide can pilot the rafts safely through the most tumultuous of rapids, lead you on a hike to hidden gems along the river corridor and share tales of those who have gone before you. Grand Canyon Whitewater guides are fantastic cooks that will please even the most discerning palate. GCW crews will encourage you to meet the challenges of rafting and camping in the wilderness. Together you will make memories that will last a lifetime. Your guides will each see to that.
Grand Canyon Whitewater’s operations management team, Bill and Ashley, work with guides and equipment to ensure everyone and everything stay at top-notch performance!
Meet the guides of Grand Canyon Whitewater…
I got into Grand Canyon through metal work, and I still enjoy both professions. My first trip in Grand Canyon, in the early 1990s, pointed my life in a positive direction. My river-guiding wife, Katrina, and I continue to follow that course. I strive to continue learning more about Grand Canyon, myself, and others. With this outlook, I hope to help provide a very safe, professional, rewarding and fun river trip. Read what passengers have to say about Matt.
My first Grand Canyon river trip was in 2002. As often happens, that trip forever changed my life. I’ve been devoted to working in the Canyon ever since. Every year I fall more and more in love with the Colorado and its canyon. Each trip is a new and exciting experience! There is so much to learn, so much to do and see. I love the people I work with — and I love the people I work for! I feel so lucky! In my time off I’m obsessed with rock climbing! I also love traveling and exploring other rivers and other kinds of boating. Just remember – go with the flow! Read what guests have to say about Chelsea.
I remember sitting on the school bus with my pack lunch on my lap looking out onto the vastness of Grand Canyon from the South Rim. I barreled down the Bright Angel trail at nine years old and I’m not sure I ever came out! It has been a blessing to grow up in this amazing landscape of pines, mountains, canyons and rivers. Grand Canyon in particular has shaped my life into the most rewarding, positive, and uplifting experience. I always feel humbled and excited to bring people into Grand Canyon and share in their journey. My favorite interpretation topic is the Canyon’s human history. I feel like, whether a person does one trip in the Canyon or twenty, they can relate to the heart, passion, and spirit of adventure of the people who dared to live below the rim. I’ve been guiding in Grand Canyon since 2004; let’s go boating! Read what passengers have to say about Bianca.
I grew up on the waters of Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. I took my first river trip in the Canyon when I was 7 years old, started working as soon as I was old enough, and have worked my way to become a lead pilot. I can’t really imagine my life without the influence of Grand Canyon. I love teaching people about the geology of Grand Canyon and getting to know all the different personalities that come together on a rafting trip. After receiving my Coast Guard Captain’s License, I have also become an integral part of Hidden Canyon Kayak, an outfitter operating kayak tours through slot canyons in Lake Powell. Read what passengers have to say about Clint.
I am always excited rafting down in the Grand Canyon. I have been guiding in Grand Canyon since 2005 and am fully hooked. I am a native Arizonan and can never get enough of the Canyon. Grand Canyon has been a part of me all of my life and, of course, I LOVE IT! My favorite aspect of Grand Canyon is the Colorado River itself. I love maneuvering the boats through technical whitewater rapids, always strengthening my respect of the river. Between summers on the Colorado River, I work winters at a ski area near Lake Tahoe. I also love to work on old cars and find new places to practice my canyoneering skills. Read what passengers have to say about Chris.
I grew up running lots of self-support inflatable kayak trips with my dad and I’ve been hooked on rivers ever since. I have been guiding in Cataract Canyon and Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River since 2005, as well as Desolation Canyon on the Green River. I’m very excited to spend time in the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most amazing river sections I’ve ever experienced and I strive to explore as much of it as I can. I love to spend as much of my time during the winter on my Telemark skis exploring wherever I can safely get. I just plain love to be outside; whatever the weather dishes out it’s always more exciting than being inside. Read what passengers have to say about Brie.
I got out of the Marines and was wondering which school to attend when I saw Martin Litton doing a slide show of one of his dory trips in Grand Canyon. Needless to say, I was impressed, but let it slip by as just another interesting thing on campus that day. Then, one month after the end of my military career, some friends invited me to go to this strange place called Havasu Falls. And there the story began! I loved Havasu Creek so much so I hiked to its intersection with the Colorado River. When I saw her (the Colorado River), well, she grabbed my heart then and there and has never let go … must admit I like it! I noticed this rig pulling into the mouth of Havasu and, wow, holy smokes, the guide was an old friend of mine! We were both amazed to run into each other there and he gave me his company info. As soon as I left Havasu, off I went to get myself a job on the river; they hired me on the spot in spring of ’71. I rowed the California rivers, all of them, and some others (Rogue River, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Selway, Main Salmon, Snake … I was even able to hang out with Ed Abbey on the Green!) I started strong and have kept the pace since 1971. Everyone knows of my affection for rivers, with the wild places that provide life for the most exciting thing to me: wild critters! Because of my love for critters, I also am part owner of a safari /river running/mountain climbing company in Tanzania (ACJ Safaris Tanzania Ltd. at acjsafaris.com). There is nothing like being in the Serengeti with the cheetahs! My home, when I am off-river or not in Tanzania, is in Denali, Alaska. I have guided a couple hundred Colorado River trips and more than a hundred trips in Alaska. Life is just getting better each day and I keep exploring and learning! Never give up. Read what passengers have to say about Jimmy.
I was first able to experience the Canyon via the Colorado River on a commercial trip in 2008. Since then, I have been guiding different types of trips in Grand Canyon. I get a very special feeling when I am in Grand Canyon and am very appreciative to have the opportunity to work here! I have been boating since 2006 in motorized boats, oar-powered rafts and kayaks. In my spare time, I enjoy kayaking, skiing, climbing and whatever else I find outside! In the winters I work at a ski resort in Flagstaff, Ariz. The most intriguing things to me about Grand Canyon, besides the obvious (geology), are the accounts of past river runners. I love learning and teaching about John Wesley Powell, Georgie, the Stanton Expedition and other remarkable characters in Colorado River running history. I look forward to seeing you on the river! Read what passengers have to say about Ted.
Northern Arizona University brought me to the state of Arizona from San Diego. Upon graduation, I started working with “at-risk” youth in wilderness settings and running rivers of the southwest. Working with the youth gave me my first Grand Canyon rafting experience in 1997. After a few years running commercially on other rivers, I graduated to the Grand Canyon. I really enjoy the variety of operating both motorized and oar powered boats through the Canyon; every trip is so unique. Now, calling Flagstaff, Ariz. home, I could not imagine my life without Grand Canyon. The community I’ve found with Grand Canyon Whitewater has me looking forward to many more great trips. Read what passengers have to say about Brock.
In 2005, I discovered the Grand Canyon as a passenger with my mom on a 13-day row trip, and spent the next three years elbowing my way back into the most majestic ditch in the world. Since 2008, I have been blessed with the best job a city girl could hope for. I hope to spend the rest of my life learning more about the canyon, and sharing our little world with people just as excited about it as we are. Read what passengers have to say about Chelsea.
I first encountered the Colorado River on a commercial river trip as a passenger in 1984. After that trip, I found the owner of the company and begged him for the next few years for a job. He finally had an opening for me in 1986 as a full-time guide. I have been guiding in Grand Canyon since then! I love the outdoors – kayaking, skiing, hiking, you name it. I love to share the geology and interesting factoids of the flora and fauna in Grand Canyon with my passengers. I also really enjoy taking people who have never camped or experienced the outdoors into the Grand Canyon on a raft trip. I love to open their eyes to the natural world and be able to show them the incredible place that it is. Read what passengers have to say about Jeff.
I have been guiding trips down rivers in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and working in and around Grand Canyon since 1991. I started out in Grand Canyon doing science trips for the National Park Service, but I had fallen in love with it when I was just a kid. We started backpacking, my brother and I, when I was a freshman in high school. Hearing all the river boatman stories all the time, it was just very tantalizing. I got my first river trip when I was 19 and fell hard. I like to get away and, when you’re in Grand Canyon, you’re there — nobody can interrupt that with a phone call or anything. You’re in the moment, totally. I love spending time there because I feel like you could spend your whole life there and barely get to know it. I really enjoy sharing the Grand Canyon with people, and I like how it enlightens every one of us. Whether you like it or not, it teaches you a lot about yourself. I watch how people come on a trip and, by the end of it, they let their guard down and remember how to live a little bit. I think learning to live in that environment for a week is healthy for the soul, for all of us.
I’m also an avid skateboarder and, when I’m not on the river, I’m down in Phoenix riding skateboards with my two sons. Read what guests have to say about Jason.
I started exploring the Grand Canyon on backpacking trips when I was in college over spring break vacations. I was so fond of the area, I decided to transfer to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff to finish my degree in civil engineering. After graduating I practiced structural engineering locally and, with the starving student days behind me, I began rafting the Colorado, Salt, Verde, and San Juan rivers for recreation. When the economy and housing market came to a halt I knew that all I wanted to do was become a river guild.
I currently enjoy calling the Colorado Plateau my home. I spend roughly half of the year rafting, hiking, and fishing in the Grand Canyon, another quarter of the year I spend exploring the Colorado Plateau’s vast deserts, canyons, and mountains. The final quarter of my year I hunt elk and mule deer and, hopefully, fill the freezer for a long fun filled winter of skiing. Read what passengers have to say about Dan.
I went on my first Grand Canyon trip when I was 12 years old. I remember telling my friends about the size of the 10 rolling waves in Hermit Rapid, and that there were soo many more stars than you ever thought possible, and there were a million waterfalls that are always flowing in the middle of the Arizona desert! I told them about the 27 new friends who were just strangers at the beginning of the week and how we meshed into an oddball family on an adventure. I’ve been working in the Canyon since 2008. It is such a pleasure to share this place and those things that captured me with others on each trip. I love watching people of all ages play like kids again in the Canyon … starting water fights, sharing jokes, or chasing after lizards. I also can never seem to get enough of the serenity of the Canyon. I love quiet time in a place like Blacktail Canyon or watching for a few shooting stars before dozing at night.
When I’m not on the river I love to travel. I have spent winters doing things like backpacking India, Thailand, and Nepal, attending Spanish school in Guatemala and scuba diving in Belize. I also love Bikram yoga. I like reading, cooking, playing games, and hiking. See you on the river! Read what passengers have to say about Kelly.
As a young kid growing up in Arizona, I wanted to get out, go where there were mountains, where it was green and where it wasn’t 120 degrees. Then, as life always does, it taught me a lesson. In 2003, I took my first trip down the Colorado River and fell in love with the brown and red desert for life. Naturally, after finishing school with a pre-law degree, I went into river guiding and have been going at it strong since 2007. Nothing brought a greater sense of adventure, laughter and the unique gift of meeting and learning from wonderful, fascinating people than being down on the river and watching the experience change people’s lives, as it is continuously doing to mine. It’s truly an education that can’t be taught in any classroom. With a little bit of time in between rafting seasons, I often find myself in another country exploring the culture and terrain it has to offer. Whether it is on a surfboard, a kayak, a boat in the Grand Canyon or on some other mystical river, my passion lies with the ace of elements: water.
As far back as I can remember my family has taken trips to Grand Canyon. I got into rafting rivers in 2000 and have been guiding ever since. I also enjoy climbing, skiing and playing music. Skiing especially is a passion of mine and I have spent many years working and making snow on the mountain in Telluride, CO. There are all kinds of personalities and characters we encounter working so closely with people on a raft trip. I love learning about people and having the time to really connect and be a part of the catalyst that bonds many diverse folks while on a rafting trip. Read what passengers have to say about John.
I was lucky enough to take a rafting trip in Grand Canyon in 2006 and have been guiding since. I have guided on many rivers in the Southwest and feel incredibly lucky to be in Grand Canyon. I really like the human history associated with running the Colorado River rapids. Each early explorer has such a great story to tell. On my first commercial river trip in Grand Canyon, I read this poem about the Canyon that I had found and really liked. It was about this older woman who was so moved by the spiritual nature of the Canyon that she just kept returning. When I had finished reading the poem, one of the women on my trip – in her 70s – started crying. She said “I wrote that poem you just read.” That was pretty incredible. Read what passengers have to say about Grant.
My first trip down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon was in 1990. I grew up in a corn field — I had paddled canoes back in the Midwest on rivers and lakes, but this was my first time in Arizona and my first time doing a river trip. It just blew my mind. My favorite part about guiding is watching people change over the course of the trip, slowly getting into the groove. They come in not really knowing anything about the river or the Canyon but, before you know it, they’re into it. They enjoy the place; they start to understand it. They remember what it’s like to be part of the planet. It’s cool to see people get back to basics. And, I have to admit, it’s a lot about the people I work with. I love the people I work with. It’s a unique situation — you get really close with these folks. I’ve been friends with (fellow guide) Jeff since the early 90s. The people I work for and with have really made me smile, to see that they still dig it and enjoy it.
My goal when I left the Midwest was to work outside. I think I am lucky to work in such an incredible place as the Canyon. In the off season, I get my fix of outdoor activities by working at a ski resort in Colorado and as a fly fishing guide. Read what passengers have to say about Troy.(Photo by Jonas Wright-Hogg)
Growing up in Germany, I had never seen Grand Canyon until I was 16 years old. Needless to say, I was blown away by its magnificence. When I moved to Flagstaff in 2008, my older sister was working as a hiking guide in the Canyon; I started hiking with her on a regular basis just for fun. In 2009, I was able to do my first river trip. After that trip, I was hooked. Being in Grand Canyon is a life-changing experience. I have become a more positive, open-minded and appreciative person. The Colorado River brings me a feeling of excitement as well as calmness and freedom. The Grand Canyon and the great people I have met on river trips have changed my perspective on life. I hope to be inspired by the Canyon’s majesty throughout my entire life.Besides rafting and hiking in Grand Canyon, I have a degree in social work. I enjoy any type of outdoor activity, from skiing to exploring trails around Flagstaff and Sedona. I love running all rivers and I am currently honing my kayak skills. Read what guests have to say about Thea.
I have been enthralled by the Grand Canyon since first visiting in the mid-90s and have been hooked by rafting the Colorado River since 1999. I’ve had the privilege to be a participant on many different types of trips — archaeological, geological, trails and vegetative work trips, biological survey trips, as well as commercial trips for fun — and find it amazing to see something new on every single adventure down through “The Big Ditch.” I am pleased to be able to represent Grand Canyon Whitewater and share with folks any of the human and natural history to which I’ve been exposed. Come on down!! Read what passengers have to say about Joe.
California born and raised, I grew up always having a great love for the outdoors. I first fell in love with river running and the Grand Canyon during the summer of 2011, when I was lucky enough to have my first motorized raft trip. The Grand Canyon is such an intimate and magical place. I find myself growing and learning the most about who I am when I am surrounded by such beauty. I still can’t believe I am so lucky to be in such an amazing place. To be able to share and learn about it with others is a dream come true. When I am not on the river, you can find me traveling, rock climbing, hiking, slacklining, highlining, camping, or wakeboarding. During the winter season, I live in Telluride, Colo., where I work at Telluride Ski and Golf as a ski lift operator. I can’t wait to share what I hope will become the most miraculous experience of your life with you! Read what guests have to say about Sarah.
I was born and raised near the Utah/Arizona border with bare feet in the hot sand, little hands on fast lizards and bare skin under the sweet summer sun. When I realized there was no career in contemplation, I took up rafting. I love the Colorado and everything it cuts through. I am blessed to have a job that keeps me outside. Being outdoors benefits everyone, especially in the Grand Canyon. The scenes, the solitude, the companionship, the roaring waters, the excitement and adrenaline, the peaceful evenings with good food on hungry stomachs, and the canyon walls framing wild stars and a desert moon are all part of an experience that I hope leaves as indelible a mark on other people as it has on me. Come and see what it’s all about! In my time off the water, I like to play music, hike, travel and goof off — all stuff I do on the river!
My first river trip through the Grand Canyon was in June 2009, and that is when I fell in love with the Canyon. There is something to be said about the solitude, peacefulness, tranquility and the awe-inspiring beauty the Canyon has to offer. After my first river trip I realized there is no other way to live life without spending nights sleeping under the bright twinkling stars or relaxing near a misty waterfall. Below the rim, I can truly live in the moment and focus on sharing the Canyon with all of our guests. Some of my favorite things to share are knowledge of the Canyon’s ancient history, boatman history, flora and fauna, astronomy and Grand Canyon geology. I hope to see you on the river this season. Read what passengers have to say about Zach.