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Old 07-10-2013   #1
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 338
average earning for a guide

Just out of curiosity, I wonder how much a guide earns before and with tips? I'm sure different rivers and trips pay differently, but I still wonder.

Grand guide average earning per day?

Salmon guide?

Cat guide?


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Old 07-10-2013   #2
montuckyhuck's Avatar
The Bitterroot, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 451
Poor and tan.....

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Old 07-10-2013   #3
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 657
Guiding class 5 pays $100-150 per trip in MD, WV, and PA. No overnights around here. Tips pay $0 up to a small fortune.
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Old 07-10-2013   #4
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 26
Average on the Arkansas would be about $80 - $90 for a full day trip, plus tip. Give or take a little if you are a seasoned veteran or a rookie. Tip varies from $0 to $100 or more.
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Old 07-10-2013   #5
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
In Oregon day trips are $75-100 depending on experience and training. Tips are typically $20 a day. Overnight trips tend to pay about $30 more per day. A good rule of thumb for a paddle trip is the guide gets paid about equal to what one customer pays to be on the trip.
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Old 07-10-2013   #6
jwithers's Avatar
Billings, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 74
I'd bring home 10-15K for a summer in AK.
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Old 07-11-2013   #7
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
My last year as a full time guide on Colorado Class IV I earned about $110 a day with about $70 per day in tips. I worked 6 days a week during peak season and probably averaged 4 days a week from May 15 to August 31 because of the slow early and late seasons. So I made $8,000 or so in 3 1/2 months. This was as a charismatic, talented, very attractive ten-plus year raft guide. A two month Gauley season could probably add another $5k for a hard worker. There you have it; in ten years of hard work you too can earn $13,000 a year!
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Old 07-15-2013   #8
Tub-a-lubs's Avatar
Frankston, Australia
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4
You guys need to get down under. In Australia, guides are on anywhere between $200-$300 a day. No tips. Short season, small market but there is work around and our rivers are pretty technical, narrow and shallow.
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Old 07-15-2013   #9
openboat's Avatar
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 227
There is an old joke which asks the question, "What is the difference between a raft guide and stock and bonds?"

Answer - "Eventually stocks and bonds mature and make money."
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Old 07-15-2013   #10
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1896
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 94
another one is

How do you get 20 raft guides into a closet?
- let 'em live there.

How do you get 20 raft guides out of a closet?
- charge 'em rent.

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