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Old 10-17-2012   #21
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 426
One thing to keep in mind when you say that $30 a day is lousy is that the Arkansas River has one of the longer seasons out there. This year my first trip was on April 15, and our last was October 6. It's also one of the most heavily rafted rivers in the country. A friend of mine mentioned the number of guests the whole river he works on 2 hours from NYC took, and it was similar to what one company out here does in a summer. So, even though you're not making much per trip, there's lots of work.

Also, I was talking $30 per half-day trip. That's about 2 hours on the water, and $60 per day.

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Old 10-17-2012   #22
montuckyhuck's Avatar
The Bitterroot, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 451
Be super excited and you will get good tips. Learn local history and geology to talk about between drops. I banked 4k in tips alone my first summer guiding in Missoula, also got company record for most$100 tips in a season. Why? Because I'm frickin awsome at getting people moist and telling stories. I also worked 40 days in a row peak season.

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Old 10-17-2012   #23
Paonia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 38
Working multiday trips in Co & Ut can provide really great experiences. There are still a few old school companies with small permits on several rivers Áreating opportunities to see a lot of country. Pick up a WFR class and create some great memories. I started guiding in 84 and still work a couple of Grand trips each year. Marc
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Old 10-18-2012   #24
Dirty q tip's Avatar
Kansas City, Kansas
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 9
Definitely need to give it a shot.. Sounds like a blast!
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Old 10-18-2012   #25
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 18
Here's my two cents ; I have been been guiding for over 8 years and have around 7 000- 8000 miles of commercially guided trips!

Guide on clear creek! You make more money than the Arkansas . I laugh when you make 30 a day! On clear creek you can guide three trips a day easily !!!!! I would clear around 5000 before tips a season and not work my ass off!! ( I work for a smaller company ) Clear creek is narrower, faster and has more gradient than the Arkansas. Meaning its harder to guide on , which in turn makes you a better guide faster!!! I guide can guide on any river I want now because of clear creek!
In case any ark guide says shit; yes I've done pine creek and royal gorge at high water and no it's not harder than clear creek canyon!!! Send me a pm because we do train guides the first of may!! For around 300 but it doesn't mean you get a job we only take the best guides! But you can take the training and get a job on the ark pretty easily!!
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Old 10-18-2012   #26
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 748
Sections of Clear Creek are definitely harder to raft than the Ark - but that doesn't make them better. Rafting is not kayaking - commercial rafting in Colorado is always better with more water, and Clear Creek has a serious lack of water for most of the summer in normal years. If you want to work day trips in Colorado - split the difference - go to the Poudre. It has more water than Clear Creek (more than the Ark in good years), and you can make much more than $30/day. The Poudre also has better kayaking options than the Ark, plus its a college town with college women.
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Old 10-18-2012   #27
Cpt. No Scout
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In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Ever think about just being a shuttle driver? It seems that every year some river goes off and there is not enough shuttles in that area. The owyhee was that way two years ago. A friend made bank running shuttles there. If you have freedom to move and a good driving record you should be able to do your own thing and make enough to provide a good hang over. In Idaho guided trips were down 18% in 2012 and 15% in 2011. So, if this continues??? But non-guided trips are flat. so just maybe shuttle services are an option.
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Old 10-18-2012   #28
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 167
Just throwing a few more thoughts out for your consideration. I think you should go somewhere will you have the ability to learn to row as well as paddle guide. I know on Clear Creek they are not commercially rowing trip and I am not sure about the Poudre. It is a great skill to learn in case you do ever want to get into multi days for work or pleasure. I have been down the grand twice now, once in my kayak once rowing a raft and I will take the raft next time. Now as far as kayaking after work, the Buena Vista area is probably the best place to be. I personally would not like to guide everyday on Brown's but for the after work boating, Pine Creek, Numbers and play parks are all right there. You are also very centrally located for taking day trips to the numerous other rivers in the state. While I agree, to some extent, that Clear Creek will make you a better guide, I think the Ark will give you plenty of great experience your first season with better after work kayaking options. I worked up there my first 4 seasons in this game and have come out a pretty decent guide, I hope. Also the $30 is for a half day, not including tips and you can do 2, sometimes 3 trips in a day. Research different companies about there training class, hiring policies, pay and amount of work you might be able to get. When you narrow it down to a few companies and locations you are interested in, ask on here about them. You'll get more than enough answers. It is a great thing to do for a summer, I just finished my 16th.
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Old 10-18-2012   #29
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
Originally Posted by pyranha_rev View Post
Guide on clear creek! You make more money than the Arkansas . I laugh when you make 30 a day! On clear creek you can guide three trips a day easily !!!!!!!
Now we've gotten to the heart of the matter. Do you want to guide three trips a day? Or would you rather get to know people and enjoy the outdoors with them? (This isn't a test, and there isn't a wrong answer.)

Most of my guides preferred doing the 4 and 5 day trips over doing day trips. They liked people (a primary requisite for being a river guide, by the way) and they liked taking them into a world that most of them had never known.

I've probably spent as much time guiding day trips as I have multi-day trips. I enjoyed both (or I wouldn't have done it). I had some guides who would do only day trips, and others who refused to do day trips.

We were mostly a multi-day trip company (Rogue, Lower Salmon, Owyhee, Deschutes, Grand Ronde, John Day, Klamath) but we also did a lot of day trips (Clackamas, North Santiam, North Umpqua, Deschutes), so the guides had some flexibility.

You should reflect on what kind of guiding suits you best.
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Old 10-19-2012   #30
Bellvue, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 117
Oh randaddy, I am glad you see the shit light at the end of brecks tunnel. I told you he would screw you! As far as my spelling goes thanks for making fun of the dyslexic kid, do you beat up kids in wheel chairs as well?

P.S. I really enjoyed our romantic dirt bike ride up trough road

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