Raft Guide Employment & Training Opportunities

Thanks for your interest in employment as a Whitewater Rafting Guide with Outdoor Adventure Center! We are accepting applications for employment, internships and trainees for the upcoming Spring, Summer and Fall.

For Experienced Guides

If you have already completed a Raft Guide Training program or a Kayak Instructor Certification program please fill out and submit an application for employment. Jobs & Internships at Outdoor Adventures In addition to your completed application, please send a river log and copies of your certifications to info@OutdoorAdventureCenter.com. Questions? Call 425-883-9039.

Raft Guide Requirements – Washington State

In order to work as a commercial rafting guide in Washington State, you must first successfully complete a comprehensive training program that includes at least 50+ hours of instruction. You must also be 18+ years of age and certified in First Aid and CPR. View our training program.

For Raft Guide Trainees and Beginning Guides

We are currently accepting applications for Raft Guides for the upcoming season. If you desire employment with Outdoor Adventures, please sign up right away to ensure your spot in our spring Raft Guide Training program. This course is designed for beginning whitewater rafting guides (no experience necessary) and experienced paddlers (rafting, kayaking, canoeing, etc) who have not yet completed a raft training program (including recreational and out-of-state boaters). We are in search of outstanding individuals with a strong work ethic and commitment to the outdoor industry who are looking for a thorough training to become outstanding guides. Outdoor Adventure’s guide training course is extensive and exceeds training requirements in Washington State. We are eager to invest in you if you can dedicate the time and energy required to develop your skills, and commit to 2 seasons with us. Our whitewater raft training program is not for everyone, but it may be the most rewarding and memorable summer job you will ever have!

Interested? Great! We can’t wait to hear from you! Please register for class so we can send you a detailed confirmation packet.

Register for Training online: Whitewater Raft Guide School or call 425-883-9039

What does Whitewater Raft Guide Training look like? Now available… weekend training option!

The initial week of training includes at least 50 hours of instruction, as well as basic rescue training and LOTS of on-river time. You will learn to;

  • Maneuver a raft downriver safely
  • Read water currents
  • Navigate currents, eddy lines and rapids
  • Avoid obstacles and hazards
  • Rig your boat
  • Use basic safety equipment
  • Instruct your paddlers
  • Interact professionally with guests
  • and lots, lots more!

Outdoor Adventures offers a reduced rate to our campground during training, and provides transportation from our facility to and from the river, high quality equipment, and an excellent team of instructors who are dedicated long-term OA staff members. Our training staff dedicate themselves to long days and miles of river time to provide you with a unique and effective learning experience. 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, basic rescue procedures and much more. Written and practical tests are yet another tool we utilize to inform us of your overall progress and competency.

While WA State requires successful completion of a 50-hour training program, it has been our experience that rafting guide trainees usually do not attain the professional skills or technical knowledge required in that short amount of river time. You can expect to accrue more than 100 river hours before we are comfortable certifying you to work above class II. For prospective guides who wish to be employed by Outdoor Adventures or work on rivers rated above class II, you can expect to complete additional training prior to employment. This includes… your initial training program, follow-up skill-building weekends, and supplementary training classes in Swiftwater Rescue and Wilderness First Aid which are not included in your Raft Guide Training fees.

All prospective Outdoor Adventure guides need to remember that participation in  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 preference is given to those able to commit to 2 seasons with Outdoor Adventures. Upon completion of your 50+ hour initial training program, 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 the possibility of obtaining a full time or part-time guiding position with Outdoor Adventures.

Our training is a physically and mentally demanding program which will require focus and commitment. You should plan on investing your full time and energy into this training program in order to be successful. 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 that 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 $495 training fee (and any subsequent programs such as first aid and swiftwater rescue), you should also be prepared to purchase some personal rafting gear in preparation for season. The cost of these materials can range from $300 to $400, depending on what you choose to buy. More information regarding costs and detailed equipment lists will be made available to you prior to/during training.

White water rafting jobs are paid by the trip and first year guides are paid $65 per trip. First year white water guides generally earn $2,300 or more in wages; an additional $1,000 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 Outdoor Adventures trip. Staff housing/camping spaces may be available for a seasonal fee. If hired, all employees and guides must read and sign our Employee Handbook which outlines company policies and procedures.

Apply to become an Outdoor Adventures Whitewater Guide!

We begin reviewing applications in January. Raft Guide Trainees are selected after a review of their applications, resumes, references and phone or personal interviews.

Save BIG in February By Booking Your Summer Adventures NOW!

Does all this beautiful spring sunshine have you thinking about your summer activities already? We hope so! Because this week you can take advantage of our great pre-season booking deals to schedule your summer kayaking tours, rafting adventures, a family adventure vacation, and even your teens’ summer camp at a significant discount! Whether you are scheduling an outing for 2 or 20, you will find an Outdoor Adventures trip, tour or vacation package that is just right.

Sea Kayaking Expedition in the San Juan Islands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARafting the North Fork Skykomish

Our top picks for you…

Island Bike Tour & Kayak Adventure for an activity-filled trip the whole family will love!
Inflatable Kayaking 2-Day with camping if you’re looking for a Wet & Wild weekend adventure close to home.
Island Adventure Camp for an adventurous 4-day camping & paddling experience for your teen!
Family-Friendly Rafting Trip for ages 6+ on a calm river stretch just an hour outside of Seattle.

Custom Adventures in Washington
Looking for a custom day or private trip for your business, church, scout group, family, employees, school, or youth group? We are happy to set you up with a custom adventure that will meet your budget, schedule and activity level… just ask! 425-883-9039 or info@OutdoorAdventureCenter.com

The Mother’s Day Gift She’s Always Wanted

This Mother’s Day, give mom something worth writing home about. Invite her on a paddling adventure that you’ll both enjoy and get a head start on your summer! We’ve got the perfect guided kayak and raft tours to earn you some extra laundry and dinner credits – not to mention getting a head start on photos for the Christmas cards. In fact, use our handy suggestions below to make a day or a weekend out of it – an experience the whole family will enjoy.

As an added incentive for you to do something great for mom this year we’re discounting our most popular trips so you won’t have to work overtime to pay for it. Save 40% online using code “MOMSDAY” before May 10th and call us with any questions. 425.883.9039

Lopez Island 3 hour Sea Kayak Tour
Package Ideas: Visit Lopez Island Vineyards or the Lopez Island Museum

Redhook Kayak Tour
Package Ideas: Lunch or Dinner at Redhook Brewery or a tasting/tour at Chateau St Michelle Winery

North Fork Skykomish Rafting Trip
Package Ideas: Visit Pine Creek Nursery & Farm Gift Shop

Wenatchee River Rafting Trip
Package Ideas: Check out all that the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth has to offer… wineries, restaurants, shops – need we say more?

Not sure if your mom is up for the gift of adventure? Well, let’s face it – raising you has probably been her greatest adventure, so we’re sure she can handle it!

Looking for something unique  or custom that will make mom smile? We can do that! Give us a call or email us your request so we can help you plan a great day for just the two of you, or for the whole family! 425.883.9039 | info@OutdoorAdventureCenter.com

Deception Pass Dash – Extreme NW Paddling Event

Deception Pass Dash Kayak Race near Oak Harbor WA with outdooradventurecenter.com

Deception Pass Dash Kayak Race near Oak Harbor WA with outdooradventurecenter.com

Do you wonder if you have what it takes to paddle Northwest waters in extreme conditions? The cold water temps, chilly weather conditions, onshore winds, and choppy waters of the Washington coast combine to provide a challenging playground for experienced paddlers who have mastered their defensive boating techniques and self-rescue skills.

Extreme Paddling Event!
Each December nearly 200 adventurous paddlers converge on Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor for a 6-mile paddle race known as the Deception Pass Dash. In it’s 8th year, the DPD has become the extreme winter paddling event of the Northwest. The event is open to all human-powered craft. This years event will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2013 with rescue practice and on-water clinics held at the Park on Saturday, December 7th. Racers come from as far as California and Montana to compete in the challenging conditions and swirling waters of Deception Pass, known for intense currents and whirlpools.

Deception Pass Dash Race Route

Safety is paramount for Outdoor Adventure Center, who puts the event on, and works with the Coast Guard, Skagit County, and Washington State Parks to ensure that procedures are in place to minimize and handle any incidents. A safety crew of 20+ experienced boaters (mainly expedition kayakers) and several motor boats are on hand and stationed along the race route to oversee the participants and provide assistance to any racer who needs it. Racers are also encouraged to assist each other, if necessary, and competitor’s finish times are adjusted to account for time spent helping another boater when this situation arises. All race participants are encouraged to have solid, proven self-rescue skills and to arrive the day before the event to test their skills and ensure that they are adequately prepared. On Saturday, Outdoor Adventures is also providing safety and rescue clinics from qualified instructors for those who wish to gain additional training prior to race-day.

NEW for 2013! Outdoor Adventures has added a beginner competition and will be offering a 2-mile short course following the main event. This shortened race will allow novice paddlers to compete in open water with a full safety crew on hand.

Learn more about the 8th annual Deception Pass Dash and register online at www.OutdoorAdventureCenter.com

Deception Pass Dash 2010

Fall Kayaking is Best!

September and October are the perfect time to get your feet wet in the sport of kayaking! Lower river levels and a slower flow rate during the fall months provide beginning paddlers with an easier learning pace, while still offering the option of experiencing waves and other hydraulic features that are either too fast, or too big to enjoy at the higher water levels that occur during the spring and summer months. The Skykomish River, just an hour outside of Seattle, Washington is a great place to take a river kayaking class, or if you’re more into ocean paddling you can check out a beginner-friendly coastal adventure at Bowman Bay! If this is your first time in a kayak, we suggest an inflatable kayak class or tour, or an intro class before tackling a hardshell kayak. Take a lesson or two in the fall from an experienced instructor, then include some paddler-specific exercises in your winter workout plan (and get in some practice sessions and rescue training at a local kayak pool session), and be ready to immerse yourself in the perfect Pacific Northwest sport when spring rolls around and the boating community comes out of hibernation (and turns in their skis and boards) for another great season of paddling adventures! The other best thing about kayaking… it is even more fun with friends! Bring your own, or make some new ones as you embark on your boating venture!

111 Reasons to Hike in Index, Washington

The Town of Index is known for its many recreational opportunities and day trips. With the scenic Skykomish River flowing right through town, the Index Wall climbing area overlooking it, and the many protected wilderness and park areas surrounding it, Index is truly an adventurer’s paradise. And NOW is the time to HIKE IT!

You can easily drive up to Index from the Seattle area in the morning and get in a fun fall hike before the afternoon football game! Most days in October you will leave behind the morning fog and mist of Seattle and arrive above the clouds in Index to enjoy the crisp autumn air and a bright blue sky. Located 1 hour from Seattle, Washington the Town of Index is a hiker’s paradise – you can enjoy a different hike each weekend all year round. In fact, a quick search on the Washington Trails Association website of hikes in the Cascade Mountains near Index brings up a list of 111 trails to explore! Need directions or hiking suggestions? Stop by The River House in Index for information, restrooms and great coffee. Come explore and enjoy the seasons with us!

WA Trails Association –  Hikes Near Index, Washington

Still Many Autumn Fishing Options to Choose All Across The State

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The choices on places to go and catch a fish are plentiful in the fall.

“We’ve got some great coho fishing going on right now, and it is about as good as I’ve seen in quite a number of years especially in the Skykomish and Snohomish,” said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted’s Sports Center in Lynnwood. “There are lots of coho and most of the guys are very pleased with it from the tidewater in Everett all the way up past the town of Snohomish.”

Most anglers are trolling Brad’s Wigglers or 3.5 Mag Lips. Others are doing well just casting and retrieving Vibrax-like spinners and incorporating them with a small squid or floating eggs has been good in the flowing sections of the rivers. Small Dick Nites in a 50/50 and other varieties of color have also been doing quite well.

Other rivers garnering fair to good coho reports are the Stillaguamish, Cascade and Skagit. There are still a fair number of zombie humpies kicking around for those who’d like to catch them. Summer steelhead fishing has been fair in Reiter Ponds of the Skykomish.

On the coast, rivers like the Humptulips, Satsop, Wynoochee, Clearwater, Queets and Lower Hoh all have a good showing of salmon.

Those looking for kings should head east of the Cascades to the Columbia River in the Hanford Reach area where it remains good.

On the lake scene, the perch are biting well in Lake Washington on the docks of Seward Park, Coulon Park in Renton, Mercer Island at Luther Burbank and Kenmore. Cho are also being hooked up off Hunts Point and Yarrow Bay most by guys trolliner 3.5 Mag Lips or Brads Wigglers on downriggers.

The coho bite is starting to wind down in the saltwater although it is still fair in northern Puget Sound, Shipwreck to Browns Bay, Edmonds area, Richmond Beach to Shilshole Bay, West Point, Elliott Bay and Jefferson Head. It is also fair to good for blackmouth and coho in the San Juan Islands.

Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

San Juan Island Hopping – Men’s Journal Approved Travel

Boating the San Juan Islands

Hidden in the rain shadow behind the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades, the San Juan archipelago sees the sun 247 days a year. During the summer and early fall, when calm seas are the norm, clear skies are as common as the eagles and whales that swoop and breach in the waterways between the 400 islands, some no bigger than a rock. But the weather is just icing on the cake. These islands are chock-full of cool towns, of-the-moment restaurants, and opportunities for adventure. There is no bad decision when it comes to choosing which island to stay on, but there is a best decision: Stay on a boat.

The best place to begin your week around and on… Read more

Wild Sky: A wildly popular wilderness

INDEX — Local residents of this Cascade hamlet off U.S. 2 spilled across the lawn by the Skykomish River,  in a festivity that 50 years ago would have been about as likely to happen as watching the sun rise over the Olympics.

They spent Tuesday celebrating the fifth anniversary of the 106,000-acre Wild Sky Wilderness Area, beneath peaks of the wilderness and a nearby forested ridge recently rescued from logging.  They feted Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., who fought to make it happen, and took Murray on a hike into forests of the wilderness.

In days gone by, lines of logging trucks… Read more

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