Qualifications

In order to lead whitewater trips with Arizona River Runners, the National Park Service requires certain job qualifications and certifications for Grand Canyon River Guides. We also have requirements above and beyond that of Grand Canyon National Park:

Each of our guides must not only satisfy the job qualifications for Grand Canyon Colorado River guides, but must possess a multitude of skills, including conservationist, interpreter, boatman, geologist, psychologist, counselor, entertainer, cook, mechanic, sanitation expert, logistics coordinator and medical tech, to name a few. Furthermore, they must have the ability to safely operate and maintain a raft and all other equipment over the course of 300 river miles, while constantly anticipating the unknown and always paying attention to the minor details.

To lead a successful whitewater trip with ARR, each guide needs to possess a genuine love and respect for the great outdoors; a deep interest in the geology, natural and human history of the Grand Canyon; and a true passion and ability to share and communicate this knowledge.

Prospective Grand Canyon guides for Arizona River Runners spend three to five years perfecting their Colorado River rafting skills under the guidance of veteran trip leaders before earning the position of “Trip Leader”. New guides, or guides in training, are known as “Swampers” and it takes a very special person, full of passion, to be successful on the river and work in the natural wilderness of the Grand Canyon.