Guides on a raft.

Whitewater Guide School

Guides doing raft flipping drills.

Raft Guide Training Programs

If you’ve fallen in love with rafting and want to take that passion to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you want to become a professional river guide, or would like to be able to guide your own private paddle raft trips down the river with confidence, OARS whitewater guide schools are for you.

As one of the largest whitewater rafting companies in the world, with more than 50 years of experience under our belts, you could say we know a thing or two about rivers and river safety. All of OARS whitewater rafting guide school programs are taught by our professional river guides who have formal swiftwater rescue training and extensive backgrounds in leading whitewater rafting trips. When you set out to learn how to guide a river trip professionally or privately, you’ll be learning from the best.

A group of river guides and trainees smile for a photo by the river

The Full Package

While our main objective is to teach you the techniques to safely guide a paddle raft downstream and through rapids, there is so much more to raft guide training. We’ll also dive into river etiquette, whitewater rescue techniques, how to rig a boat and safely secure it, water hydraulics, rope techniques, and of course, how to prepare the best river meals. Oh, and did we mention you’ll be learning on some of the most exciting whitewater rivers in the U.S.?

Choose from one of our whitewater rafting guide training programs based out of California or Utah in the spring and early summer:

An OARS guide leads a boat down a rapid on the South Fork of the American River

Take the next step

If you’re an aspiring river guide, whitewater rafting guide school is a critical first step and may provide an opportunity for you to get your foot in the door with a well-established company like OARS. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to hire directly from our guide school programs. If you’re considering a guiding career with OARS, be sure to check out our Hiring and Guide School FAQs.

Find Your Perfect Trip

Whitewater Guide School

Discover your next OARS Adventure

Guides on a raft in the whitewater guide school.

Compare Adventures

Select up to 3 trips to compare