Cy Hershey

Job Title

Professional River Guide




Grand Canyon, Arizona

With OARS Since


Cy Hershey.


Flagstaff, AZ

Current Location

Flagstaff, AZ & Rico, CO

Offseason Gig

Science & Engineering Teacher (now retired)

About me

I grew up in Northern Arizona, generally outdoors the majority of my young life. Hunting, fishing, biking and skiing, camping, playing sports, having a lot of fun. Kinda adopted the mentality that if it isn't fun, why do it? Since retiring from thirty years of teaching science and engineering, I've really tried to balance maintaining my status as a part-time member of the pro leisure tour with enjoying quality time with my family, my friends, and my dogs. All the while trying not to grow up too fast!

The Best Part of My Job

I guess getting to meet so many different people, from all over the world, doing so many different things, and getting to hangout with them for a week or two as we explore some of the most amazing places on earth. And really, getting to know them and their story. And them getting to experience our world as we play and work together.

How I found OARS

My second year in college I took a canoe down the San Juan River and realized that getting to know the country by way of boating down a waterway in the West is hard to beat. My next river trip, I was rowing a baggage boat for Expeditions through Grand Canyon in 1989. Guided with Expeditions until 1998 when Mac sold the company. A few summers later, I was in the right place at the right time when Regan Dale called me and asked if I could hike into a trip the next day. Of course I did, and I've been going downstream with OARS ever since.

My Favorite Spot on the River/Outdoors

Lava Falls is always a fave because of its' level of intensity and ability to jack up one's heart rate just looking at it, but it's hard not to mention Hermit. It's true that Hermit's probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on down there!

My Favorite Trip Memory

Once caught a grape with my mouth from a mate standing on his boat 30 meters away from the kitchen where I was standing. It's got to be a record, right? So many memories, though. Holy cow.

Favorite River Tradition

Kind of a tradition to slap a big, sweaty slice of cheddar cheese on the face of a guy or gal rowing their first boat down the Grand Canyon. Sooner or later, they get it. I don't think that's hazing, is it?

I Can’t Live Without

Good coffee in the morn. And SPKs (Sour Patch Kids; Kerry Jones got me hooked on those).

Meet me on these adventures

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