Jeff Berkey

Professional River Guide


Where did you grow up?

Pacific Northwest!

Where do you call home now?

Wherever Thelma Rose is parked

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

Listening to the river gurgle by as you drift off to sleep at night, feeling your body tired and happy and knowing that you do not work at a desk.

Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike or camp and what makes it special

On the middle fork of the salmon there is a little pool just downhill of loon creek hot springs that is a very magical place. You can come out of the springs overheated feeling like you are melting, submerge yourself in this pool and you can hear your heart, breath and mind slow way down as you look up at a nights sky filled with stars… It usually ends in uncontrollable laughter. I try to experience this on every trip.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

I use a native American flute in the morning to wake folks up. It sure beats the hell out of someone yelling that coffee is ready and its quite an exercise in concentration when you are still slightly unconscious.

What can you not live without on a trip?

Probably water. Us humans need water to survive, so do rivers. We would be real sad and dehydrated without some high quality H2O.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

I can suck a noodle up my nose and make it come out my mouth 🙂