Lauren Petersen

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Papillion, Nebraska

Where do you call home now?

Wherever I park my Jeep!

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is getting to meet so many cool people. Whether I am interacting with other guides, or whoever is in my boat, I love hearing their stories. We all come from such different places, and have such diverse backgrounds, I love having the opportunity to soak that all in!

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

My favorite rapid is Beginners Luck on the North Fork of the Stanislaus river. It’s the first Class V rapid I ever r2’d. This is such a beautiful river and this rapid is the very first one you hit during your trip. It’s really splashy and fun and technical!

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

I am a firm believer in morning yoga circles on multi-day trips, it’s the best way to greet the day!

What can you not live without on a trip?

I cannot live without a pen and journal on a trip. I love taking time to reflect while I’m on the river. I think it’s so centering to consider from afar the direction my life is going, and to be able to write and sketch about it!

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

My favorite guiding memory would probably be any time I am able to spend time in canyons, whether that’s in Texas, Arizona, Utah, or elsewhere. Paddling through a canyon is one of the most incredible things, and I am always struck speechless.