Mariah Hibarger

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Arkansas and Missouri

Where do you call home now?

Fayetteville, West Virginia and Flagstaff, Arizona

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

Living completely outside in a beautiful place. And the people I get to work with and meet.

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

Buffalo River: Spring Bluff camp, my home river.

Río Mendoza: Ombligo del Diablo Rapid

Arkansas River: Sunshine Rapid

Desolation Canyon of the Green: Wire Fence Rapid

Kaituna River: Tutea Falls because bailing over a 21 foot waterfall is always special.

Wairoa River: Roller Coaster Rapid

Rangitaiki River: Jeff’s Joy Rapid

Clear Creek: Outer Limits Rapid

Gauley River: Tumble Home Rapid

New River: Double Z Rapid

Grand Canyon: Crystal and Lava Rapids because they keep me honest; Deer Creek and Thunder River Hikes because they take my breath away.

Futaleufú: El Toro Rapid flowing into Mundaka Rapid because they’ve got my number.

Cataract Canyon: Rapid 29 and the Doll House Hike

Westwater: Skull Rapid

Yampa: Warm Springs Rapid

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

Good luck charm: The Māori greenstone carving my brother Río gave me when I was 16. It contains a Spiral Koru (represents inner peace and new beginnings) and a depiction of a Taniwha (Māori mythological being that lives in deep pools in rivers, dark caves, or in the sea, especially in places with dangerous currents or deceptive breakers).

River tradition: I try to do headstands. Headstands on my boat, headstands on a cool rock, headstands on a kitchen box. Getting upside down is good for the body, and I always consider safety first 🙂

What can you not live without on a trip?

My river log.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

Talents: I can spin my arms in opposite directions, move one eyeball at a time, and balance a pea in the air.

Fact: When I’m not on the river, I’m a writer, reiki master and a yoga teacher.

Mariah welcomes you to visit her website Yoga By Water

More from Mariah on the blog…