Roger Dale

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Riverside, California

Where do you call home now?

Ignacio, Colorado

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

I must say that rowing those little Dories thru those big rapids is pretty dam fun, but the best part of my job is getting to watch the guests smile as we show them the best parts of the Colorado river and the Grand Canyon.

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

National Canyon is my favorite camp and hike. It has something for everyone. Tall walls rise hundreds of feet from the rivers’ edge giving the camp a very powerful feel, almost like the canyon is embracing you. The hike from this camp has it all, a stream of water, limestone narrows, springs, a short easy access hike as well as a long breathtaking all day adventure. Everyone comes away with a big smile.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

I really enjoy giving the guests something tangible to take with them, so I started collecting clay every trip from the river bed back in 1998 and making clay beads with it. After the beads have dried I fire them in camp with the leftover coals from the Barbecue. The next morning I pull the beads from the ashes and string them on a cord into a necklaces. I have given close to 500 necklaces away over the years each with three beads on it. I often think of how two people meeting in an airport wearing these necklaces might start a conversation when they notice they are both wearing Grand Canyon River Beads.

What can you not live without on a trip?

These days I have found that bringing a large solar charging device is a must. All the guest are bringing their camera phones, GoPro cameras and other video toys. They soon realize that they have not brought enough batteries to make it through the trip. Having a solar charger has become quite helpful in ensuring the guests can capture the trip digitally so they can share the experience with their families back home.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory

My wife (Cindell) and I are glass artists. We have a hot glass studio next to our house here in Ignacio, Colorado where we spend the winters in the studio making art. The river and the Grand Canyon are very inspirational and influence our work. We also raise grass-finished organic beef cattle here on our 30 acre ranch.

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