Whitewater Guide Training

Ever wondered what it would be like to be at the helm of a raft as you approach a roaring rapid?  Our guide training gives you the experience and education you need to safely guide clients down whitewater rivers.  Our guides and staff have a wealth of river knowledge and are passionate about spending time on the river.  We love sharing our river experience with future guides and fellow boaters!  Our guide training program is designed for both aspiring commercial guides and recreational boaters looking to gain experience and skills for personal river trips.  Our intensive, multi-day training program meets and exceeds Washington State's Outfitter Licensing requirements.

Guide training objectives:

  1. Gain an introduction to paddle guiding, oar-frame guiding and kayak guiding on whitewater rivers.
  2. To learn about the river environment and begin developing solid judgement and safety skills.
  3. Meet or exceed Washington State's Outfitter Licensing requirements: 50+ hours of training and First Aid/CPR certification.

You can expect to receive extensive training in the following:

  • paddle boat guiding (Class II-IV)
  • oar boat guiding (Class I-III)
  • kayak guiding (Class I-III)
  • reading the river, basic hydrology and river terminology
  • river safety practices, communications and group management
  • basic river rescue including raft flipping, rapid swimming and introduction to swift water rescue techniques
  • boat rigging, equipment and gear care and management
  • Risk management
  • CPR/First Aid certification
  • river etiquette and ethics


We begin our course from our headquarters in Winthrop, Washington and spend several days running the Methow River.  Other rivers utilized for the course include the Skagit and Wenatchee Rivers depending on conditions. Group camping and/or lodging and  meals are available at all locations used.  Details will be provided when you register for the course.


The cost for our guide training program is $485.00 and includes 10 days of instruction, course materials, gear and equipment needed on the river and shuttles to or from the river.  We offer scholarships for those who have been guaranteed employment with Methow Rafting.

American Red Cross First Aid/CPR certification is offered for an additional $45.


Guide training begins in late April and runs through mid-May.  Schedule TBA.

What to bring:

Be prepared to be cold and wet! We recommend a dry-suit for maximum comfort but if you don't have your own gear, we can provide a PFD, helmet, wet-suits, splash jackets, and booties. Please bring a full lunch and water for all river days. We'll provide you with more details when you register. 

Employment at Methow Rafting

Employment at Methow Rafting after successful completion of the course is not guaranteed.  Employment depends upon attained skill level, personal dedication and our company's needs.  Please realize that not everyone develops the skills and confidence needed to guide a raft in their first season of guide training.