california rafting trips & vacations

Guide School

Starts in Lotus, CA and we travel to other rivers /

Level: Beginner to Intermediate /

Class 2-5

White Water Rafting Guide School

2 Sessions Spring 2021!

Session 1: Monday May 3 – Sunday May 9, 2021
Session 2: Monday June 7 – Sunday June 13, 2021

Our whitewater guide school will teach you the skills to become a commercial river guide.

This River Guide School is ideal for college students or winter recreation workers interested in summer employment. We also welcome those who would like to learn the skills, but are not seeking employment. Our minimum age to participate is 16, but to be eligible for employment one must be at least 18.

We are looking for people who are safety conscious, team oriented, hard working, responsible, personable, fit, environmentally conscious, and ready for challenges! Rafting instruction is in paddle boats. If you are interested in the skills needed for oar boats or inflatable kayaks, let us know. Completion of our guide school does not guarantee employment.

First-Aid and CPR certification are mandatory for commercial river guides. These are not included with our guide school training, in order to maximize on-river time. We highly recommend obtaining these certifications prior to the guide school.

Whitewater Rafting Guide School Emphasis:

  • River hydrology
  • River navigation
  • Reading whitewater
  • Raft equipment rigging
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Personal rescue equipment & signals
  • Commercial safety put-in talks
  • Camp/kitchen operations
  • Knot tying
  • Leading safe, enjoyable whitewater rafting trips
Rafting Trips On The Guide School
How long do you want to go?
Meeting Location

Raft California / Tributary Whitewater Tours
South Fork American River Campground
6500 CA-49 (Historic Highway 49)
Lotus, CA 95651

We will provide transportation from Lotus to any other river locations.

Area Information

Camping is included for the duration of Guide school. We meet at our South Fork American River Camp in Lotus, California the afternoon before guide school begins.

A few nearby in Lotus / Coloma area:

Take A Bite Deli: Hands down best burger! It is hidden away in the Chevron Gas station on Highway 49 just a couple miles from our camp. Philly Cheese Stakes, Fries, Onion Rings, Fry Boxes & more! Hours are usually Mon-Fri 10am-3pm (may vary).

The River Shack: A local favorite! Big sandwiches and lots of beers to choose from. Just down the road from camp off Highway 49. Hours may be seasonal, Fri-Tues 10am-5pm.

Whitewater Pizza: Amazing food & Riverfront Patio! A family favorite with a large patio overlooking the South Fork American River at the Highway 49 Bridge. Unique pizza’s and fun atmosphere. Usually open 7 day/week (hours vary from 11am-4pm opening till about 8pm-10pm close).