There are two kinds of people in this world:


Those who have gone to one of our whitewater schools.

And everyone else.

We run the most awesome guide training program in the world – intimate excursions led by extraordinary instructors and packed full of whitewater instruction, wilderness skills, and life lessons. As a student, you are in the thick of it: rowing rafts, cooking meals, swimming rapids, carrying gear, emptying groovers, making decisions. There are rarely more than 14 of you and there are always more than three of us, so you won’t be able to hide. You’ll be challenged every day, you’ll be exhausted every night, you’ll be more confident for the rest of your life.

Or, you’ll be like everyone else.

We invite you to join us for an unforgettable adventure.

Pro guide students scout Clavey Falls on the Tuolumne River near Yosemite

Oregon Pro Guide Training – 10 days

Idaho Rowing School – 7 days

Utah Junior Whitewater School – 6 days

About our schools:

While the emphasis of each workshop is on developing safe and sound river skills, an equally important part of each school is the friendship and camaraderie that develops within the group. While our instructors are experts, they are not dominating. Throughout the course students will assume more and more responsibility and the instructors will become advisors and assistants, allowing individual students to gain leadership experience and allowing the workshop to develop its own personality.

Workshops usually consist of a variety of participants, all brought together by their enjoyment of the outdoors and their desire to learn a new, exciting, (and potentially marketable), skill. While most of our students are college-aged, we also have a large number of “grown-ups”. We usually have equal numbers of men and women and we try to match our instructors accordingly.

Which school is right for you?

If you want to become a commercial river guide – Take an Oregon Professional Guide Training course.

Keyword: Responsibility
Age requirement: 18 and over (no under)
Primary emphasis: Comprehensive instruction in both rowing and paddle-captaining
And: Fast-paced, scenario-based, expedition-oriented on-river training; thorough instruction in safety, leadership, and teamwork; ten dynamic days on three different rivers.
Don’t go: If you like to watch from the sidelines
Highlight: Contented exhaustion at the end of every day (every day).

If you want to become more comfortable on extended wilderness trips – Enroll in the Idaho Rowing School.

Keyword: Independence
Age requirement: None
Primary emphasis: Hands-on rowing experience in a variety of rafts
And: Personally-tailored instruction in all aspects of expedition-length river trips; ample opportunity (and constant, gentle encouragement) for gaining experience; a week on the glorious Main Salmon; endless pro-tips and hacks for private trips.
Don’t go: If you already know it all
Highlight: Evening Q&As with ice-cold G&Ts

If you want to grow up on the river – Go to Junior Whitewater School

Keyword: Confidence
Age requirement: 14 – 17
Primary emphasis: Comfort with and around rivers, rafts and others.
And: Lessons in personal responsibility, initiative, and interdependence; involvement with camp and kitchen tasks; basic safety and judgement guidance; rock jumping
Don’t go: If all you want to do is tell us how much you miss Tik Tok
Highlight: Wholly contributing to the whole adventure

Your role in the school:

Just like most things in life: the more you put in, the more you get out. Your whitewater school is no exception. Our schools are not for everyone and you should come prepared to get involved and participate, (some students even claim that they had to work!) You will be expected to participate in all aspects of the program – from the more glamorous rowing of the rafts to the more humble scrubbing of the dishes. You will get up early on some mornings, you will eat dinner late on some evenings, and you will probably get tired every day. At times you will fail. At times you will be frustrated. At times you will feel exhilaration beyond anything you have felt before. In the end, you will have learned something about rivers and about rafts and most importantly, about yourself. If you start with a spirit of enthusiasm and fun, you will have a great time. If you finish with an even higher spirit of enthusiasm and fun, you will make a great guide. We look forward to having you join us.


ARTA’s whitewater school instructors are very special people. They are the unique element that has made our program so successful and popular over the years. Not only are they experienced and competent guides, they also possess strong teaching and interpersonal skills, (and an above average amount of patience). Many of them are graduates of our whitewater schools themselves and have stories, tips, advice, and wisdom that can only be gained through many seasons of commercial guiding.