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, carrying gear, swimming rapids, cooking meals, 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.

Oregon Pro Guide Training – 10 days

California Pro Guide Training – 10 days

Idaho Rowing School – 7 days

Oregon Junior Whitewater School – 6 days

Utah Junior Whitewater School – 6 days

Private Instruction – 1 – 4 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?

We’ve tried to organize our workshops to offer a range of options and learning environments. The Professional Guide Training Courses are designed for students who are interested in becoming commercial guides. Both the California and Oregon workshops move at a fast pace and will expose you to challenging rapids; they also have an added emphasis on responsibility, safety techniques, leadership, and commercial guiding situations. The Idaho Rowing School is slightly slower paced and provides all of the basic instruction and experience necessary for most non-commercial situations and provides a great, general education for those who want to become more comfortable on extended wilderness trips. The Junior Schools are wonderful weeks of playing, learning, and growing with a few subtle lessons in confidence, initiative, and leadership thrown in. Private Instruction can be anything you want it to be; from a fear-busting day on an easy stretch to a gut-busting day on the Tuolumne; we can help you improve your relationship with rivers and rapids. 

Perhaps the greatest difference between the workshops is how wet you will get. On the Professional Courses, you can expect to be doing something in the river everyday, on the Rowing School, you’ll probably be in the river just once or twice in eight days, on the Youth School, you’ll be in the river every chance you get and during Private Instruction you’ll get to choose.

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.