Guide School

2020 Guide School June 20th and 21st

Sage Canyon has a reputation for having respected, top-notch guides. We emphasize quality guide training rather than the quantity of guides we can “crank out.” Our training is not easy, and we will make you do things other companies and trainers will not. We want you to experience and learn to deal with most situations you should expect to encounter as a guide under controlled circumstances rather than “under pressure” on a commercial rafting trip.

Our guide school program is designed to train guides to our standards for possible employment at Sage Canyon, although we cannot guarantee you will be hired. If we are unable to hire you, you should not expect difficulty finding a job with one of the many other outfitters in the area of Maupin for there are seven different raft companies looking for trained professionals.

We hire only professionals and we expect the highest level of professionalism from our staff. The job requirements of a raft guide are difficult and demanding at times, but the rewards are commensurate with the demands. You can expect one of the best pay scales, generous tips, and a very liberal policy regarding the use of company equipment for personal use in your free time here at Sage Canyon. Guides who work for Sage Canyon have the satisfaction of knowing that they work with one of the most highly regarded companies in Maupin on the Deschutes River.

The Course

This course is intended for those who wish to seek employment as a raft guide. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be qualified to run commercial river trips on The Deschutes River (and other Class III and IV rivers, with proper orientation) in a paddle-raft or an oar-raft while in the employment of a licensed outfitter. We will give all land and safety instructions; also, CPR and First Aid requirements will be fulfilled upon your first day of guide school (these will be required by any outfitter you’ll seek employment from).

Sage Canyon Guide School Course

This course will cover the following:

  • First Aid & CPR
  • Care and Use of Equipment
  • Rigging Rafts
  • Maneuvering Rafts
  • River Features
  • River Hazards
  • Scouting and Running Rapids
  • Orientation and Safety Talk topics given to guests
  • Trip Organization and Trip Leader Responsibility
  • River Rescue and Emergency Procedures
  • Minimizing Outdoor Recreation Resource Impact
  • Overnight River Trip Orientation and instruction

What’s provided and what to bring

During Guide School, Sage Canyon will provide a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket), splash jackets if needed, and all group river gear. If you presently have personal river gear, please bring it. Depending on the weather you may want to bring warm layers in addition to a hat, bathing suit, and river sandals. There are shower facilities available. Bring personal water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses, and any other personal items for around camp and off-hours. We will be providing meals as it will also be a part of your training.


Lodging and tents will be provided; you will need to bring your own sleeping bag


It will cost $200 to attend Guide School. Meals and first aid/CPR certification are included.

How to find us

We are located in beautiful Maupin, Oregon, just a short drive east of Portland, 45 minutes south of The Dalles, and 90 miles north of Bend.

I want to apply!

If you are interested in being a part of the guide school at Sage Canyon, please fill out an APPLICATION and send a letter of interest including your resume and copy of a current driver’s license to We will contact you for a phone interview upon receipt of your application. Thank you for your interest in Sage Canyon’s Guide School.

Contact Us

Email us at or give us a call at 1-800-538-7238; we can answer all your questions.

Advanced Guide School TBA