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O.R.E. Guides


The profession of river guiding offers an unsurpassed mix of fun, excitement, camaraderie, fresh air and challenge, all in pristine outdoor settings. The hours are long and the work is demanding, but river guiding is exceptionally rewarding. For 40 years O.R.E. has been a leader in teaching whitewater skills in a safe, supportive, and innovative manner.

About the training:

Our training is a hands-on experience. Dry land and on-river instruction cover a comprehensive array of skills and topics. Instructors begin by explaining the basics and teach by example. But the emphasis throughout is on learning by doing, so students will be actively involved in every learning experience of the training.

The days take place primarily on the Clackamas River, but we may move to other rivers if weather or water conditions, and/or training goals warrant the move. Each day's training session begins at 8 AM, ends between 4 and 6 PM that day, and then reconvenes the following morning. (Weekend 2 is planned to take place on the Deschutes River and we will be camping overnight there)

Trainees learn quite a bit in a short time. But still, additional training is necessary after the initial, formal instruction period has ended. For this reason trainees enter an on-the-job training period after the first three weekends are complete. Trainees (at this point we call them Assistant Guides) should plan to spend at least another six days in training, and usually longer. Assistant Guides work alongside our experienced crew on our regular commercial trips. This on-the-job training is the best way to hone your skills. Assistant Guides are neither charged nor paid for the time they spend in training.

Guide swimming

Details about the cost of training:

    •  Why do we charge a training fee? Your fee only just puts a dent in the costs we incur in training applicants to become guides, but only a small dent. We charge a fee because we feel that willingness to pay at least a small amount is indicative of your commitment to the process of becoming a guide. If we offer to train you it means that we are serious about you, and we want you to enter the training with a similar level of commitment.
    • In the short term we will provide you with everything you need. But once you become a guide you will need to set yourself up with lifejacket, knife, whistle, small dry-bag, throw-bag, and river-appropriate clothing. And if you plan to train or work on multi-day trips you will also need an overnight dry-bag, tent, sleeping bag and pad. (By the way, O.R.E. can assist you in locating these items on a wholesale or "pro-deal" basis to help you keep your expenses down, post hire.)
    • This fee covers instruction, transportation, all needed river clothing and gear. Lunch during the day.  All meals provided for 2nd weekend.


2024 DATES & COST:

Cost: $225 for entire class.

Please submit a completed Application Form and submit a resume to