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Earlier today, we featured a nice short film about a woman aspiring to guide wooden dories down the Colorado in the Grand Canyon and one of the people in the film claimed that being a river guide is the best job in the world. Well, whether it’s the best job on the planet is, of course, debatable, but that also raises the question, if it’s so fantastic, does it trump all other guiding jobs?

Running rivers is like car camping without any people or cars around – as one friend put it of her last trip, “We took two Dutch ovens!” – and the people in your care are (generally) confined to their boats. A helicopter skiing guide, on the other hand, has to contend with thick woods, tree wells, and crevasses; plenty of places to lose a charge. Alpine mountain guides deal with tremendous objective dangers. Safari guides carry guns.

And what, in your estimation, is the most important factor? Is it the environment? The challenges (or lack of them) in the job? The type of people you lead? The level of training required?

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We’ve run this poll before, but our summer issue features a lovely story about becoming a river guide in Idaho in our summer issue of AJ in print, shipping now, which you can order, here, and it got us to wondering if anything has changed out there in reader land.

Let’s dive in.

Photo: Mick Haupt


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