Raft Guide in Haines, AK

Job Details

  • Date Posted: October 24, 2022
  • Location: Haines, Alaska
  • Salary: $14 / hour + tips
  • Housing Offered: Yes
  • Experience: No experience required

Company Contact

  • Website: http://www.alaskamountainguides.com
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: (800) 766-3396
  • Haines, Alaska
  • $14 / hour + tips

Enjoy an incredible summer in SE Alaska!

The tourists are coming – and they have tips!



The Haines Raft Guide’s main responsibility is to carry out the company’s mission of providing passengers with a safe, enjoyable, and educational wilderness experience. The Haines Raft Guide will lead passengers by raft through the Chilkat Bald.

Eagle Preserve safely and enthusiastically with the ultimate goal of satisfied passengers at the end of each trip. Our rafts are 18 ft. oar rigs and we will take up to 8 passengers at a time on either the Tsirku, the Klehini, or the Chilkat Rivers. During our trips, we will spend about 1.5 hours on the river and our guides will also be expected to help with the setting up and taking down of our rafting equipment. The Haines Raft Guide reports to the River Manager, the Haines Program Manager, and the Haines Program Assistant


Raft through the Bald Eagle Preserve, home to the world’s largest concentration of eagles. Explore the Lynn Canal, North America’s deepest Fjord, by boat. Watch for wildlife such as eagles, bears, moose, whales, and more. Visit historic Fort Seward.

Throughout your journey the scenery will be world-class, so don’t forget your camera.

Combine a scenic raft trip in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve with an exploration of the spectacular Lynn Fjord. Your quest begins on board a jet-powered catamaran as you watch for whales, sea mammals, and cascading waterfalls en route to the historic Fort

Seward. A narrated 40-minute drive up the Haines Highway, a National Scenic Byway, brings you to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Watch for moose and swans in the marshlands along the way. At the Preserve, your guides await to begin your rafting adventure. Floating silently down the river is the best way to observe the eagles drawn to the river to feed on the plentiful salmon. You will spend about 1.5 hours floating through the Preserve before returning to your cruise ship. A riverside picnic is provided. This trip has no whitewater. The minimum age is 7 years old.




  • Guest Safety first, then engage guests with questions, entertain guests, and last but not least, educate guests about the area.
  • Must possess a positive attitude that is friendly, considerate, strong, and energetic.

On tour:

  • Maintain the safety of guests at all times.
  • Greet clients, facilitate introductions, and get clients excited for rafting.
  • Collect waivers, and tickets and make sure all guests have signed waivers.
  • Outfit clients in boots and PFDs (with instructions on their wear and fit).
  • Give safety talk to clients and complete the safety talk checklist.
  • Maintain group control and spacing while getting guests geared up and on the river.
  • Help load and unload gear while keeping the guests engaged. Responsible for following a strict daily schedule.
  • Complete appropriate guide checklists & paperwork at the end of each shift.

At all times:

  • Assist with other jobs/projects as needed by CG administration, this may include but is not limited to:
    • Driving vehicles with guests or with our equipment.
    • Assisting with food prep for cruise tour programs.
    • Associated program maintenance needs.
  • Must at all times be clean, well-groomed, courteous, honest, and reliable.
  • Must be willing to work as a strong team member, assisting in the maintenance of group morale.
  • Must possess the desire to continually improve his/her knowledge and skills.


In General:

  • Possess a friendly, outgoing, professional demeanor at all times during interactions with guests and other CG employees.
  • Follow CG policies and procedures at all times.
  • Must possess a strong work ethic.
  • Prior guiding, leadership, and tourism experience helpful.
  • Must be willing to become certified or possess current certification in at least

Wilderness First Responder (WFR), CPR, and Swift Water Rescue.

  • Must be able to lift up to 80 pounds repeatedly throughout each day. Must be able to carry loads over uneven ground.
  • Must be willing to occasionally assist the catering staff in preparing lunches for our cruise tour programs.

As a Raft Guide:

  • Completion of CG Haines program training which includes being checked off to guide 18 ft. oar-powered rafts through glacially braided river systems.
  • Attention to safety, including learning and appropriately demonstrating the Raft

Safety Talk, and having awareness of weather and river conditions and obstacles.

  • Must be willing to learn how to drive our gear trucks and participate in gear truck operations. Diesel box trucks with raft trailers attached.
  • Must be willing to obtain a valid Class B CDL and contribute to bus driving duties.
  • Wear the appropriate company logo gear during the tour and follow the personal appearance guidelines.
  • Good leadership skills, and ability to communicate and facilitate groups of up to 48 people.
  • Be able to maintain a tight schedule-ensure your group stays on schedule throughout all aspects of the tour.
  • Responsible for cleanliness and excellent maintenance of river gear, put-ins, and take-outs.
  • Responsible for communicating all incidents to Haines Program Manager.
  • Responsible for communicating all gear and vehicle issues to maintenance staff.
  • Must be a good communicator with the willingness to teach and entertain his/her clients.
  • Guides must demonstrate the ability to set up all of the various site elements including tables, PFDs, and food, and follow low-impact guidelines in bear country.

For CDL Driving:

  • Must obtain a valid Class B CDL and contribute to bus driving duties for these and other tours. Have and maintain a Class B CDL with Passenger and Airbrakes endorsement.
  • Pass FMCSA required pre-employment drug tests & screening.
  • Being enrolled in an FMCSA required a random drug testing program.
  • Have and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Card.
  • Completion of AMG Haines Driver training program (minimum of 8 hours).

Becoming a guide with Alaska Mountain Guides (AMG) / Chilkat Guides in rugged southeast Alaska requires verification of your technical competency, leadership skills, sound judgment, and knowledge of company policies and procedures. Over the length of required training, there will be a segment of unpaid training and a segment of paid training. The unpaid portion will comprise of courses through the International Wilderness Leadership School (IWLS). IWLS is an accredited, recognized leader in experiential education.

These courses will develop your technical, decision-making, and leadership skills. Successful completion of these courses will grant you IWLS certifications. These skills are transferrable and can be used with any similar employer or even for recreation purposes. For over 30 years, our clients have been participating in the same courses- often gaining college credit. The paid portion of the training will focus on company-specific policies and procedures. This segment will take the skills taught in the IWLS portion and teach you how to utilize them successfully as an employee of AMG/Chilkat

Guides. Training length may vary depending on class size and how quickly you demonstrate leadership and technical proficiency.

Chilkat Guides Rafting

  • IWLS Raft School, 7 days (Certification for rafting may take significantly longer depending on how long it takes to verify rafting skills.)
  • IWLS Swiftwater Rescue, 3 days
  • IWLS Alaska Guide School, 3-4 days
  • IWLS Wilderness First Responder, 10 days

Paid Training for all guides, 1-2 days

Wilderness First Responder is required for Chilkat Guides and ATV Guides. For Kayak Guides CPR/First Aid is required. For paid long-trip opportunities WFR is required. WFR is recommended for ALL guides. WFR from other organizations will be accepted.

CDL is a required job qualification for employees over the age of 21. AMG will assist and help provide training to achieve a CDL if you currently do not have one.

You may be required to cross-train and take additional training to expand your opportunities and provide greater flexibility.

Staff training will provide a foundation for you to build and enhance your guiding resume. It also serves to put in place a set of standards that we expect all of our staff to maintain. In addition, you are required to complete guide training, develop a thorough comprehension of all program components, and receive a check-off on all systems before entering a paid role. Upon your arrival to Haines, you will receive Guide Training Manuals. You will also complete all required U.S. employment paperwork and all CDL paperwork required by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.

Chilkat Guides (CG) and its sister companies comply with all applicable federal laws regarding CDL drivers and CDL operations. FMCSA regulations and CG’s own policies and procedures ensure that our guests will receive the highest quality tours possible in terms of bus transportation safety. As a result of federal regulations, each Haines CDL driver will be required to participate in an approved random drug testing program and also be required to complete and maintain some paperwork in addition to the regular employee paperwork for all other employees.

Guide Professionalism
Chilkat Guides employees represent the company whether they are working with clients on the river or sitting at a restaurant in Haines. CG expects its employees to hold themselves to the highest standard of character at all times and provide a leading example in the community for the type of behavior associated with a high-quality guide service!!

Long Trip Opportunities – CG, AMG, MGI & IWLS
Chilkat Guides, Alaska Mountain Guides and Climbing School, Mountain Guides International, and the International Wilderness Leadership School offer a wide range of long trips, courses, and guided and educational programming in Alaska and around the world.

At Chilkat Guides, we are always looking for our top employees to progress as far as possible in their careers. Employees who are able to rise to the physical challenges of the job and have demonstrated a keen aptitude for group dynamics and entertainment will often have opportunities to begin to be involved in our expedition programming.

Pre and Post Season
The tourism season follows a cycle that controls workloads. Cruise ships start arriving in the first week of May and the season ends in the last week of September. Generally, employees will work from 20-30 hours/week in the shoulder months of May and September. Hours will increase through June to full capacity of 30-40+ hours/week. These shoulder periods are an excellent time to tour the area and do some outdoor exploration.

Mid-Season Operations
Early to Mid-June through Late August is the height of the cruise line season. In this period guides may be required to work up to 40+ hours/per week.

During the height of the season-long periods of time off will likely not be able to be provided. This is the heart of the season and flexibility and dedication are required from the staff to meet the demand of our cruise ship operations and our other long-trip programs.

Living Space and Rent Structure
Camping and/or vehicle housing at the Chilkat Guides warehouse yard is available on a case-by-case basis for a nominal fee. Guides must register with the office in advance. Space will be given on a first-come-first-served basis and taking into account seniority.

Our employees are also welcome to pursue their own housing options in town.

Guide Program Equipment

Guides will be required to purchase a hard shell and soft shell guide jacket for program use. Guides will also be required to provide their own life jacket, boots, raingear, river knife, and rescue whistles. Chilkat Guides can help facilitate the purchase of any of these items. CG will provide T-shirts, a name tag, and a hat for free as part of the guide kit.

The cost of the rafting guide kit will be deducted from guide wages.

Additional Job Responsibilities
Employees may be called on to participate in other Haines programs at any time. This may include but is not limited to: hiking tours, golf tours, gear truck driving, CDL bus driving for other tours, vehicle maintenance, general driving duties, food prep, gear maintenance, and overall operational support.

Employees may be called on to share different driving responsibilities and potentially other part-time office duties. Driving is an important part of the program and guides will be expected to not only be safe and abide by all local and state driving regulations but also to be entertaining for our guests. The drive to and from the river is an opportunity to enhance the guest’s experience by providing historical and interesting information about the town, its culture, the beautiful outdoors surrounding us, and other types of trips and programs that the guests can participate in the future with Chilkat Guides.

The ability to be flexible with schedules and adapt to changes, sometimes with short notice, is a requirement and expectation of your employment.

Standard Dress and Professional Appearance
Chilkat Guides requires guides to maintain a professional image at all times. As outlined in the Guide Manual, you will be issued guiding equipment and clothing that will be required to be worn at all times while working. The standard Haines uniform is your name tag, tucked in a CG uniform shirt and/or guide jacket. Personal pants will be neat and clean without stains, holes, or other frayed areas. CG requires staff to be clean with appropriate hygiene and professional appearance while working.

Travel and Logistics
Chilkat Guides will assist wherever possible in helping outline necessary steps in travel plans. Please make arrangements with a few days on either end of the season for mishaps.
Alaska weather can stop planes as well as boats from departing.

Please arrive in Haines at least the day prior to your first day of training; this will give us all time to prepare for the upcoming events.

In order to prepare better for your guide training and work this summer we STRONGLY suggest researching the area and tackling our suggested reading list which is attached to your employment paperwork packet. Here are a few titles from the list:

  • The Nature of Southeast Alaska by Carstensen, Armstrong & O’Clair
  • Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, BC & Alaska by Pojar
  • The Tlingit (Olson) published by Heritage Research
  • Daltons Gold Rush Trail: Exploring the Route of the Klondike Cattle Drives by Michael Gates
  • Haines: The First Century by Elisabeth S. Hakkinen
  • A Naturalist’s Guide to Haines, Alaska by Judy Jacobson

This is just a brief overview. Please remember that when you arrive in Alaska you will receive a thorough Guide Training Manual and complete your remaining employee and
FMCSA paperwork.

Please feel free to direct any questions to the CG office by email or phone.