Whitewater Raft Guide in Hartford, Tennessee

Job Details

  • Date Posted: April 20, 2022
  • Location: Hartford, Tennessee
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Salary: $30 / trip + tips
  • Housing Offered: Yes
  • Experience: No experience required

Company Contact

  • Website: http://www.smokymountainrafting.com
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: (800) 771-7238
Apply Online Now
  • Hartford, Tennessee
  • $30 / trip + tips

***We are currently hiring for the 2022 rafting season!***

Smoky Mountain Outdoors (SMO) has a long-standing record of training great raft guides. Over the past 30years, we have trained hundreds of guides, many of whom have continued to guide on other rivers both nationally and internationally.

Our RaftGuide School is a FREE program paid for by SMO. As someone who is interested in becoming a whitewater raft guide you may have noticed that some companies offer their own programs, but at a high cost. Our RaftGuide School is designed to be affordable, with a full-time guide positioned offered to those who excel and pass the course. We only invite you if we are confident that you will pass the course.

If you are interested in attending one of our guide schools, please fill out an application.


When filling out the application most applicants choose to include a few photos of themselves to show their personalities; this is a great way to put a face with a name. Eligible applicants will be contacted with an interview phone call. Please read through the information that is sent to you before you are contacted for an interview.

Guide School Dates 2022:
May 2nd – 7th
May 9th – 14th
June 6th – 11th
June 13th – 18th

The Employee Experience

SMO has a diverse, fun-loving staff of 80 raft guides, and growing. Most guides are in their early twenties, others bring years of river experience to the staff. SMO guides are a tight-knit group, who not only live and work together but spend their time off together as well.

Our guides return every year, not only for the work they enjoy but for the friends they have made. We have a full-time staff of 80 guides and there is never a shortage of things to do, or friends to hang out with. We are confident you will make many new friends, and shared an amazing summer together.

Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate is a healthy and active person who is eager to learn new skills while challenging themselves. During our Guide School, we look for candidates who show a great understanding of teamwork, self-motivation, respect, and responsibility. Yes, river guiding can be a physically demanding job. But is also extremely fun and very rewarding. Being a raft guide is a job that you will truly enjoy.

Room and Board

We provide on-site, riverside housing, to all guides. Our accommodations vary and are comfortable. Guides are paired and share a room in one of our three bunkhouses for the season. We encouraged our guides to decorate their living areas to make them more comfortable. The rooms are unfurnished and only contain a bunk bed platform (twin) some shelving but not much else. The mattress and bedding are not provided so bring what is suitable for your comfort level. All rooms have electricity and air conditioning.

WI-FI is available at the outpost, just a short walk from guide housing. Camping is free and all share amenities are included.

Separate shower and bathroom facilities are provided for men and women. A communal guide kitchen is provided for all guides but please bring your own cookware and utensils.

Employee Perks

SMO offers tons of FREEemployee exchange programs with tourism companies in the area including mountain Biking, Zip-Lining, Amusement and Water Parks, plus many more. SMO also organizes several staff outings during the summer including rafting trips to other rivers.

We host weekly staff dinner at the outpost. It’s always a big event and highlights everyone’s week. A few guides every week volunteer to cook whatever they want. They also pick a theme for the party and dress up. We also have a swimming pool at our campground that we allow our guides to using!

Getting Here and Getting Around

Most of our employees arrive in their own vehicles. However, if you are planning on flying in from abroad or another state, Tyson McGhee Airport in Knoxville, TN will be the closest airport. Knoxville also has the closest Greyhound station. Both are an hour away. Airport and bus station pick-ups can be arranged for a small fee.

Once at the outpost vehicles are not necessary. Walking from housing to work takes 3 minutes. Bicycles are recommended. The closest supermarket, movie theater or restaurant is 15 minutes away. Employees usually carpool for these, so having a car is not necessary.

For Fun

As mentioned above SMO has tons of FREEemployee exchange programs with tourism companies in the area including Mountain Biking, Zip-Lining, Amusement, and Water Parks. We also organize several staff outings during the summer including rafting trips to other rivers in the area.

The Smoky Mountain National Park is only minutes away with 850 miles of hiking trails. If you have a kayak, canoe, raft just a fishing pole, we are located directly on the Pigeon River. Guides create their own weekly group outings, always strengthening the team dynamics that we are so proud to have. With 80 guides and three days off every week, there is never a lack of things to do!