The best guides on the river.

Our river guides work their Chacos off to make sure you have a fantastic adventure. With big hearts and big smiles, our lively river guides will keep you laughing through every twist and turn on the Snake River. Dave Hansen ensures the highest standards for our river guides. Every river guide completes a Dave Hansen Guide School which provides rigorous, hands-on river safety and river ecology training. Additionally, all our river guides continue their education through periodic classes with local environmental groups and naturalists throughout the year.

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Brian Becerra

Jackson, WY
Years Guiding: 2

Brian Becerra

Brain has been with Dave Hansen for seven years! Going into his second year as a guide, he’s been such a great part of our team. He’s grown up right here in Jackson and has spent the majority of his life on the river. He started out just going on school rafting trips and fell in love. After working with us he knew he wanted to be a guide himself, so he put the work in and he’s out there doing it now! Aside from being a dialed river guide with an amazing sense of humor, he’s also working on his Nursing degree through Central Wyoming College – Go Brian!! He’s rowed the Snake River and also the Colorado River so you’ll always be in good hands with Brian! 

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Veronica Paulsen

Marin, California
Years Guiding: 3

Veronica Paulsen

If Veronica is your guide, be ready to bow down because Veronica is an bonafide QUEEN in the Jackson Hole Community. No, really–A stellar skier, Veronica was the very first woman to stick a backflip in Corbet’s Couloir, an infamous, mind-blowing drop at the world-famous Jackson Hole Mountain Ski Resort. Earning the title of “Queen,” She has come a long way from Marin, California, where there’s not a flake of snow for miles. Earning a computer science and math degree at the Colorado College, Veronica made her way to Jackson to fulfill her passion for skiing. When she’s not proving difficult math theorems, you can find her coaching for the Ski Club at the Mountain Resort and continuing to pioneer the road for women in skiing and rafting. With 3 years of guiding experience under her belt, Veronica is back at DH and the Snake is lucky to have the Queen navigating its currents!

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Keren Mikva

Chicago, IL

Keren Mikva

Prepare to be impressed. It’s obvious that Keren is well-suited for this job, as she set the first women’s record for the RG94–a 94 mile kayak ride down the Rio Grande in New Mexico with a time of 32 hours and 26 minutes! After growing up in Chicago, IL, Keren earned a political science degree at Stanford University; we are confident working at DH is a step up😜.  We bet Keren can do a mean tango, as she guided in Argentina before making her way north.  Keren is a powerful addition to our team this year and we are lucky to have her!

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Vlad Dandu

Romania

Vlad Dandu

Born in Romania to a part gypsy family, Vlad has been destined to roam the world and play music for life! As a teenager he started hiking and camping in the Carpatian mountains of Transylvania which led to a severe obsession with everything outdoors. After studying Creative Writing at FSU he lived in Mexico and began his guiding days, starting his own climbing tour service in Chiapas. Seven years ago, he made the journey to Moab, UT on his motorcycle and started rafting the Colorado River. He spent his happiest days rowing and motoring through Cataract Canyon. He arrived in WY last year and his fascination for the Snake River, birds of prey, and the nearby parks had kept him here with us. When he’s not on the river, he’s playing his accordion, shadowboxing, or working on unpublished poetry!

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Nolan Jaenicke

Years Guiding: 5

Nolan Jaenicke

Returning for his fourth year as a guide for DH, Nolan knows his way around the Snake. Nolan feels most at home outside any where there is no cell phone service. His idea of a great time is kicking back, laying out under the stars. Along with the Snake, Nolan has guided down Colorado’s Roaring Fork and the Arkansas River in his 5 years of guiding experience. Come winter, you’ll find Nolan on skis…somewhere in the world. He’s such a dedicated skier, not even a compound tib/fib fracture could stop him from completing a ski tour in the Tetons! While earning his International Affairs degree at the University of Colorado, he never thought life would lead him to being a river guide. But, when Nolan discovered he could get a job in the environment he loved, he was all for it. Nolan always likes to encourage his rafters to enjoy the time they have on the river because you never know when you’ll be on it again!

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Ryan Mucha

Philadelphia

Ryan Mucha

Though Ryan can pick up anything athletic in about two seconds, his specialties are snowboarding and rock climbing. Growing up just outside of Philadelphia, Ryan grew up hiking and snowboarding constantly, putting him in great shape for the track star he would soon become in high school. Ryan attended Penn State and earned degrees in both economics and accounting. After college, Ryan made his way to Houston to work in oil and gas finance. After figuring out finance wasn’t his thing, he left Houston to fulfill his calling to the outdoors in Jackson Hole. When Ryan’s not on the river, you can find him cheering on any Penn State sports team or dining out at Glorietta. We are so lucky to have Ryan on the river with us this year!

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Bryce Thornberry

Portland, Oregon

Bryce Thornberry

After working a corporate job for 10 years, Bryce decided to forgo working in stuffy offices and exchange it for the fresh air of Jackson Hole. After growing up in Portland, Oregon he went to college at Colorado State, then quit his ‘soul-crushing’ corporate office job, and found his way to DH. Along with being a river guide, Bryce is also a proud cat-dad to two cats and loves to fish and camp in his time off. Not only is Bryce a great guide, but he is fantastic at putting customers at ease and even better at persuading his rafters to jump in! If you get Bryce as a guide, be ready for lots of laughs and smiles!

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Caleigh (CJ) Smith

Glenwood Spring, Co
Years Guiding: 4

Caleigh (CJ) Smith

Growing up in Glenwood Spring, Co, CJ never thought she would become a river guide. But, when some friends approached her about guiding, she decided to give it a try. She is now a seasoned guide with four years of experience and is joining us for her first season at DH. Before coming to the Snake, CJ had guided on both the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers. CJ attended Colorado College and earned degrees in Ecological and Environmental Journalism with minors in Spanish and Kinesiology. Safe to say, she’s an overachiever and our best bet for a contestant on Jeopardy. When she isn’t guiding, you can find CJ fulfilling one of her myriad talents: playing the violin, rugby, and rock climbing.

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Delaney Harrop

Walpole, MA
Years Guiding: 4

Delaney Harrop

Delaney first started guiding when she moved to Jackson on a whim and fell in love with the Snake. A year later, she was tearing it up on Lunch Counter, working on her first of four seasons of guiding. Not to be outdone by the Snake, Delany rowed trips down the Grand Canyon and the Main Fork of the Salmon in Idaho. Originally from Walpole, MA, Delaney attended Trinity College and earned a degree in Engineering and Concentration Electrical. Like the rest of our superwomen guides, Delaney has forged new territory; she was the first all-female officiating crew to work the D1 women’s NCAA college hockey championships in 2019 between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Go, Delaney!

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McKenzie Myers

Maine
Years Guiding: 4

McKenzie Myers

From a dude ranch in Wyoming to a vineyard in Switzerland, Mckenzie has lived in all sorts of places all over the world. Ask her about her adventures in Cape Town or South Africa, or about her slight addiction to blueberry pancakes. Being from Maine, Mckenzie is a lover of lobster and all things ocean. A woman of many passions, she also loves Thai massages, rooftop bars, and brunch. Mckenzie is returning for her fourth season with DH. How did this multi-talented woman get into guiding? She wanted an adventure! She never thought she would grow the huge passion for rivers she has today!

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Ben Obertacz

Toledo, Ohio
Years Guiding: 4

Ben Obertacz

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Ben has been with us for four great seasons. Ben earned his business management degree at the University of Cincinnati and made his way to Jackson Hole where he was able to fulfill his calling to the outdoors. An avid outdoorsman, Ben spends his winters working at the local ski resort and his summers on the river. In his spare time, he loves to hike and climb, or anything that gets him outside. When he’s not outdoors, you’ll find him at the Bird for Wing Night or purchasing very unnecessary river gear. After shuttle driving for a year at DH, Ben decided to hang up the keys and pick up the paddle to see what guide life is all about! We are thrilled Ben made the decision to become a guide as everyone he takes down comes off the raft laughing and smiling. If you’re lucky enough to be on his raft, you’ll see plenty of wildlife spotted by his eagle eye and most certainly get wet, as Ben is very good at persuading people to jump in the river!

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Eli Oakes

Spartanburg, SC
Years Guiding: 1

Eli Oakes

We’re so lucky to have Eli with us for a second season! She rocked the office last year but decided she really wanted to experience the river firsthand after working with our family at DH and getting a taste of river life! She’s from Spartanburg, SC and got her Environmental Arts and Humanities degree, and minor in Theatre Arts at University of the South: Sewanee. She developed a passion for outdoor education through experiences working with Moondance Adventures and NOLS. She has her Swiftwater, WFR, CPR, and AVY 1 certifications – along with her amazing ability to make friends with anyone,  you’ll never have a dull moment when you’re on her raft!

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Callie Lajza

Gainesville, FL

Callie Lajza

Callie was born in Gainesville, FL! She attended University of Central Florida and College of William & Mary where she got her B.A. in Communications and Nonprofit Management, and her M.E.D. in Outdoor Education and Leadership! She’s a natural at anything she tries! She’s certified in Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness First Responder, FA/CPR, LNT Master Education, AND Yoga instructing! What can’t she do?! She’s always down for a dance party, she’s great at hula hooping and always has a set of rollerblades ready for an adventure. You’ll always have a blast with Callie! 

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Roger Conant

Greenfield, MA
Years Guiding: 11

Roger Conant

Originally from Greenfield, MA, Roger is joining us for his third year at DH and his 11th as a guide! Attending the University of Massachusetts and Green Mountain College, one day Roger decided to take the bold move of quitting his fraternity after deciding Greek Life just wasn’t his thing. Walking home, he found a flyer showcasing some crazy idea about river guiding. Seven different rivers later, Roger is one of the most experienced guides on the Snake. He started guiding on the Deerfield River, where he earned the title “Best of the Best” raft guide. Roger loves eating anything “wicked spicy” and is an self-proclaimed Olympic-level sleeper. Along with kayaking, he also likes photography, boating, skiing, and eating at the Jackson Whole Grocer. If you are lucky enough to get Roger as a guide, he’ll advise you to keep your toes tucked in and paddle “wicked” hard!

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Katy Flanagan

Jackson, WY

Katy Flanagan

Katy is a Jackson girl through and through! After attending the University of Denver where she got her degree in Geography and worked a front desk job at a whitewater office, she found out she wanted to work outside on the river! So she made her way back home, and fast forward to 2021 – she’s going into her 6th season as a river guide and 1st year with DH! Some cool things to know about Katy are-  she’s been to every continent except for Antarctica, she was a ski nanny for quadruplets in Chile, and she is the queen when it comes to karaoke! You’ll never be bored on Katy’s raft!

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Bud Chatham

Bay Area of California
Years Guiding: 15

Bud Chatham

Bud is the owner of Dave Hansen Whitewater. Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, he owes his love for rivers to his father, cousin, and uncle. A spoiled child, Bud was lucky enough to spend his high school summers guiding fishing trips on the Truckee River, and his college summers out here guiding in Jackson Hole for Snake River Park. Let us just say, Bud has never strayed far from rivers.

After 15 years on the Snake River, he still yells out river commands in his sleep. Bud and his amazingly fabulous wife Kelly, were lucky to spend a year working with Dave before taking the plunge and buying the company in 2003. Bud and Kelly feel eternal gratitude for Dave, and their goal is to keep Dave Hansen Whitewater thriving for yet another four decades. Oh, and if it’s not too greedy, they’d love for their two girls be on the oars by the age of 15. Yes, child labor is illegal, but I think there are ways around it when they’re your child.

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Ben Obertacz

Toledo, OH
Years Guiding: 2

Ben Obertacz

Ben returns to Dave Hansen for his second year. After driving shuttle for Dave Hansen last year, he decided it was time to hang up the keys and find out what guide life was all about.

Ben is from Toledo, Ohio and studied business management at the University of Cincinnati.

In Ben’s spare time he likes to climb and hike in GTNP, float Deadman’s to Moose, camp, and drink John Daly’s. In the off season he likes to visit home, go to wing night at the Bird, and purchase un-necessary gear for the upcoming season.

Ben has his Swiftwater, CPR, and FIrst Aid certifications, and if you’re on his raft he’ll have you count bald eagles, get the kiddos on the oars, and encourage you not to be afraid to get wet!

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Roger Conant

Greenfield, MA
Years Guiding: 9

Roger Conant

Roger is from Greenfield, MA, and has been a raft guide for 9 years, even though this is his first summer with Dave Hansen. He studied outdoor education at Green Mountain College/UMass. Roger has his Swiftwater, CPR, and First Aid certifications.

Roger started rafting on the Deerfield River in MA, and was the “best of the best” raft guide on the river. He also is also an olympic level sleeper. Roger likes ice hockey, whitewater kayaking, skiing, photography, and eating anything wicked spicy. His favorite things to do in Jackson are boating and camping with friends, and his favorite place to grab food is Hoback Market.

When Roger isn’t working he’s getting super pitted at Lunch Counter, Teton Country Library, or Jackson Whole Grocer.

Roger’s Tips or advice for his rafters is keep your toes tucked in and paddle wicked haaaaad (that means
really hard).

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Sandy Feuer

Hanover, NH
Years Guiding: 3

Sandy Feuer

Sandy is from Hanover, NH and first became passionate about rafting after two trips down the Grand Canyon and a trip down the Zambezi in Zambia. He now joins Dave Hansen for his third season of guiding!

Sandy studied environmental policy at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and, before moving to Jackson, lived in Africa where he played soccer and worked for Grassroot Soccer.

When he’s not on the river, you can find Sandy playing soccer, hiking, snowboarding, and eating at Calico Restaurant.

Sandy encourages his guests to study up on their sports because he’ll have some sports trivia coming their way!

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Lewis Medlock

Lewis Medlock

Lewis is a city guy who has a liking for the great outdoors and other activities that he associates with true manhood.

Although he is a city guy, we let him guide for us at Dave Hansen, and turns out, he does a great job!

He can be a bit cocky, but don’t worry he is a great raft guide, especially with all of his outdoor experience and knowledge.

If Lewis is your guide, he will protect you and guide you down the river safely! Have no fear!

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McKenzie Meyers

Maine
Years Guiding: 2

McKenzie Meyers

McKenzie returns to Dave Hansen for year two; this will be her first year guiding!

Lover of lobsters and all things ocean, McKenzie is originally from Maine! She studied environmental science at the University of Michigan and fell in love with Wyoming after working at a dude ranch in Saddlestring for many summers.

Besides being on the river, McKenzie’s interests include traveling (ask her about her cherished time in South Africa), reading, mountain biking, and of course SKIING POW in the winter. She is also a lover of Thai massages, rooftop bars, and brunch with friends.

McKenzie wants her rafters to enjoy the ride and not be afraid to jump in and get wet!

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Nolan Jaenicke

Traverse City, MI

Nolan Jaenicke

Nolan is back for his third season. He is a true midwest transplant from Traverse City, MI and studied international affairs at the University of Colorado- Boulder. During school he had the opportunity to study abroad in Valparaiso, Chile.

Following graduation, Nolan spent a year guiding in Colorado on the Roaring Fork and the Arkansas River. In addition to his years of guiding experience, Nolan is certified in CPR, First Aid, and Advanced Wilderness First Aid.

When Nolan isn’t on the river, you can find him dreaming about ski lines, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, or completing a ski tour in the Tetons; even a compound tib/fib fracture couldn’t stop him!

Nolan encourages his rafters to enjoy the time they have on the water because you never know when you will be out there again.

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Jonathan the Bearman

Jonathan the Bearman

Jonathan is one of our most favorite guides here on the Snake River. He has been called the “Michaelangelo of wood” but we prefer the “Michaelangelo of the River.”

Not only is he the engineer of our famous Rafting Bears, but he is an excellent river guide!

Jonathan loves to meet danger nose to nose, and isn’t afraid of what the River will throw at him next.

You’ll love your time with Jonathan just as much as you’ll love your whitewater rafting adventure!

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Sarah Caldwell

Macon, GA
Years Guiding: 1

Sarah Caldwell

Originally from Macon, GA – this girl has been all over! She attended Valdosta State University and then went on to be a flight attendant where she got the opportunity to travel all over the country and raft along the way! She has her WFR and Swiftwater rescue certification and went from a cushy apartment in Boston to van-life in Jackson! Ask her about her 90’s Chevy Van named Dolly VanParton she remodeled on her own! She’s guiding on the Snake this summer and the stoke is high! You’ll never have a bad time in Sarah’s hands!

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John Breske

Gainesville, FL
Years Guiding: 1

John Breske

A Gainseville, FL native – John attended University of Florida where he got his Bachelors degree, then went on to the University of California where he got his Masters in Architecture! About 10 years ago he took his very first river trip on the New River in WV and fell in love. However, the shackles of his office job held him tight! Alas came 2020, which gave John the space to realize what would make his heart happy – being a river guide at Dave Hansen!

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Kevin Flueger

Minnesota

Kevin Flueger

Kevin was born and raised in MN, and he spent the last 10 years living in CO, enjoying the mountains, getting to know himself, and also getting his Environmental Engineering degree from University of Colorado at Boulder! His obsession with guiding started as a little kid where he was part of an outdoor education program which covered everything from rock climbing to kayaking and everything in between – he eventually was asked to be a junior instructor where he learned the skills that eventually led him to guiding multi-day trips in Redwoods and Yosemite as an adult! After living the van life in New Zealand for 10 months, he decided to come put his guide skills to work with us!

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Lily Shipley

Brunswick, ME
Years Guiding: 6

Lily Shipley

Lily joins Dave Hansen for her seventh season! With six years of guiding experience and certification in First Aid, Wildlife First Aid, and CPR, Lily is a pro.

An east coast transplant, Lily grew up in Brunswick, Maine. In college she studied health science and public health at Northwestern University. She went on to get her masters of education in science from Western Governors.

When Lily isn’t on the river, you can find her mountain biking, gardening, cooking, running, enjoying local music in town, eating at King Sushi, or spending time with her german shepherd, Ranger. Additionally she loves hiking to Table Mountain and Delta Lake. During the school year she teaches at Jackson Hole Middle School.

If you want to see wildlife, you’re in luck. Lily is one of very few guides that have seen both mountain lions and bears on her tours. Lily encourages her rafters to ride the bull, trust their guides, and of course, WEAR SUNSCREEN!!

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Jess Freeze

Jackson, WY
Years Guiding: 6

Jess Freeze

Jess is joining Dave Hansen for her sixth season! She has five years of guiding experience and a Wildlife First Aid certification under her belt.

Originally from Jackson, WY, Jess recently graduated from the University of Colorado where she studied nursing and played on the soccer team.

If Jess isn’t on the river, you can find her on top of a mountain or on the soccer field. She loves hiking, camping, skiing, and eating at Local Restaurant and Bar.

Jess’s number one rule for rafters: if everyone swims in the river, she will too. If you’re in her raft, get ready to swim!

Questions? Just Ask.

Whether you’re confident in a raft or a little nervous, we have rafting trips for all ages and experience levels on the Snake River in Jackson Hole. With over 27 trips daily, 7 time options, and 5 types of trips, you are sure to find the perfect adventure!

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River Flow 4,420 cubic ft / sec