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.

Hall of Fame
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Bryce Thornberry

Portland, OR
Years Guiding: 4

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, and since then, he hasn’t looked back. Earning Senior Guide status, Bryce loves to spend the off-season touring the country in his RV, fishing, and jumping on any multi-day river trip he can. Bryce is quickly turning into a legend on the Snake, in 2021 he guided a whopping 375 trips–an all-time record for all guides and all companies! If you get Bryce as a guide, get ready to get wet, because he is known for convincing his rafters to jump in and join the Snake River Swim Team!

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Roger Conant

Greenfield, MA
Years Guiding: 13

Roger Conant

Roger got into guiding in college, when he made the bold decision to quit his fraternity and randomly saw a flyer for river guiding on the walk home. Good thing he did too, because it’s pretty clear Roger has found his calling. Since then, he has rafted 7 different rivers including the Deerfield, Kennebec, and the Dead Rivers and now has 13 seasons of guiding under his belt! Roger is back at DH for his 5th season and we are proud to call him one of our Head Guides. Roger is a lover of anything “wicked spicy” and is a self-proclaimed Olympic-level sleeper. You’ll rarely find Roger inside—along with rafting he likes photography, kayaking, and skiing. If you’re lucky enough to get Roger as a guide, get ready to paddle hard and don’t forget to keep your toes tucked in!

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Delaney Harrop

Walpole, MA
Years Guiding: 6

Delaney Harrop

Delaney first started guiding when she moved to Jackson on a whim and fell in love with the Snake. 6 years later, she is still tearing it up on Lunch Counter with 6 seasons of guiding under her belt and 3 seasons with the DH crew! Not to be outdone by the Snake, Delaney has rowed trips down the Grand Canyon and the Main Fork of Idaho’s Salmon River. Not to mention, she has the best Chaco tan in the valley to show for it! Like the rest of our superwomen guides, Delaney has forged new territory: she was a part of the first all-female officiating crew to work the D1 women’s NCAA college hockey championships in 2019 between Minnesota and Wisconsin. A great leader and inspiring outdoorswoman, we are lucky to have Delaney as a Senior Guide, and proud to roster a 50% female guide staff.  Go, Delaney!

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Brian Becerra

Jackson Hole, WY
Years Guiding: 3

Brian Becerra

After working his way from a wetsuit washer in middle school to office-staff in high school to finally a bonafide raft guide, Brian is heading into his 8th year with DH and 3rd year as a guide! Brian grew up right here in Jackson Hole and has spent the majority of his life on the river. Ask his seventh grade English teacher (who just happens to be an owner), and she will tell you Brian is one of the kindest, coolest cats she’s ever had the good fortune to teach. No surprise then that Brian is also working towards a Nursing Degree through Central Wyoming College. You can always count on Brian to keep you laughing with his contagious smile and sense of humor. Get ready to get wet and have a good time!

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Zach Williams

Gresham, OR
Years Guiding: 4

Zach Williams

Originally from Gresham, OR, Zach is back at DH for his 3rd season with us and 4th year as a river guide. Zach is an open-minded thrill seeker (the best combination, of course) and will try anything twice. After numerous inquiries, he would like to make it known that, unfortunately, he is not Casey from Yellowstone…though he did once give sunscreen to Usher’s kids so if that doesn’t qualify him for celebrity status, we don’t know what will! Zach graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in accounting and got into river guiding after making the realization that living life on the river seems a lot more fun than crunching numbers. Zach’s big advice to his rafters is to “never trust a guide”… but hopefully that advice doesn’t apply to us!

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Jacob Meidl

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Years Guiding: 3

Jacob Meidl

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Jacob came to JH to actually work on a dude ranch as a wrangler! However, he ran into a slight snag when he realized he knew nothing about horses and as you can guess, the wrangler career path didn’t quite pan out. Selfishly, we are thrilled it didn’t, because instead, Jacob became a float guide! Jacob is back at DH for his 2nd season with 3 years of guiding under his belt. Jacob graduated from the University of Stevens Point with a degree in History…which is fitting as he loves to do anything antiquated. If you get Jacob as a guide, ask him about his archery and black smithing hobbies…you might even be able to get him to give you a fencing lesson!

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Austin Starbuck

Pampa, Texas
Years Guiding: 2

Austin Starbuck

A proud Texas native, Austin is back for his 5th season with the DH crew. A firm advocate for living life on wheels, Austin has written the playbook for van life. If you have an interest in van life, Austin is the guy to ask! Heading into his 7th year in his van, Austin can always be found on the road. In the winters, he heads down to Arizona, where is his building an in-ground hut surrounded by sagebrush. In the summers, he heads back up the JH to live his days by the river! Before taking up the paddle, Austin was a bus driver for us for 3 seasons. After taking a 21 day rafting trip down the Grand Canyon, Austin was convinced to switch out the bus for a paddle and we couldn’t be happier!

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Adeline Rigby

Salt Lake City, UT
Years Guiding: 1

Adeline Rigby

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Adeline can thank her parents for learning to read currents and become a river guide. Her adventurous mom and dad took her on frequent trips down the famous Salmon River in Idaho, sparking an unrivaled passion for the outdoors. She skis, camps, cycles, and backpacks all over Utah and Wyoming, and she has a special place in her heart for the desert of southern Utah. She also loves to make music, with the fiddle as her instrument of choice. We are crossing our fingers she’ll one day host a DH ho-down because trust us, our river guides can really bust a move! We are psyched to welcome Adeline to the team this year!

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Dan Schurman

Brunswick, Maine
Years Guiding: 6

Dan Schurman

Needless to say, the river runs in Dan’s blood. Dan grew up on the river, working for his dad’s rafting company! Originally from Brunswick, Maine, he knows the Maine rivers like the back of his paddle. This will be Dan’s 6th season on the Snake, though he did take an 8 year hiatus to teach special education back in Maine. Sidebar: DH LOVES TEACHERS!  Now Dan spends the school year with his students and his summers on the oars with us. As if being an awesome teacher and river guide wasn’t enough, Dan is also an incredible dog dad to his eight year old Husky, Starbuck. If you get Dan as a guide, ask him about all the adventures he and Starbuck have taken together!

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Callie Lajza

Gainesville, Florida
Years Guiding: 6

Callie Lajza

Callie returns to the DH crew, eager for another stellar rafting season. Growing up in Gainesville, Florida, Callie attended college at the University of Central Florida and the College of William & Mary where she worked for a degree in Communications and Nonprofit Management. After a season on the Yellowstone River, she headed south to Jackson, eager to share her love of rafting with others. Callie is always down for a dance party or a yoga sesh and she’s a professional hula hooper who can always be found with a trusty pair of roller blades, ready for an adventure. You’re guaranteed a blast with Callie, everyone who rafts with her always comes back laughing, and of course, a little wet.

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Eagen Keeley

Madison, Wisconsin
Years Guiding: 1

Eagen Keeley

Eagen was destined to be a part of our DH crew after randomly rooming with one of our guides his first year in JH. Eagen started out as a shuttle driver, but got hooked on the guide life after rafting 280 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Now, Eagen is back at DH and ready to take on the rapids! Eagen is a proud dog-dad to two adorable pups, Bemo and Chia, and is currently working on converting his 27ft school bus into an RV. Like most of the population in the valley, Eagen is an avid outdoorsman. In the winters, you can find him ripping up the back country or finding an endurance challenge to conquer (if you want to be amazed, ask him about the “Picnic” or the biking “Around the Block” challenge!). We are psyched to have Eagen on the river with us for his second season and can’t wait for you to see what he has to offer!

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Emmie Gocke

Jackson Hole, WY
Years Guiding: 1

Emmie Gocke

Born and raised right here in JH, Emmie is back home after graduating from UPenn before heading to medical school in the fall! Ready to log some outdoor time before being glued to her laptop, she is excited to be back in the adventurous, outdoorsy environment of JH. If Emmie isn’t on the river, you can pretty much find her anywhere outside, including skiing, trail running, or even bow hunting! In addition to being an awesome river guide, Emmie has also worked as an EMT, medical assistant, ski coach, ranch hand, and as a free lance writer…whew! Emmie has also traveled all around the world, so if you get Emmie as your guide, be sure to ask her about her escapades in Ecuador or her adventures in Ireland!

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Katy Flanagan

Jackson, WY
Years Guiding: 3

Katy Flanagan

Born and raised right here in the valley, Katy is a Jackson girl through and through. After graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in Geography, Katy actually started her whitewater rafting career in the front office of a rafting company in Denver. After realizing she wanted out from behind the desk, she made her way back to Jackson. Fast-forward to 2022 and she is going into her 7th year as a guide! Katy is the queen of karaoke and an avid traveler. She’s been to every single continent except for Antarctica and has even ski-nannied for quadruplets in Chile. We are thrilled to welcome Katy back for her second season with our crew!

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Madden Hart

Jackson Hole, WY
Years Guiding: 2

Madden Hart

A JH native, Madden is well-versed in the ways of the valley…and not just because he’s unicycled down Snow King Mountain before! Coming from a family of mountain guides, Madden decided to break free of the Hart family traditions and choose the river as his terrain. Madden is currently attending the University of Wyoming where, along with majoring in education, he dominates the ice rink as part of the university’s hockey team! Madden is back at DH for his 2nd season after deciding to hang up the shuttle van keys for a PFD. An avid hiker, skier, and climber, be sure to ask Madden about the many outdoor experiences he’s had…including climbing El Capitan in Yosemite! If you get Madden as a guide, get ready for a wild time, ‘cause he’s always down for an adventure!

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Payton Koehler

Lagrange, Georgia
Years Guiding: 5

Payton Koehler

When she was 10 years old, Payton took her first whitewater trip down the Chattooga. Awestruck by her female guide, she thought, “I can do this?!?!” and told her parents that night she wanted to be a river guide. True to her word, 8 years later, she guided her first trip down the Nantahala River in North Carolina! It’s fair to say that Payton is the definition of “jack of all trades.” Before coming to DH, Payton was a wilderness guide for a rehabilitation center for 2 years, a zipline guide for 6 years, and is continuing her 5th year of river guiding. She is also fluent in Southernisms, a college rugby player, and could eat mac’n’cheese for 7 day a week with no complaints. She graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in Studio Art and has put that degree to good use! Along with being a stellar river guide, Payton is also a painter, film photographer, EMT, and helps keep our front office afloat (pun intended), so if you see her around the office, be sure to say hey!

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Maddie Metcalf

Durango, Colorado
Years Guiding: 2

Maddie Metcalf

Looking for work, a friend suggested, “Hey! Why not try river guide school?” To Maddie, this seemed like a brilliant idea! Even though she had never stepped foot in a raft before. A lover of new experiences, river guiding seemed like the perfect fit for her, especially since you can always find Maddie somewhere outside. If you visit JH in the winter, you’re sure to run into her on the ski slopes! Along with river guiding, Maddie is also a stellar photographer and loves to meet new people, so if you get her as a guide, you lucked out!

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Leslie Sandefur

Damariscotta, ME
Years Guiding: 1

Leslie Sandefur

Leslie is an outdoorswoman through and through. Graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Conservation Biology, she’s worked a surplus of outdoor jobs both during and after college, including guiding, outdoor education, science teaching, fieldwork for ecological research projects, and even oyster shucking for a lobster shack back in Maine. Safe to say that Leslie is more than qualified for the Snake, our DH crew is lucky to have her! As if Leslie couldn’t get any cooler, she also spent time in South Africa as a safari guide in Kruger National Park. If you get Leslie as a guide, be sure to ask her about her adventures fleeing from charging rhinos and elephants…she might even give you a lesson in Swahili if you’re lucky!

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Taylor Graue

Jackson Hole, WY
Years Guiding: 1

Taylor Graue

Born and raised right here in our valley, Taylor is a true Wyoming gal. She attended the University of Wyoming with a degree in Kinesiology and Physiology and is currently working towards a nursing degree! Growing up in JH fostered a passion for the river and all things outdoors. She joined our DH crew because river guiding seemed to be the perfect way to spend the summer outside and appreciate the beautiful environment we are lucky to call home! Like most of the locals here, Taylor loves the outdoors. It’s a rare sight to catch her indoors…more likely you’ll find her tearing up the ski hills or scaling mountain sides or trail running through the park. If you get Taylor as a guide, get ready for a good time!

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Peter Lopes

Seattle, WA
Years Guiding: 1

Peter Lopes

Originally from Seattle WA, Peter overcame the disappointment that is the Seattle Mariners and used his amazing baseball skills to play for Claremont’s Pitzer College. Earning a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, it’s clear Peter can do pretty much anything. He’s spent the last two years as a chef right here in JH! But, after dominating the culinary realm for the last 2 years, Peter is ready to trade in his chef’s knife for a paddle and work in the outdoors! Aside from being a great river guide, Peter is an avid skier in the Teton County area, a wizard in the kitchen, and has some wicked baseball skills. If you get him as a guide, ask him about his college baseball career or about his two years in the valley!

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Nick Bahamonde

Berryville, VA
Years Guiding: 2

Nick Bahamonde

From a young age, Nick was destined to be a river guide. Nick first went rafting when he was 10 years old, right here on the Snake! Though he found it absolutely terrifying the first time, we are relieved he decided to give it another chance…and it’s clear he changed his mind! Nick decided last summer he wanted to spend his summers doing something fun outdoors and–despite his first experience–river guiding seemed to be the obvious choice after growing up next to the Shenandoah River in Virginia. An avid traveler, Nick has been to 46 out of the 50 states…bonus points if you can guess the four he hasn’t been to! Nick is also an All-American college football player playing for Ithaca College and if you ever see Nick without a hat on, be sure to snap a pic as evidence because that would be a first for us! After guiding on both the Shenandoah and Lower Yough, Nick returned to JH to give the Snake another try. We are lucky to welcome Nick to our team here at DH!

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Parker Shimpa

Fort Collins, CO
Years Guiding: 1

Parker Shimpa

Ever since taking a life-changing trip down the Cataract Canyon in Utah, Parker had his heart set on river guiding. Though he moved here for the Tetons, Parker is able to fulfill his calling on the Snake. A devoted climber, Parker has scaled all of the tallest mountains in Colorado (known as 14ers to the locals) and–in addition to many of the other peaks in the Teton range–has conquered the Grand twice! When Parker isn’t on the river or up 14,000 feet (which is rare) you can most likely find him practicing his talent of unicycling and juggling at the same time down at the boat house. If you get Parker as your guide, ask him about the time he spent in New Zealand as a farmer…yep, you heard us right! Parker has also played the guitar for years and we have tasked him with the very important work of getting a collective DH band going over the summer, so be on the lookout for our first company album.

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Jake Lynch

Modesto, CA
Years Guiding: 1

Jake Lynch

Originally from Modesto, CA, Jake graduated from UCLA with a degree in mechanical engineering! But, burnt out from solving math problems and staring at a computer screen, Jake decided to move to Jackson after he graduated, with the hopes of spending his time outdoors and free of textbooks. He crafted a fool-proof plan of being a snowboard instructor in the winters and a river guide in the summers, and so far, it’s worked out! When he’s not on the river, you can find Jake utilizing his wicked cooking skills, playing video games, surfing, or chatting about anything even remotely related to the Lord of the Rings. Jake is a self-proclaimed, semi-professional ping pong player and his main goal of the summer is to grow the “meanest stache on the Snake,” so if anyone has any advice on how to up his stache game, it would be greatly appreciated!

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Veronica Paulsen

Marin, California
Years Guiding: 5

Veronica Paulsen

If Veronica is your guide, get ready to bow down because Veronica is a bonafide legend in the JH community. No, really–Veronica was the very first woman to stick a backflip in Corbet’s Couloir…an infamous, mind-blowing drop at the world-famous JH Mountain Resort, earning her the title of “Queen” here in the valley! Safe to say she’s come a long way from Marin, California where there’s not a flake of snow for miles. With 5 years of guiding under her belt, Veronica is back at DH for her 4th season and the Snake is lucky to have the Queen navigating its currents!

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Kevin Flueger

Minnesota
Years Guiding: 2

Kevin Flueger

Born and raised in Minnesota, Kevin’s obsession with river guiding started at an early age. As a little kid, he was apart of an outdoor education program which covered everything from rock climbing to kayaking and everything in between. In high school, he was asked to be a junior instructor to help lead outdoor trips, which unlocked his love for guiding! Kevin has been all over the world, from canoeing in Boundary Water, to hiking in the Redwoods and Yosemite, to sea kayaking in Belize! After living the van life in New Zealand for 10 months, Kevin decided to come put his guide skills to work with us at DH and is now back for his second season!

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Vlad Dandu

Romania
Years Guiding: 3

Vlad Dandu

Vlad is the definition of free spirit. Vlad was born in Romania to a part gypsy family where his love for traveling the world was fostered! Growing up, he loved to hike and camp in the Carpathian mountains of Transylvania, which led to a severe addiction to the outdoors. After college, Vlad traveled to Mexico where he started his own climbing tour service in the Chiapas, then it was onto Moab, Utah, which began his river guiding days on the Colorado River. Eventually, Vlad made his way to Wyoming, where his fascination with birds, the nearby parks, and of course, the Snake River, has thankfully kept him rowing with DH for 3 awesome seasons now. Vlad always keeps the guides entertained with his accordion skills and his love for writing poetry. If you get Vlad as a guide, ask him to recite a poem! Be ready for some fun because with Vlad, there’s never a dull moment!

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Keren Mikva

Chicago, IL
Years Guiding: 3

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 with a time of 32 hours and 26 minutes! Keren has a tendency to buy one-way tickets to other countries, she considers hummus to be a major food group, and to her the day is a waste if it doesn’t include at least 3 sports. Keren is going into her 7th year as guide and her 3rd season with the DH crew! Keren is a powerful addition to our team and we are lucky to have her!

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Eli Oakes

Spartanburg, SC
Years Guiding: 2

Eli Oakes

Originally from Spartanburg, SC, Eli graduated from Sewanee: the University of the South with a major in Environmental Arts and Humanities and a minor in the Theatre Arts, which creates for a pretty awesome river guide if you ask us! Eli first developed a passion for the outdoors while working for a company called Moondance Adventures–a travel agency that aims to expose kids and teens to the wonders of nature. Eli is a “Top Gun” enthusiast, so extra credit points if you’ve seen the second Top Gun movie already! Pretty fitting too, because in another life, Eli would 100% be a movie star performing all of her own stunts, just like Tom Cruise. Eli is back at DH for her third year with us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such an energetic person in our midst…seriously, her infectious energy will get you pumped for every rapid and craving more at the end!

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Ben Obertacz

Toledo, Ohio
Years Guiding: 5

Ben Obertacz

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Ben has been with the DH crew for 6 awesome seasons! 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 hike, climb, and anything else that gets him outdoors. You’ll only find Ben inside for Wing Night at the Bird or when he’s purchasing very unnecessary river gear. Ben joined us originally as a shuttle driver and soon decided to hang up the van keys for a paddle! We are thrilled he chose to do so, as all of his rafters get off the boat happy and wanting more. If you get Ben as your guide, you’re sure to see plenty of wildlife spotted by Ben’s eagle eye!

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Bud Chatham

Bay Area, CA
Years Guiding: 25

Bud Chatham

A proud owner of Dave Hansen Whitewater, Bud is a river guide extraordinaire. Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, he owes his love for rivers to his father, cousin, and uncle. In high school, Bud was lucky enough to spend 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.

With an impressive 15 years of guiding under his belt, Bud and his incredible, superwoman wife Kelly were lucky enough to spend a year working with Dave before taking the plunge and buying the company in 2003. 20 years later, Bud still yells out river commands in his sleep. Bud and Kelly feel eternal gratitude towards Dave and their goal is to keep DHWW thriving for yet another four decades. Oh, and if it’s not too greedy, they’d love for their two girls to be on the oars by the age of 15. Yes…child labor is illegal…but we think there are ways around it if they are your children 😉

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Jacie Chatham

Jackson Hole, WY
Years Guiding: 1

Jacie Chatham

A homegrown Jackson Hole kid, Jacie got her first hit on the Snake River’s Grand Canyon at the ripe old age of… 2. One might question her parents’ sanity, but bouncing on her mom’s lap with her dad behind the oars, Jacie sailed through Lunch Counter Rapid, hardly uttering a peep when doused with a wall of shockingly cold water. Every summer since would find her rafting with her mom, dad, and sis, chomping on cherries, playing in the mud, and studying river currents. At 11 Jacie started at DH washing wetsuits and cleaning bathrooms, all the while dreaming of teva tans, calloused hands, and wave trains. All these years later Jacie is at the helm behind the oars and thrilled to take people to her favorite place in the world. One last fun fact: Don’t challenge her to a foot-race—she’s cheetah-fast and will be running track at Willamette University next fall!

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Ian Lynch

Ian Lynch

In Memoriam: We at Dave Hansen would like to memorialize our beloved Ian Lynch, a 10 year guide on the Snake and the Deerfield Rivers. In 2016, Ian passed away from a rare heart condition. Ian’s smile was his superpower; he brought light and laughter to the grouchiest and grumpiest among us. Kindness incarnate, Ian only brought good vibes to all he encountered–no matter who you were. From the youngest wetsuit washer employee, to Dave Hansen himself, Ian showered all with generosity and love. When he wasn’t getting people soaked on the river, you could find him at the local watering hole, cheering for his favorite New England sports teams. Ian spent his winters snowboarding and working at JHMR, spreading his joy. Ian was eclectic–he loved cooking, Tae Kwon Do, football, music, reading, and even writing poetry. We are all trying to live up to Ian! Ian loved entertaining his guests with cheesy jokes and encouraging them to jump in and have fun! No joke–if a customer happened to leave the office impatient, hot, or frustrated, guaranteed after spending a couple hours with Ian, he would come back high-fiving and loving life. Everyone who was lucky enough to know Ian felt uplifted simply by being in his presence.

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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