Now Open for Trips! Covid-19 Policies & Worry Free Cancellation

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.

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

Josh Small

Anchorage, Alaska,
Years Guiding: 3

Josh Small

Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Josh played many sports as a kid. Hockey, basketball, baseball, you name it. Little did he know that his teamwork skills would prepare him well for the whitewater rafting career he would take on some many years later.  Josh always loved fishing and going on river trips with his family and started guiding with DH because of his bond with the river. Josh attended the University of Alaska, earning degrees in both Welding and Non-Destructive Testing. We have a contest going as to who can figure out exactly what ‘non-destructive testing’ is. Josh is now onto his third year on the Snake, but has also guided on the Kenai, Susitna, and Gualkana rivers in Alaska. Josh loves encouraging his rafters to ride the bull and jump in the river, so if you get Josh as a guide, prepare for some excitement!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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.

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

Billy Klabunde

West Bend, Wisconsin
Years Guiding: 13

Billy Klabunde

With 13 years of guiding experience, we are fairly certain Billy was born with a paddle in hand. Originally from West Bend, Wisconsin, Billy fell in love with rivers when he went on his first whitewater rafting trip in California in 2009. He attended the University of Wisconsin and got a degree in Forest Management and Urban Forestry before fulfilling his calling as a river guide. Before coming to DH, Billy guided down the middle fork of the Salmone and the BWCA river. When Billy’s not on the river, you can find him rocking out to “some good ole’ fashion Rock ‘n’ Roll”, killing it at disc golf, or trout hunting on Flat Creek. Billy will most certainly make you laugh with his love for telling jokes and will encourage his rafters to “slow it down” and enjoy themselves! We are lucky to have Billy coming back to DH for his 5th season, making him one of our senior guides!

Read Bio

Sandy Feuer

Hanover, New Hampshire
Years Guiding: 5

Sandy Feuer

From Hanover, New Hampshire, Sandy fell in love with the river after two trips down the Grand Canyon and a trip down the Zambezi in Zambia. He now joins Dave Hansen for his 5th season guiding! Sandy’s heart is even bigger than the river. Prior to DH, he lived in Africa to work for Grassroot Soccer–an organization that uses soccer to help educate and inspire at-risk youth in developing countries. Additionally, Sandy studied environmental policy at Colorado College.  He is also passionate about hiking, snowboarding, and chowing down at the Calico Restaurant. Make sure to study up on your sports before going down the river with Sandy–he’ll have some sports trivia coming your way!

Read Bio

Jordan Dew

Years Guiding: 20

Jordan Dew

Though this is only Jordan’s third summer at DH, he has been a raft guide for 20+ years on rivers all over the world! You could definitely say Jordan is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, as he has guided on the Zambezi River in Zambia, the Gauley River in West Virginia, the Rio Apurimac in the Amazon, and the Rio Trancura in Chile, all considered to be Class V and extremely difficult rivers to guide. Despite being a whitewater “Nomad”, Jordan somehow finds time to work towards a Nursing degree at the Missoula College. He loves his job, as his life’s philosophy is just that he’s retired early and is now just working “a job he can work until he’s old.” If you’re nervous about going down the river, Jordan will immediately put you at ease, if not with his incredible track record with rivers, then with his wise words of “It’s just water! Have some fun!”

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

Alex Nelson

Yarmouth, Maine
Years Guiding: 18

Alex Nelson

With 18 seasons of guiding, it’s fair to say Alex is the sultan of the Snake.  Originally from North Yarmouth, Maine, Alex got his degree in international studies at the University of Denver before finding his way to Jackson Hole. Alex is returning to DH for his 7th season, he is one of our head guides and most experienced river runners. If you’re lucky enough to get him as a guide, ask him about the 21 different rivers he has guided on all over the world! Alex is always in search of adventure and usually migrates south for the winter, so ask him about his most recent travel to New Zealand or his past adventures in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Chile! If you can’t find Alex on the river, don’t worry, ‘cause he’s most likely on his way there.

Read Bio

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.

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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).

Read Bio

Travis Heyer

Amherst, MA
Years Guiding: 1

Travis Heyer

Travis is from Amherst, MA “where only the H is silent. He studied hospitality and tourism management at the University of Massachusetts. This is his 1st year at Dave Hansen, but his 9th year guiding rivers.

Travis has his Swiftwater 1 Certificate and Wilderness First Aid. He claims that he is bad to the bone and that “god put me on this earth to guide rafts.”

During the off-season Travis likes to take long moonlit walks on the beach and surf righteous waves. His favorite place to eat in Jackson is the Lift restaurant and his favorite thing to do is go whitewater rafting, obviously.

When Travis isn’t working on the river you can generally find him on the river going boating. His tips for new customers are to have fun and help me help you.

Read Bio

Karen Baptiste

Eastchester, NY
Years Guiding: 1

Karen Baptiste

This is Karen’s first year with Dave Hansen! Although it’s her first year raft guiding with DH, she has guided overnight kayak camping trips in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for 3 summers. She is certified in first aid, CPR, WFR and swiftwater.

Karen is originally from Eastchester, NY and studied chemistry at UVM. She moved to Jackson 5 years ago. She visited Jackson for the first time when she was 5 years old, loved it so much and promised herself she’d live here one day. When she’s not on the river you can find her skiing, hiking, swimming, kayaking and snuggling her cat, Mr. Meowgi. Her favorite dish is a spicy curry from Thai Plate!

Karen wants to encourage her rafters to ask all about Jackson Hole, from geology to human history!

Read Bio

Jordan Dew

Years Guiding: 1

Jordan Dew

This is Jordan’s first summer with Dave Hansen. He is a Whitewater Nomad and has been guiding for 20+ years on rivers all over the world. He is currently attending Missoula College studying pre-nursing.

Jordan has guided in West Virginia on the New and Gauley River, which is a Class V river. He has guided in Idaho on the Payette Rivers. He also has experience guiding in several other countries such as in Peru on the Rio Apurimac (class V, headwaters of Amazon) and Rio Chili, Argentina on the Rio Mendoza, in Chile on the Rio Trancura, where he guided in Spanish (class V) and Rio Maipo, and in Zambia on the Zambezi River (class V and considered one of world’s most difficult rivers).

Aside from Jordan’s incredible track record, he is just a college student. In his free time he plays with his dog Coco, letting him run and chase geese. His life’s philosophy is that he retired early hence all the river time, and now he’s just “trying to find a job I can work til I’m old.” Jordan says to his rafters, “It’s just water! Have fun.”

Read Bio

Erick Nelson

Boston, MA
Years Guiding: 2

Erick Nelson

Erick hails from outside of Boston, MA, but hightailed it out west as soon as he could. This is his second year guiding on the Snake and first with Dave Hansen, and with certifications in Swiftwater Rescue and CPR/First Aid, he’s ready for action.

Erick studied art at Colorado College, and in addition to pushing rubber down the river is also a practicing printmaker. When he’s not on the river you can find him mountain biking, playing disc golf, snowboarding, or enjoying a killer meal at the Rendezvous Bistro.

All you need on the river is an open mind and a good attitude! Let’s go boating!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

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.

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

Josh Small

Anchorage, AK
Years Guiding: 1

Josh Small

This is Josh’s first season with Dave Hansen!

Josh is from Anchorage, Alaska, and grew up playing hockey and basketball. He studied welding and non-destructive testing at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Outside of sports, his hobbies include skiing, hunting, climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.

Josh wants to encourage his rafters not to be afraid to ride the bull, jump in and swim, and ask questions!

Read Bio

Alex Nelson

North Yarmouth, ME
Years Guiding: 5

Alex Nelson

Alex returns to Dave Hansen for his fifth season and brings along 14 seasons of guiding experience, making him one of our most excellent guides!

In search of a year-round sandle burn, Alex often makes like a bird and migrates south for the winter; most recently venturing to Honduras to guide on the Cangrejal. Alex’s grand adventures in guiding have also led him down rivers in Maine, Costa Rica, and New Zealand.

Hailing from North Yarmouth, Maine, Alex first moved out west to Denver to study international studies at the University of Denver.He enjoys kayaking, skiing, hanging out with friends, exploring new places, and eating at Yankee Doodle. If he’s not on the river, he is most likely on his way there.

Alex encourages his guests to dress warm, have fun, and not stress!

Read Bio

Billy Klabunde

West Bend, WI
Years Guiding: 3

Billy Klabunde

This is Billy’s third season with Dave Hansen. He has ten years of guiding experience and is trained in First Aid, CPR, Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Rescue. Billy’s from West Bend, WI and studied foresty at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

Billy enjoys fishing, snowboarding, disc golf, biking, camping, boating the 3 mile whitewater stretch of the Gros Ventre River and almost anything else that requires being in the great outdoors. If he’s not on the river, you can find him eating ‘buffalo tar- tar’ at The Local or trout hunting on Flat Creek

Billy loves telling jokes and making people laugh! He encourages his rafters to ‘slow it down’ and enjoy themselves!

Read Bio

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!!

Read Bio

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!

Read Bio

Hunter Verde

Beaumont, TX
Years Guiding: 8

Hunter Verde

Hunter is one of our senior guides and joins Dave Hansen for his eighth season! From Beaumont, Texas, Hunter attended Ole Miss where he studied political science.

Hunter is a volunteer Firefighter and EMT with Jackson Hole Fire EMS and just completed his first season as a ski patroller at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

In his free time, Hunter likes to kayak, ski, have cheeseburger picnics, and listen to Widespread Panic or Grateful Dead. He’s kayaked down the Grand Canyon and even taken a 10 day trip down the Karnali River in Nepal.

If he’s not on the river, you can find him at the Stage Coach Bar and Grill, ‘kicking it with the sons’, or maintaining his handlebar mustache.

Hunter encourages his rafters to relax and enjoy the ride!

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!

Read our FAQs
River Flow 1,940 cubic ft / sec