How did you find yourself at Holiday? 

I was working as a ski patroller at Brighton. The owner of the medical clinic at the time had been on several Holiday trips. We became friendly and he talked me into applying to the river guide school… the rest in history. 

What years did you spend guiding?

Due to a fuzzy memory, I will guess from 96 to 01. I got a job offer from Salt Lake County FD in August of 2001. 

Eric Holmes portraitWhat is something you learned while at Holiday that has stuck with you and has been valuable to life beyond the river?

Be a teacher and a student. Every day is a school day if you allow it. 

What is your favorite stretch of river that you have been on? 

Impossible to pick just one… Dinosaur has a special place in my heart, especially the Yampa. I love the Middle Fork of the Salmon. The Grand is an amazing place to spend 21 days. 

Do you still do river trips?

As often as possible, always donating to Love getting my kids out there, super special to share my love of rivers with my family.  

What do you miss most from guiding?

I would say the comradery, but I have that in my current life. I miss just having an office that is beautiful, wild, and exciting. Some of my favorite times were while I was guiding.  

What was it that pulled you away from guiding?

I became a full-time firefighter with Salt Lake County FD, now known as Unified Fire Authority. 

What advice or sentiment would you share with young guides working today?

Enjoy every moment, use the time with strangers and guides to fill your cup, and learn what you can from the river, canyons, and guests.  

What’s your most memorable story from a river trip?

Although I have dozens of memorable stories, one of the most special happened in 2022. I pulled a Yampa permit and was able to put a trip together of the ‘old guides’ and some of our kiddos. 18 of us, 9 former guides, some spouses, crazy kids, and one amazing river trip. It is absolutely one of the best memories I have today. 

Do you have a story to share about a positive experience with a guest? 

I was lucky enough to spend a lot of days on the river with the University of Utah Burn Camp. Amazing councilors bring a bunch of burn survivors into the desert for 6 days. These kids had the most amazing injuries, horrible stories, and the best attitudes I’ve ever encountered. They taught me so much about perspective and what it means to cherish time. I think back about those trips and always smile, I am very lucky to have been able to tag along with the burn camps.  

Are you in touch with any guides you met during your time with Holiday? Eric Holmes and Wife

Yes, I am still very friendly with many former guides. Lots of dinners, Sunday fundays, camping trips, river trips, and days with the kiddos. I’m super lucky to have friends like I do. 

What are you up to these days? 

I’m still a firefighter. I am a dad of two and follow their passions passionately! I love music, rivers, and my family. I’m currently building a dory which I hope to take down the Grand with my wife and kids. 

Where do you call home? 

 SLC Utah

Do you think you will ever be a river guide again? 

No, I enjoy my own time on the river now… See ya out there!