Meet the Guides

Our crew of fun, passionate, professional guides is led by a top-notch management team. Read below to meet the guides who work with us. We are proud to have a seasoned, steadfast operations staff, a rarity among seasonal outfitting businesses. For example, our Director of Operations, Tim Gaylord, has been with us for 42 years. His second-in-command in Green River, Kelly Dunham, has been with us for 36 years. Vernal Operations Manager Ben Levine has been on the oars since 2003. Several of our trip leaders (like Tilts and T.J.) have been around for decades! This cumulative expertise is critical to how Holiday River Expeditions maintains our unique and professional operations, balancing innovation and wisdom every step of the way.

Before you get the chance to meet the guides in person, read some of the bios below, and you will discover the ways we are all connected. Each of our professional guides has a story of their own: their life before the river called them home.

Rafting Guide Tim Gaylord

Tim Gaylord

Director of Operations for Holiday River Expeditions since 1978

Tim is Holiday River Expeditions' Director of Operations and COE (Chief of Everything). He makes sure our trips run smoothly, so your vacation is trouble-free.

Obviously, with 40+ years of guiding and running our operations, Tim knows what he’s doing and does it well.

When he’s not training guides, inspecting gear, answering 101 questions Tim enjoys Utah’s great places on his mountain bike or skis with his wife, Vicky, and his children and grandchildren. It’s hard to get Tim to sit in any one place for very long, so if you see him say, “Hi!” before he disappears with his bike and his dog River.

Susan Munroe Guide Photo

Susan Munroe

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

Growing up as a skier in New Hampshire, I used to dream of being a ski bum out west. After college (BA in English—reading is my favorite pastime), I discovered the world of seasonal work, and spent three years traveling and working in New Zealand, Antarctica, and South America. That path eventually led me to Utah, where I finally realized my ski bum dreams in the wonderful Wasatch Mountains. When the snow melts, however, I follow it downstream. Ten-plus years later, it’s the rivers and the desert that keep me here. I love rowing, I love sleeping on my raft under the stars, I love the heat of the canyons in midsummer, I love learning about the world around me, and I love sharing all of it with people.

Meet the Guides TP

Tim Porten, aka TP

Driving Holiday’s Guests since 2012

Tim Porten, known to all of us as “TP” came to Holiday River Expeditions first as a guest. He holds the honor of being the reigning “customer who’s done the most trips” with us... 46 and counting. Over the years, TP became less like a customer and more like a part of the family, so it’s only fitting that after retirement he came to work for us. TP has been greeting and driving our customers to and from the river since 2012, but his love affair with the desert and river canyons started long ago. He did his first trip with us in 1987. TP has since introduced the river to his children and grandchildren. In the winters he heads further south to Arizona.

Meet the Guides Justin

Justin Malloy

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

How I ended up at Holiday was due to a crazy chain of events over the course of a year, but once I arrived and met the amazing people that make up this company, I knew that everything happened for a reason and I couldn’t be happier now that I’m here. Holiday truly is made up of a “family of friends”. My co-workers and the people I meet on the river are my favorite part of the job. I wouldn’t give up the absurdity, the love, the hilarity, or the peace that I experience every day here at Holiday for all the money and wealth in the world.

The off-season is my opportunity to travel and see the world, but I’ll be back guiding in Green River every summer until I’m too old to row the boat (or Tim fires me, whichever comes first).

Erika Bash Guide Photo

Erika Bash

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

Becoming a guide is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I find that it brings the most amazing groups of people together. From eclectic groups of guides to folks all over the world, every person that I have encountered on the river is there to appreciate and celebrate the beautiful natural world around us.
The river presents opportunities to disconnect from our busy lives, which creates the most incredible friendships. I hope to continue helping people connect to these unforgettable places where civilization has yet to elbow its way into. My name is Erika, I am from the great, rainy Pacific Northwest, and I look forward to getting to know you on the river!

Rocky Schuler Guide Photo

Rocky Schuler

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

“Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit” Edward Abbey
My name is Rocky Schuler, I hail from the great wide open state of Wyoming. I was lucky enough to find the river in 2013, and haven’t looked back since. I spend my winters working at the US Ski and Snowboarding association in Park City, UT. Big water is what I love! Hope to see you out there. Go Pokes!!

Guides Larkin Jameson

Larkin Jameson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2014

I've enjoyed everything about being at the bottom of a Canyon for as long as I can remember. A few of my favorite things have always been: dutch oven brownies (or bacon), running whitewater, and falling asleep on a raft underneath the stars. When I'm not on the river you can find me with my favorite four-legged pal Greg in my hometown of Durango, CO. Second generation Holiday guide, and I couldn't love my job more. Hope to see you all on the Riv, you have to go to know!

Natalie Bio

Natalie Osborn

Driving Holiday's guests since 2014

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City and grew up in a family that spent a good chunk of time outdoors. Exploring Utah’s beautiful landscape was always a great way to spend my free time, but I had never considered that I could turn such an incredible playground into my workplace. Then in 2014 a friend of mine asked, or nearly forced me to go on a river trip with him. During that trip down the Yampa River, I had the realization that I was ready for a change. Exactly two weeks from the end of my trip I was in Green River working for Holiday River Expeditions. I began working as a driver and slowly began to take on more responsibility. In September of 2016 Holiday offered me a year-round position with the company.

I now work in the office heading the social media department, helping manage our storefront, and carrying on other responsibilities that are given to me. And in the summer I still get time working in the desert. I’m grateful every day for the opportunities this company gives me. I get to work for a company I respect, with people who have quickly become family, in an environment that rivals most. I get to escape the daily grind and lose myself in the beauty of the river. I also get to show my son what it means to be happy in the work you do and share with him the joys this state has to offer.

Guides Clair Jewkes

Clair Jewkes

Driving Holiday’s guests since 2015

Clair Jewkes grew up as a child in Vernal, Utah during the ’70s. While there he spent much time on the Green River with his family. They would take friends and family down the river from Flaming George Dam to Little Hole for what seemed like weekly events. From there he spent his teenage years in the Salt Lake City area and continued his love for the outdoors by camping in the High Uinta Mountains during the summer. He spent 20 years in southwest Utah attending Dixie College, Southern Utah University and raising his family. When he was able to, he spent much time exploring the National parks and canyon systems down there; Zion Nation Park, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Snow Canyon, and the North Rim system of the Grand Canyon.

A few years ago he and his Wife Ruby moved back to Vernal. He works for the Uintah School District transporting students to and from school and was introduced to Holiday River Expeditions at that time. He enjoys transporting the tours for the Yampa and Green river trips offered in Vernal Utah.

Meet the Guides Josh Levine

Josh Levine, aka Bam Bam

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

As they say in Wyoming, Howdy and Go Pokes! My hometown of Lyman is a wild place. I loved growing up in a town with only one stop-light in 35 miles and where sheep herds would occasionally walk down Main Street. I love to get out to untamed places, whether it's mountain biking, snowboarding, or boating.

However, the rivers of the west would change my perception of what is WILD country. As a kid, I had done some smaller trips on the Green River and other waterways. My older brother Ben (or LB of holiday fame) was bitten by the rafting bug while on a Grand Canyon trip. After, he began to work at Holiday and I was lucky enough to go on a trip. The new people, deep canyons, and fun rapids made me think that there might be something to this rafting thing.

Two summers would be spent working in the warehouse until I moved on for school. After graduating and finding myself a loathful job, again, Ben was there to help out. After explaining my situation he said that I should come guide. Almost immediately after hanging up the phone, I packed my belongings and moved to Green River. That was years ago now, and has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Let's go hit some rapids river rats!

Guides Tyler

Tyler Jameson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Hi. It’s me, Tyler. I hail from the land of southwest Colorado. It was there in Durango that I was molded into a strapping young woman. Then one day I spread my wings and flew away to the land of Boulder, Colorado where I was gifted with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, along with a minor in Women and Gender studies. Who doesn’t like a bit of Darwinism and gender role deconstruction, am I right folks?!
Things I like:
Bluegrass music
Ping pong
The moon
A good joke
The wizarding world
Oh yes, and the river. Because I am my happiest, most content, and giddy self when I am propelling my craft down a liquid solution.

Ellie Swanson Guide Photo

Ellie Swanson

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Oh hey there, it’s me, Ellie. Ellie Swanson. Here’s a little bit about me! Born in Salt Lake City to parents who weren’t going to let a child slow them down, I spent many a weekend backpacking the canyons of southern Utah. Utah’s desert, mountains, and proximity between all its wonders have kept me here in the state. I studied Biology and Geography at the University of Utah, because who wouldn’t want to study some ecology and maps while spending time outside?! My favorite places to be, tend to involve rims of canyons – which brings me here to Holiday, where I can stare up at canyon walls all day long. Being outside is my safe place, contributing the most to my personal felicity. Because what is life except just a search for adventure and happiness, am I right folks? I hope I propel y’all down the river soon.

Tess Holbrook Guide Photo

Tess Holbrook

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

Born and raised in Park City, Utah, I’ve spent most of my life in the outdoors. I’ve been white water rafting with my family for as long as I can remember, making it a huge part of my life. From a young age, I knew I wanted to take it to the next level and decided to become a guide.

I started as a Holiday warehouse kid in Green River at the age of 18. I spent the next three years going to school at the University of Utah and skiing on the weekends. I have since graduated and am now working for a couple of orthopedic surgeons, working my way towards PA school. I love the feeling of peace and serenity that the river creates, and I always feel at home when battling the white water and sleeping under the stars. My favorite things about working for Holiday are all the amazing people I meet and the memories I get to walk away with.

Can’t wait to continue floating down the river with everyone and falling even more in love with the water!

Eve Ramos Guide Photo

Eve Ramos

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

My name is Eve (pronounced Ehvay, It’s easy I promise) I’m an avid gamer and outdoor adventurer! Weird combo with complete opposites, I know. During the winter, I hibernate and do not rise until I sense spring is coming. It sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I’m a full-grown brown bear. Totally kidding. Bears can’t type, or row boats.

Now you probably want to know how I got involved with Holiday, and I’ll tell you. A coworker from my winter job worked for Holiday in his younger years and put me on the right path to getting a job with the best company I have ever worked for. I love all of the people here, and I especially love meeting all of YOU, the guests! We can talk about dinosaurs, technology, and all of the rich wonderful history the river has to offer.

Also, I am in complete support of changing the name of Fire Ant’s, to Spicy Boys. Make it happen, Gretchen.

Katie Whitaker Guide Photo

Katie Whitaker

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2017

Hi! My name is Katie, or Kater and Happy Katie if you're extra special! I've been running rivers with Holiday since 2017, but previously guided with companies like Dvorak Expeditions and Smoky Mountain Outdoors out of Colorado.

In the off-season, I spend my time in Durango, CO; working, skiing, and hanging out with some of my friends from Holiday.

Rolf Hanning Guide Photo

Rolf Hanning

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2017

Howdy folks, my name is Rolf. Pleasure to be your river guide!

I fell face-first into river guiding when I was 21 years olds. An ankle was broken; plans changed, and I was coerced by a good friend to try being a river guide. Six years later, I think I’ve found myself right where I belong.

I grew up all over the country and I’ve enjoyed almost every flavor that America has to offer. Once I turned 18, I started picking my own destinations and two of those places have really stuck. Now I live summer to winter and winter to summer. In the warm summer months, I enjoy my time with the beautiful canyons and rivers in Utah. In the winter, I enjoy solitude in the breathtaking mountains of southwest Colorado.

In my past four summers at Holiday, I’ve been inspired not only by the rivers I run and the canyons I live in but also by my coworkers and so many of the river runners that came before us.

I very much hope that I can share with you everything that makes the desert southwest and its gorgeous rivers so alive and important to me. But, you have to go to know...

So, thanks in advance for taking a float with me - it’s a privilege and an honor.

Rachael Gluck Guide Photo

Rachael Gluck

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2017

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington I am no stranger to rain. I moved out to Salt Lake in 2015 to go to school and escape Seattle weather. I studied Environmental Science at Westminster.
I grew up hiking, biking, and skiing with my parents but had never been on a multi-day river trip before working at Holiday. I started out in 2017 as a warehouse kid, the first time I went down the river with Holiday I knew that I never wanted to leave.
The rivers and canyons that we get the opportunity to explore are some of the most spectacular places that I have had the chance to travel. To be able to experience these rivers with others is one of the best parts of the job! Hope to see you on the river!

Jacqueline Pollard Guide Photo

Jacqueline Pollard

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2017

Jacqueline grew up in the greater Salt Lake area, playing on the hills of Alta, and learning how to ski at the age of 3.

She began working at the Holiday warehouse alongside friend Rachael Gluck in 2017 and then moved on to guiding the following year.

In the winters she travels the world competing in the Freeride World Tour and brings her 'pet' rubber ducks along for the ride. In her downtime she is back on the same hills she grew up on; skiing with friends, and coaching the current Alta Freeride Team.

Joey West Guides

Joey West

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Hi, my name is Joey. I first found Holiday when I was 13 years old and my parents brought me on a Cataract Canyon trip. Rocky was one of our guides and told me to come work in the warehouse when I was old enough. So as soon as I was old enough I came out west to work warehouse, and have since been guiding for the past 3 years.

In the off-season I go to school at Hamilton College in upstate New York, where I study Chinese and math. I spend a lot of my time pretending to do homework and going rock climbing.

Syd Shoell Guides

Syd Shoell

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Syd and her family have been coming on river trips with Holiday since 2005. She fell in love with the whole operation and started in the warehouse then became a river guide the following. She graduated from Westminster College that same year.

During the off-season Syd focuses her attention on her acting; having done performances with Pinnacle Acting Company, Pygmalion Acting Company, and others.

Emily Guides

Emily Tilton

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Hi, I’m Em! My story is pretty short (like me)! I graduated from college with a degree in Graphic Design and immediately jumped into the real world. Three years of sitting at a desk and staring at a screen prompted a life change.
A packed car, 2300 miles, and a small family connection later I landed myself at Holiday! Born and raised in little Rhode Island I was searching for a big adventure, and I found one on the rivers. Happiest with a guitar or camera in hand I am excited to share my adventure and create new ones with all of you!
* Emily's uncle is Peter ‘Tilts” Tilton, 31 yr guide with Holiday.

Guide Bio Garrison

Garrison Petrie

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Garrison grew up in Oregon, where he spent his youth skiing and snowboarding at Mount Hood.

He had dreams of making his way to Alta, UT for a little more 'Vert' and a little more 'Pow'. His first season in Utah, while working at the Goldminers Daughter, he met Zack Colman, who convinced him to get a job working as a river guide in the summer. Like most the others, he now splits his time between the rivers and the slopes.

He currently works at the Snowpine Lodge up at Alta, but will be making his way back to Holiday as soon as the snow starts to melt.

JackMacClarence Guide Photo

Jack MacClarence

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

The world between skiing and river rafting is small, and that's how Jack found his way to Holiday. He started as a river guide, but quickly moved his way to the mountain biking trips as an avid biker. He continues to do both.

In the winter Jack is a ski patroller for Copper Mountain. He is currently in his fourth year with them.

His coworkers describe him as 'the most stoked person they've ever met'.

Nick Smith Guide Photo

Nick Smith

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Nick came to Utah from Mississippi at the behest of a friend, to run flatwater trips in the Glen Canyon. After that season he headed back east where he worked for 3 years, before getting his chance to come back. He knew he wanted to run multi-day trips and bigger water so he came back to Utah and got a job with Holiday.

Nick is known as the deep fry king of Holiday. When he's off the river and hanging around the warehouse, everyone is always a little more excited for family meals.

In the offseason he does a variety of things; he has spent a winter (or summer really) in New Zealand with some other Holiday guides, but typically returns home to be closer to family and friends.

Nik Morrill Guide Photo

Niklas Morrill

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2019

Hi there, I’m originally from Maine, but eventually found my way out west to go to school at Prescott College in Arizona where I am majoring in Wilderness Leadership. I discovered Holiday after doing some boating with the lovely Rachael Gluck. I grew up canoeing the small creeks around my home but did not go on my first rafting trip until arriving at Prescott. I fell in love with the pace of multi-day river trips as you feel yourself slow down and truly get into “river time”. As we take a step back from the daily grind outside life becomes so unimportant; what matters is the beauty around you, the flow of water, and the people that you are sharing the experience with. As a guide, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to share these experiences and landscapes with the people who choose to come down the river with us. I believe that you can’t save what you don’t know so the more people that we can get to know our wild places hopefully the greater chance we have of saving them.
Hope to see you out there.

Ben Wright Guide Photo

Ben Wright

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2019

Ahoy there! My name is Ben and I hail from upstate New York. As a child, I always dreamed that through hard work and perseverance I could someday become a slightly larger child. Raised with a passion for skiing, I eventually discovered that one could enjoy gradient and water in all seasons. Years later I've settled into the rhythm of ski patrolling in the winters and river guiding in the summers.

guides Cloud Schneider

Cloud Schneider

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2019

Hiya! It's me - that visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere. Turns out, Cloud - short for Claudia - is a name I grew into. Forming in the temperate coniferous forests of the Wasatch mountains, chasing water in it's various forms has become a lifestyle. When I was just a tiny bit of mist, I'd spend the winter skiing and snowboarding with my family, and then following the snow melt to the rivers of Utah. Inspired by my first river trips with Holiday when I was 9, I started my first river guiding job at 18 and haven't looked back. Safe to say, spending summers rowing through the riparian zones of the desert are a dream come true.
When not on river time, I study Outdoor Recreation and guide backpacking and backcountry touring. Of all the places a jet stream can carry a cloud, Utah is my happy place. I'm lucky everyday to make a living sharing that with people. I hope to keep educating folks about the importance of these places for a very long time. Beyond all the neat things about nature, I enjoy a good read, ancient cultures of the American Southwest, an outrageous outfit, clever riddles, and chasing my dogs - Sister, Tank, Sarah and Finn.

Sienna Chilcutt Guide Bio

Sienna Chilcutt

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2020

Hey there fellow river enthusiasts, my name's Sienna. I grew up in the Salt Lake valley; skiing, mountain biking, and waterskiing from a young age. My dad would tell me stories from his experiences in the Grand Canyon and on high water Cataract Canyon trips, and it left me wondering what the desert rivers had in store for me. I did a private Lodore trip with my family when I was 8 years old and I was hooked from there.

When I was in college I spent a summer working on the Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho and made my way to Holiday after that. I graduated with a degree in Nursing from Utah Valley University and worked as a nurse this last winter.

I love looking up at the canyon walls and enjoy the quiet moments that the river gives us. My dinosaur and I can't wait to spend some time with you on the water!

Jordan Garrett

Jordan Garrett

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Hey there! I’m Jordan. I grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, made my way to the University of Colorado Boulder where I majored in geography, and finally (somewhat) settled in Montana. That is until the sweet song of desert rivers brought me here to Holiday!

I discovered my love for running rivers in college and never looked back. The sound of dipping oars in the water is maybe the very best in the world. One of my favorite things about being on the river is learning the stories and history the river landscape has to share with us. And let’s not forget about falling asleep under the stars!

When I’m not on the river you can find me mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, nose deep in a book, or scribbling words in my journal. In the winter, you’ll find me ski patrolling at Big Sky Resort in Montana. I find my migration pattern tends to follow the snow, from frozen flakes in mountain peaks to swirling currents in river canyons. Can’t wait to see you out there!

Mary Grimes

Mary Grimes

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

I've been running rivers in my free time for years, and this last year I got a whole lot more free time so here I am, doing my favorite thing ALL THE TIME!

Before this slight detour, I ran marketing programs for Visit Salt Lake, sold-out arenas for Live Nation, and bossed around celebrities at Sundance Film Festival.

I live in Salt Lake with my dog and like to balance out my desert time with live music and lengthy brunches.

Spencer Torman

Spencer Torman

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

I like to row boats and do non-specific music things!
I came to Holiday chasing various forms of H2O and in the off-season, I usually am doing whatever ends up happening to me.
I come from an undisclosed location in Utah and have spent time studying many different things and working many different jobs.

Let’s do a trip together and maybe I’ll tell you about the ungodly amounts of Peanut Butter I consume.

Brayden Davies

Brayden Davies

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Heyooo! I am Brayden and I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I went to the University of Utah where I got my Bachelors in Marketing! I worked for a nonprofit for a couple of years and got to do some awesome traveling with them!

Growing up in Utah, I have always been trying to find as many ways as possible to enjoy the outdoors and get to places that many others don’t have the ability to get to. I rock climb, trail run, camp, backpack, ski, snowboard, and now raft!

I have always tried to share my love of the outdoors and the beauty that my home has and am excited to do that through the river now as well!

Liz Hall

Liz Hall

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Hi! It’s me, Liz. I came to Holiday chasing desert canyons, night skies, and white water. After going on a rafting trip last summer, I quit my job and decided to become a guide so I could sleep on my boat. Oh, also so I could share these magical rivers and canyons with you! It’s never too late to try something new!

Kyle Poole

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia Kyle always had a love for natural splendor. After graduating from Virginia Tech in the Spring of 2020 he was drawn to Utah by his love of the Utah Jazz but stayed for the fantastic snowboarding.

After a winter working on the slopes of Park City, Kyle googled "rafting companies near me" which drew him to Holiday, and he hasn't looked back since.

Lucy Gerber Brydolf Guide Bio

Lucia Gerber Brydolf

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Ezra Schofield Guide

Ezra Schofield

Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2021

Ezra was born and raised in Salt Lake City, where he grew up skiing, snowboarding, biking, and hiking in the surrounding mountains. After doing some family trips with Holiday when he was a teenager, Ezra worked for Holiday as a videographer, taking the river in behind the lens. After six years of seeing how great guiding could be, he traded in his camera for a set of oars. In the off-season, Ezra works at an ad agency in Salt Lake doing graphic design and video production--all while trying to squeeze in as many days as possible on the slopes.

Meet the Guides Tom Beckett

Tom Beckett

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1974

During the winter of 1966, I was watching “Wide World of Sports” with my dad. We saw a video of a rubber raft getting the snot kicked out of it in a big rapid in the Grand Canyon. My dad said, “Oh boy, that’s for me!” I was horrified. But he took me there the next summer. I was hooked, and I’ve been on the river ever since.
Aside from being able to “work” on the most awesome rivers and in the most beautiful canyons on Earth, I love being on the river for two reasons. One is Utah’s pristine dark night sky. Most Americans can no longer see the Milky Way at night. But on our rivers and bike trails, we see it almost every night. My specialty on the river now is explaining the night sky to our guests.

The other reason I love being on the river is the Holiday gang. They are my best lifelong friends. They are the most inquisitive, fun, and trustworthy bunch I’ve ever had the privilege to ride with.

In the off-season, when I can’t be on the river, I enjoy practicing law at Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City and serving as board chair of Clark Planetarium.

Sherpa San Guide

Sherpa San

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1976

I started with Holiday River Expeditions in 1976, the year we proved to Dee H. that you don’t need to use motors to cover river miles—oar power was the way back then and is today. Over these many years, the river and river canyons have not physically changed much; to me, it is our guests, new and old, that change how I view the river experience each trip.

After spending 13 years as a boatman and manager for the Vernal operations, I did take about a 20 years hiatus to pursue a career in finance and to save for retirement; as I said I could always return. So in 2011, I did. So far the body is holding up and the experiences are awesome. Maybe the change is in me; several trips have involved returning guests who came as kids on vacation with their parents and are now doing trips with their families. These are the rich rewards I cherish.

The Rivers still run in my veins.

Meet the Guides Peter Tilton

Peter Tilton, aka Tilts

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1987

Cataract Canyon is my favorite section of river. I love the power and complexity of the river, the beauty and grandeur of the canyon present a different experience each time through. I also love riding the White Rim and getting the “other perspective” of Canyonlands from high up.

Holiday’s “senior” guide my favorite part of the job is still providing and sharing a positive trip experience with new people. I’m originally from New Hampshire but have been a rolling stone guiding rafting trips in West Virginia, Alaska, and Zimbabwe on Holiday’s off-season.

In the winters I’m on the road with the US Ski Team coordinating race set-ups…the rest of my free time is spent on my recreational lifestyle—golfing, mountain biking, skiing, traveling, and playing with good friends.

Meet the Guides TJ Sattelmeier

Tim Sattelmeier, aka T.J.

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1994

My favorite part of each trip is sleeping by the side of the river in the canyons. This is the lure that draws me back to the river every spring.

I grew up in a sleepy little resort town in Northern Michigan called Petoskey, then went to university in Ann Arbor then wandered around before settling down in Utah.

In the winter, I’m a writer and ski instructor at Park City Mountain Resort.

Dave Vernon, aka Vern

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 1996

Coming from scenic Utah, it was easy to follow my family’s love of the wilderness. After spending six summers on the Snake River in Wyoming, I joined the Holiday crew in 1996. Every year I come back for the adventurous rapids, the quiet solitude of a desert sunrise, floating through the majestic cliff walls, and the great people.

When I am not on the river or trail, I teach at an alternative education school. If you ride on my raft, you might hear a joke or a story or two (maybe even a true one!).

Meet the Guides LB

Ben Levine, aka LB

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2003

Hailing from the wild west, I grew up in Wyoming and have always had a passion for the outdoors. In 2003 during my junior summer of high school, I began my Holiday legacy and spent a spectacular summer in the warehouse where I became know as LB “Little Ben”. Now several years later I am known as BB “Big Ben” and have moved from my native Wyoming to Park City, Utah. I attended Dixie State College in St. George, Utah, and while I was there I was able to mountain bike, explore Zion National Park, and wakeboard for the majority of the year.

Every summer though I return to my second home, Holiday, where I am able to work with the finest most exciting group of individuals that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I especially enjoy going on trips with my big brother Jason. Who as his picture very accurately portrays is the best-looking and most serious trip leader in the history of river rafting, it must run in the family.

My favorite river trip is the Yampa River, which is referred to as the last wild river because it is the last undammed river on the Colorado Plateau. The scenery that it provides is absolutely breathtaking, every campsite is perfect for camping and a great game of river horseshoes, the hiking is amazing and the rapids are as the nickname suggests, wild. I have found my one true love in the canyons and rivers of the west and feel honored to share their exotic beauty with everyone with who I have the privilege of journeying through them.

Meet the Guides Brin

Brian Finnigan, aka Brin

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2005

Born and raised in Vermont, I spent a good deal of my young life staring at maps. I was particularly drawn to the vast blank areas of the American West. In one of these wide-open spaces, two great blue streaks converge in the heart of the Colorado Plateau’s canyonlands region.

Guiding for Holiday Expeditions since 2005 I’ve found that the maps and dreams of my childhood are grossly inaccurate. The Colorado and Green Rivers are anything but blue and the land anything but blank. I’ve discovered that by sharing knowledge with my guests and simply bringing them to these spectacular canyons they gain ownership of the place and the desire to protect it.

Along with my life on the river, I have also earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Gettysburg College and a BCU 3-Star kayak certification and become a Seminar Coordinator for the Headwaters Institute. Prior to Holiday I worked for my campus outdoor education program, guided sea kayaking trips up and down the East Coast and in the Great Lakes, and washed dishes professionally.

Meet the Guides Dave

David Snee

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2006

Spending time out of doors reinvigorates the soul. It makes us feel more connected with the world we live in, which helps us recognize that all of the beauty we see is also inside each and every one of us. Special things happen when we reconnect with nature.
I was drawn west by endless expanses of undeveloped land after finishing college and 25 years of life in the sometimes hectic northeast United States. After one year of exploring the Upper Green River Basin in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, I was washed downstream to Holiday River Expeditions, where I have been floating, pedaling, and walking ever since. The Colorado Plateau, its rivers and canyons, and all the incredibly diverse surrounding landscapes offer endless opportunities for exploration. With a little luck, I will see you all out there for many years to come.

Meet the Guides Zack Colman

Zack Colman

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2007

Coming from a family of boatmen, I knew I had my work cut out for me to differentiate myself from the rest of my family. I grew up outside of Denver in a whirlwind of outdoor activity mixed with city life, struggling to fit in. Constantly criticized by my peers I quickly became the person I had to be to make everyone around me feel comfortable. With the mastery of that skill, I combine my passion for sustainability and the environment to further Holiday Expeditions as a company. I have, through my years at Holiday, brought back style to the canyons, focusing on innovative methods for expressing myself while on the river. If it is a pop-culture anecdote, friendly banter with guests and boatmen, or simply cynicism that comes out of my mouth it is easy to tell that I am a fun-loving person that doesn’t take himself too seriously. My laid back style of guiding quickly makes guests comfortable and any anxiety or nervousness vanishes when I take reign of the oars. Let’s be frank, we’re on vacation!!

Meet the Guides Lauren Wood

Lauren Wood

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2009

I have been a river runner my entire life and ever since my first river trip at age two muddy water has run a current through my veins and into my heart. Growing up I marveled at the stark contrast between a busy urban environment like Salt Lake City and the untamed tranquility I would find between two canyon walls. My adolescent summers were spent learning life lessons while lounging upon Holiday rafts: the greatest sense of pride comes with a good work ethic, one person can go far but one can go much farther working within a team, the river like life only flows in one direction... and don’t touch the poison ivy! It was learning from the boat-women and men of the 1990′s that led me to find my own oars.

When I’m not on a boat, I spend my time in Salt Lake City. I now help run the Holiday River office and spend my free time as a climate justice activist. Working on a number of national, and regional campaigns I'm the Director of the Green River Action Project, an affiliate program with Waterkeeper Alliance and Utah based Living Rivers. I find that the lessons from the river inform my organizing work and truly all aspects of my life. I love investigating the way natural cycles could work with our cities and influencing the currents that direct and shape our communities.

Meet the Guides Jim Richardson

Jim Richardson

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2010

Meet the Guides Sandy Turay

Sandy Turay

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2010

I’m Sandy and I am proud to be Holiday’s first charity case! Homeless in Green River–not really, but I was looking for a place to live during my service for Americorps–I decided to kill two birds with one stone by getting my foot in the door to become a river guide as well as finding a place to sleep. After showing up at the warehouse numerous times and tracking Tim down at Ray’s, Tim finally took pity on me. He let me move into the bunkhouse and eat company food in exchange for warehouse work and shuttle driving! (How’s that for bartering?!?!)

So here I am! Living the dream, going with the flow! Other tidbits about me… I’m from Michigan (say Yah do da UP, Eh?), I laughed out loud the first time I saw a tumbleweed blow across the road, and my first river trip was Westwater Canyon. I enjoy learning about the ancient peoples of Utah and sharing it with my guests. My favorite part about being a guide is reflecting on the day’s adventures while listening to the river and looking up at the canyon-framed, star-scattered night sky before falling asleep on my raft!

Meet the Guides Julian

Julian Springer

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

“… obviously. With his diverse and varied background, extensive outdoors experience, quick-wit, and natural aptitude for river reading, it was only a matter of time before Julian Springer ended up working for Holiday. They’ve got quite the assortment of the best and baddest boatmen the West has to offer…” – Anonymous, unknown

I grew up in the mountainous regions of the world, from the Rockies to Kathmandu and the massive and majestic Himalaya. Inevitably, I became enamored with the beauty and grandeur of the great outdoors. I studied geology in college, mostly as an excuse to be outside, and ended up in Japan guiding whitewater. A summer yelling paddle commands in terrible Japanese, and I was instantly hooked. As soon as I was finished at Colorado College, I packed all of my belongings into a storage locker (except my flip-flops and my sunglasses of course) and moved out to Utah. I was lucky enough to have been connected, through fellow guide Noel, to Tim and the Holiday crew. Being able to spend my days on cool, swift-flowing water, or biking and hiking under a hot sky through sun-bleached, water-worn rock is a privilege. As is working for Holiday Expeditions. Dee and Sue Holladay have created an amazing organization, filled with funny, energetic, whacky, loving characters, all devoted to giving people the best possible river trip they can. Because let's be honest, what’s better than floating down the river with your friends?

Meet the Guides Jesse

Jesse Kasten

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2011

Just a small-town boy, born and raised in South Det….. Originally from Mt. Shasta, California, I have been living in and exploring the arid landscapes of the Southwest since 2004. When not on the river (and often-times there, too), I am a landscape and portrait photographer, trying to capture the rugged beauty of this region through the lens. I enjoy the challenge of chasing the light, attempting to catch Mother Nature in her most raw, powerful, and dramatic moments. My love for the outdoors and the Southwest have led me to Holiday, where I have maintained my presence “in the flow” since 2011. I can’t think of a better way to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Colorado Plateau than by floating down one of it’s wild and scenic rivers, and maybe riding a tasty wave or two along the way! May you forever remain in the flow…. Jesse

Meet the Guides Sarah

Sarah Potts

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

You could say I am a Midwest girl exploring the beauty that the West has to offer. And boy, does it have a lot to offer… so many places I have loved to experience, whether hiking, mountain biking, or most importantly rafting! I have loved every minute of it. The river canyons teach you to slow down, enjoy your life, and breathe easy… My favorite memories so far on the river consist of making an utter fool of myself while wearing costumes, dancing, having yoga classes, and constantly LAUGHING with guests and our amazing crew. The guides here at Holiday make the trips what they are, and of course, I suggest you come on a trip and experience what I speak of. I have never worked with a “cuter bunch” as they say. During the colder seasons, you can find me manipulating the anxious minds of children, adolescents, and adults while I work on my graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. You’ll also find me skipping class on powder days to shred that gnar! Come float with me and we can enjoy the beauty of the canyon together as we have a fabulous time laughing and carrying on!

Colin Gaylord

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

Hello, my name is Colin K. Gaylord.

“It sounded like a Gypsy prayer. The boy had already had experience on the road with Gypsies; they also traveled, but they had no flocks of sheep.”-The Alchemist.
When I am not on the sections of river that Holiday runs I live in Holladay, UT.

My passions include music, skiing/snowboarding, water, reading, golf, climbing, and adventure.

It is amazing that we are given the opportunity to explore and show so many people each year how wonderful and wild each section of river Holiday runs.

Go with the flow.

Meet the Guides Doug Geraghty

Doug Geraghty

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2012

Hello, my name is Doug. I grew up in New Jersey and it wasn’t until the spring of 2011 I quit my job, packed my car, and moved to Utah. I moved out here because of the outdoors and access to various outdoor activities it offers in such a quick drive from SLC. Some of the things I like to do in my free time are go skiing when there is snow out, backpacking, climbing, and mountain biking. And, when I like a more relaxing activity I dabble in the world of photography. I am always looking for a new adventure to explore that helps keep me out of the city and in the mountains, deserts, or rivers. Hope to cross paths with you.

Sam Watson Guide Photo

Sam Watson

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

I am from Salt Lake City, UT, and began working for Holiday in 2012. I worked in the warehouse during my first year, and I have been guiding ever since. My favorite trip to do with Holiday is the White Rim bike trip, in Canyonlands National Park.

I love mountain biking and skiing. I work as a photographer, primarily a ski photographer, in the winter months.

Check out to see my portfolio of photos I've shot for Holiday, my ski galleries, and more.

Guides Dustin

Dustin McHenry

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

I grew up back East, in the Appalachian mountains and streams. I started exploring the Colorado Plateau almost 10 years ago, but only recently ended up in Utah. It took a lot to pull me away from my home in the Blue Ridge, although now that I'm here, I'm not sure why it took so long. The desert out here is a seriously epic playground and a great place to call home in the summers. As inhospitable as it looks, the canyons are full of fun spots for us to hang out. Let's not take them for granted! I hope you'll take from your trip a sense of ownership for these awesome places, and an awareness of their need for protection.

When I'm not out on mountain bike or river trips with you, I get my kicks skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, seeing live music, eating vegetables, and generally being a student of my surroundings. Ramble on.


Tanner Stirrat

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2013

I came to Holiday by way of being a guest. My family took a trip and I loved being out in the canyons, and I found I had as much fun pretending to be a guide as I did kicking my feet up. One of the guides suggested I apply, one thing led to another, and I spent a summer as the warehouse kid, a few years as a full-time guide, and now I've got a boring person job but I still make it out for a few trips each year.

A few things keep me coming back. I love the stories. I love talking to you, hearing where you came from, where you got to, and the journey that led you from there to here. I love telling stories, too - the stories of how the canyons came to be, how its plants and animals came to inhabit it, and the rich and varied stories of the people who have called the canyon home at one point or another. I also love the way that the canyons make your world smaller and closer in the time that you spend in them.

Colter Tucker

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

“I have always wanted to be a river guide and follow in the footsteps of my Uncle Randy. At the age of 20, I was able to take my first real river trip. It was an eight-day motor trip down The Grand Canyon, and I fell in love. Sleeping under the stars, being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river, experiencing solitude like I never knew existed. From that point on I knew there was something in my life that was missing. That very next year I applied at Holiday.”

Meet the Guides Victoria Gifford

Victoria Gifford

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2015

Up until my teens, I spent my winters skiing and my summers wishing that it was winter. Then during my sophomore year of high school, I went on my first rafting trip down Desolation Canyon on the Green River and I found a reason to look forward to summer. I loved camping on beaches, the beauty of the river, and most of all the connections and friendships I made with people over the course of the trip. I got a job as a river guide as soon as I could, and I’ve absolutely loved it.

I currently study Biochemistry at the University of Montana and when I’m not studying, I spend as much time as I can outside. As much as I love studying science and living in Montana, I’m always excited to get back to Utah and the river. I grew up in New Jersey and Southern California, but my family spent all the time we could skiing in Utah, so the mountains became my home-away-from-home. I feel so grateful that I now have another home on the river, and that I have the opportunity to share this wonderful place with others.

Meet the Guides Trevor Fredrickson

Trevor Fredrickson

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2016

I was born and raised in the deep south, well… southern Canada, in the Province of Minnesota. Dontcha know?!? After graduating from university, it didn’t take me long to find my way to Colorado. I work on the Ski Patrol in Aspen/Snowmass in the winter and I also guided on the rivers and trails there for a handful of years. I started running into Holiday trips when I was rafting some of Utah’s rivers with friends. Finally, when I was on a solo raft trip through Labyrinth, Stillwater, and Cataract Canyons, I was recruited by a couple of guides and started working for Holiday the next season.
I enjoy sharing these special wild places with all of ya! Pedals or paddles, you choose, I’m in!

Travis Guides

Travis Moore

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Hi there, I’m Travis. I suppose I should tell you a little about myself. Aside from rafting, hiking, cooking, and all those other lovely things we do on the river, I also enjoy driving school busses through treacherous terrain and long walks on the beach. Although Holiday River Expeditions doesn’t have any school busses, there are a good many beaches at our campsites on all of these desert rivers so this job works out really well for me!

I grew up in Austin, Texas, and moved to Durango, CO when I was nineteen. Since then I have been living a fairly transient lifestyle but only recently came to the great awe-inspiring lands of Utah. As it turns out I love it here. The desert has quickly become my favorite environment to live in. I’m learning more about it every day and I don’t think that is going to change any time soon. It also doesn’t hurt to be living with the goofiest, kindest, and most loquacious individuals all summer at the good old Holiday Headquarters.

Another fun fact… I refuse to wear Chacos like every other raft guide that was ever around. I don’t have a good reason why other than that I am a rebel without a cause. I do, however, love most forms of flip flops and tend to bring multiple pairs on the river. I am also a big advocate of wearing dresses on the river (I find them incredibly functional as well as fashionable) and might have one to spare if you would like to borrow one.

Kris Pesci

'Part Timer' Guiding for Holiday River Expeditions since 2018

Meet the Guides Frogg Stewart

Frogg Stewart

Retired 2017 and living the good life, but always in our hearts

I was born at the end of the war to end all wars, 1945, in Hermosa Beach, California. I spent my youth surfing, sailing, diving, and just playing around the beaches of California and Mexico. After graduating college with a degree in Zoology, I moved to Utah and found I could make the same money skiing as inspecting crops for insects and poisoning so the choice was basic—I became a professional ski patrolman and began river running in 1973.

In 1979 I became a partner in Holiday and moved to Idaho and began running the Salmon River. I continue to manage Holiday’s Idaho operation. Winters I am back to my roots surfing and kayaking in Mexico.

Meet the Guides Kelly Guide Bio

Kelly Dunham

Working for Holiday River Expeditions since 1984

Growing up in Green River was the ideal place to spend time outdoors. I had experienced much of the vast desert country from the ground and air so the water was an obvious choice for me. In 1984 I started guiding for Holiday. My plans were to work for one summer… (so much for that plan).

Most recently you will find me at the Green River headquarters where I organize food, guides, and gear for trips. We are one big happy family at Holiday with a very diverse group of guides and guests. That, along with the challenges of the organization, are what keep me returning season after season.

Guides Driver Herm

Herm Hoops

Retired to the river in the sky - Interp Master and Blog Contributor since 2013

Herm Hoops’ life has always been associated with water: from bucolic farm ponds and awe-inspiring rivers to the endless ocean, and he’s always had an interest in history.

Herm, the son of farmers, grew up on a large dairy cattle and Morgan horse farm. After attending the University of Vermont he taught Vocational Agriculture and Forestry in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

He began running Western rivers in 1966. In 1972 Herm left Vermont and headed West for the better part of a year to run any rivers he ran across. In 1975 he began a career with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Herm retired from the Dinosaur National Monument in 1996, but he has continued following his love of rivers as a guide, naturalist, historian, and he is proactive in protecting the river canyons of the Colorado Plateau. Over the years he has been acknowledged for his contributions to a large number of river guides and books. Herm has written articles for historical journals and magazines. He is a lifetime member of the Colorado Plateau River Guides, the Grand Canyon River Guides, and recently was made an honorary life member of the Utah Guides and Outfitters Association. Herm has served on the boards of several organizations, including Plateau Restoration and Conservation Adventures (Moab) and Colorado Plateau River Guides.

The rivers have been good to him, and perhaps, he has been good to them.

Herm recently passed away but we aren't yet ready to take him off our guide page as his immense contribution to our community is still very much alive. He will live on in our hearts & memories.