Skilled Mountain Guide
Alaska Mountain Guides & Chilkat Guides

Alaska Mountain Guides

Haines is the adventure capital of Alaska. Come experience an unforgettable summer!

Haines is the outdoor adventure capital of Alaska!

Haines, Alaska
unknown / hour + tips
Some experience required
Start Date:
Starts in about 2 months. (Mar 15, 2022)

The Guide’s main responsibility is to carry out the company’s mission of providing clients with a safe, enjoyable, and educational wilderness experience. The Guide will lead clients on their respective tour at the rock climbing and zip line site safely and enthusiastically with an ultimate goal of satisfied passengers at the end of each trip.

For over 30 years, Alaska Mountain Guides and our affiliates have been a premier guiding service in Southeast Alaska and around the world! Our expedition programming offers a variety of outdoor adventures geared towards travelers attending mountaineering training courses, expedition climbs, backpacking/trekking programs.

General Overview of Position:

The International Wilderness Leadership School (IWLS) and Alaska Mountain Guides (AMG) are looking for a skilled guides and instructors for the summer season in Southeast Alaska. The season will begin in April and conclude in August. Applicant should possess at least three years of experience as an expedition leader and have a valid WFR, WEMT, or equivalent medical certification.

Applicants should have a background in following areas: backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and mountaineering. Backcountry skiing/snowboarding experience is not required but candidates are encouraged to note this on their cover letter/resume. Guiding opportunities will be based primarily in multi-day expeditions but staff also expected to support daily trips relevant to their expertise (i.e. – supporting daily hiking trips and/or climbing programs in Skagway).

Essential Job Functions

  • All staff are responsible for tracking their hours and utilizing our online timesheet system.
  • Expedition Guides report to the Expedition Manager and/or Expedition Coordinator
  • Guides will report to and follow instruction from the Warehouse Manager while conducting work in the warehouse.
  • Lead Guides are responsible for all trip paperwork.
  • All guides must complete peer evaluations following trips.
  • Lead Guides will complete a review of their assistants following the trip. These reviews consist of training checklists and evaluations to help determine how a guide is progressing.
  • Guides will be responsible for pre-trip packing – this includes meal planning/prep and signing out gear for your trip.
  • Guides must be organized and follow checklists during trip packing and derigging.
  • Guides are expected to review client paperwork as prepared by the office.
  • Guides must maintain a clean, well-groomed appearance.
  • Must possess a positive attitude and maintain professionalism in the workplace.
  • Must be willing to work in a team setting and support others.
  • Good communication skills and ability to follow protocols in the event of an emergency

Experience Required to Perform Job Requirements

  • 3+ years prior guiding, leadership, and tourism experience required.
  • Must be able to lift up to 60 pounds repeatedly throughout each day.
  • Must be able to carry loads over uneven ground.
  • Must possess strong work ethic.
  • Must be comfortable speaking to large groups of people.
  • Must be able to handle multiple, simultaneous groups of guests.
  • Must be currently certified in 1st Aid and CPR at minimum (WFR or WEMT preferred).
  • Must possess or be willing to acquire class B Commercial Driver License (CDL).

General Questions:

This summary guide you through what are likely some initial questions you might have regarding the following: Employee Training, Professionalism, Training Courses, Mid-Season Operations, Living Space and Rent Structure, Program Equipment, Standard Dress Requirements, Pro-Deals, Pets, Travel and Logistics. These items are all outlined in detail in the Employee Manual. Please feel free to direct any questions to the AMG office by email or phone.


AMG employees represent the company whether they are working with clients packing in the warehouse, or off the clock and hanging in town. AMG expects employees to always conduct themselves in a professional manner and provide a leading example in the community for the type of behavior associated with the quality guide service that employs them. We live and work in small Alaskan communities, poor/inappropriate behavior will quickly establish a bad reputation for an individual and reflect poorly on the company as a whole.

Mid-Season Operations

Spring & summer are our primary seasons of operations. Expedition trips typically run April through August, with June and July being our busiest months. Expedition/Field opportunities may vary depending on individual experience and qualifications, but in general 15 days of field time in June/July is on par with most expedition guide’s schedule. Guides may be called on to support daily programming in between expeditions, packing and daily programs are assessed as hourly pay while multi-day programs are handled through day wages. Staff can expect full time work in June and July, individuals who routinely help with daily programs will likely find full time work is available May through September.

Living Space and Rent Structure

We offer employee housing options in Haines & Skagway; the two towns are separated by about 15 miles off ocean along the northern end of the Inside Passage. Despite being in close proximity, the towns are separated by mountains and glaciers requiring a 5+ hour drive through Canada to connect between towns. During the summer months daily transfers along the fjord via fast ferry take about 45 minutes to get between towns, thus it is possible for guides to commute between towns for work. Haines is the base of our expeditions programs while Skagway operates numerous daily climbing, zipline, hike, and rafting programs. Expedition guides most often live in Haines and may occasionally travel to Skagway to support climbing and other programs.

  • Haines housing options consist of our employee campground, we have a few campers/RVs for senior staff, and limited space for employees seeking to bring their own campervans/trailers/RVs, most 1st year staff camp in the wooded area encircling the campers/RV parking. The campground has (4) plumbed bathroom/shower units and a communal cooking area – due to the presence of bears in our area we prohibit cooking/food storage outside the communal cooking space. The campground is located on the same lot as our warehouse/office making the commute to work convenient for any staff planning to come to Alaska without a vehicle. The campground does not have laundry services, but there is a laundromat located within a short walk down the street. A guide room is located on the corner of the warehouse with access to company computers and WiFi.
  • Skagway housing consists of three houses, most rooms are shared occupancy with a few single occupancy rooms typically reserved for senior staff and managers/admin. The bedspace in Skagway housing is reserved primarily for employees who will be involved with daily rock climbing, ziplining, rafting, and hiking tours. Expedition guides who will not be supporting these Skagway programs should plan on living in Haines.

Additional Notes:

  • Bedding and personal items are not included
  • Rent deductions are made twice a month with 50% of the month’s rent deducted from the 1st and 2nd paycheck.
  • Rent is prorated for the first month, rent for the last pay period will be deducted in full even if you vacate housing early.
  • Employees must vacate housing within 72 hours of their final shift unless other arrangements have been approved by management.
  • Pets – Must be approved by management, approval may be rescinded if your pet causes problems or is not friendly towards humans and other animals.
  • Failure to abide by rules outlined in the employee manual and housing agreement may result in immediate expulsion from employee housing.

Additional Job Responsibilities

Employees will be called on to participate in a variety of activities associated with the climbing and adventure park sites and operation, as well as residential upkeep. Routine maintenance at the climbing and zip sites includes course and route inspections, maintenance and route cleaning, documentation of inspections, trail work, and area development. Daily operations also include vehicle cleaning and washing as well as other maintenance.

Employees may be called on to share driving responsibilities and potentially other part time office duties. Driving is an important part of the program and guides will be expected to not only be safe and abide by all local and state driving regulations but also to be entertaining for our guests. The drive to and from the climbing/zip site is an opportunity to enhance the guest’s experience by providing historical and interesting information about the city, its history, the beautiful outdoors surrounding us, and other types of trips and programs that the guests can participate in the future with AMG. Please see the requirements for CDL driving in above CDL description.

Employees may also be called on to participate in Haines-based long trip programs at any time. The opportunity to gather additional experience in any of these programs is a privilege. One of the key elements of the AMG and IWLS structure is the use of staff from Skagway for programs generally originating in Haines. The ability to be flexible with schedules and adapt to changes, sometimes with short notice, is a requirement and expectation of your employment.

Standard Dress and Professional Appearance

Alaska Mountain Guides requires guides to maintain a professional image at all times. As outlined in the Guide Manual, you will be issued guiding equipment and clothing that will be required to be worn at all times while working. Personal pants will be neat and clean without stains, holes or other frayed areas.

The standard Skagway uniform is your name tag, tucked in AMG uniform shirt and/or guide jacket with guide or Carhartt style pants and closed toed outdoor shoes/boots.

AMG requires staff to be clean with appropriate hygiene and appear professional while working. There are showers available in both of the guide houses and there are no excuses for not meeting these standards.


AMG provides the opportunity for employees to have access to top end outdoor merchandise and equipment at discounted rates. AMG is pleased to work with Black Diamond, Mountain Hardwear and Sierra Designs to meet many of our program needs. These programs are a privilege and considered a perk of the job. Abuse of these opportunities is taken very seriously and will result in loss of privileges and disciplinary action. Specific details will be outlined upon arrival in Skagway.

Travel and Logistics

Employees are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Skagway, AMG will assist wherever possible in helping outline necessary steps in travel plans. Please make arrangements with a few days on either end of the season for mishaps. Alaska weather can delay planes/ferries bound from Juneau or make driving conditions difficult or impassable.

Please plan to arrive in Skagway at least the day prior to your first day to training (unless directed to head to Haines for orientation); this will give us all time to prepare for the upcoming events.

Suggested Reading

In order to prepare better for your guide training and work this summer we STRONGLY suggest familiarizing yourself with some of the following books:

  • Guide to the Birds of Alaska by Robert H. Armstrong
  • The Nature of Southeast Alaska by Carstensen, Armstrong & O’Clair
  • Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska by Pojar
  • The Alaska Almanac published by Alaska Northwest Books
  • Chilkoot Pass by Archie Satterfield 
  • Chilkoot Trail: Heritage Route to the Klondike by Neufeld & Norris
  • The Klondike Fever: The Life and Death of the Last Great Gold Rush by Pierre Berton
  • The Skagway Story by Howard Clifford
  • Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills by The Mountaineers

We encourage staff to learn as much about our area before arrival and will continue to encourage guides to improve their naturalist abilities to better themselves and the experience we offer our guests.   

We hope this overview has helped to provide an initial understanding of the responsibilities and company overview. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office for additional information and assistance with any questions!

How to Apply

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please click APPLY NOW to visit our website to fill out an application

Email us an application, cover letter, and resume to

We will formally begin the application review process at that point and contact you thereafter.

Contact Info