Raft Outdoor Adventures

Upper Pigeon River
Break between trips
Office with a view
2020 Staff
Fun on the river
Summer on the river
Smoky Mountains
Group Fun
Midnight Hole Great Smoky Mountains
Pigeon River TN
guide training boat
Upper Pigeon River
Join Our Team

📍Up to $700 sign on bonus /No Experience Necessary /Be a Guide in the Great Smoky Mountains

We have been training people just like you to be professional river guides for over 20 years. We have a team of 30 guides during the summer dedicated to having fun on the river and sharing that excitement with our customers. Many of guides that we have trained have gone on to have long careers in outdoor recreation and other have taken these skills to life away from the river.

We raft near Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville areas in Tennessee, and Asheville, Cherokee, and Maggie Valley areas in North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is in our backyard with hundreds of miles of backcountry trails and there are more classic whitewater rivers within 2 hours of our outpost than anywhere on earth!

About Raft Outdoor Adventures

📍Now Hiring for the 2023 Season! Come be a part of our 21st year on the river! We train a select group of candidates each year to become river guides. Our Raft Guide School is designed to be affordable, with full-time guide positions offered to those who complete the course. The cost of the 10 Day course is $150. 😎 All applicants from CoolWorks will receive a $100 discount to help you purchase the few pieces of equipment you will need to complete training. We always welcome applications from experienced guides but you do not need any experience on the river, just a super positive attitude and a taste for adventure! 🌊 

Now hiring Class B CDL with P endorsement $20/HOUR! clean driving record required. I do have bunk housing available for the right applicant and a sign on bonus for those that qualify. Any skills making minor repairs to the busses is a BIG PLUS. I have a good reliable mechanic but there are always daily tasks. The route is short and mostly interstate miles. We work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday about 40hrs/week. 

Job Details

👉 Season:             Memorial Day - Labor Day

👉 Schedule:         Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday (average 3 trips / day)

👉 Pay:                   $25 per trip + TIPS + Up to $700 sign on bonus!

👉 Experience:     No Experience Necessary 



We take the health and safety of our staff and guests very seriously, all COVID-19 precautions are taken.

The first day of guide school is May 15th, 2023! 

Our main season is Memorial Day to Labor Day but we continue to raft through October for those interested.

Our guide training program includes:

🔴 Technical skills 

🔴 River safety 

🔴 River etiquette

🔴 Basic rescue training 

🔴 Guest service

🔴 Risk management

🔴 First Aid/CPR training

We will provide all of the river equipment you need during training with the exception of shoes and base-layer clothing. You will need secure footwear, old tennis shoes or river sandals and a 🧦 pair of wool socks just in case. In addition, two sets of base-layer undergarments (not cotton) will increase your comfort level a few notches should the weather be cooler.

As a part of this course, you will be housed at our outpost. Housing is a shared bunkhouse  🏡  with bathhouse facilities 🚿 You must provide your own foam twin mattress and linens for bed and bath.

We are also hiring for our support staff positions, Office Staff, Maintenance, and Bus Drivers. To see the full list of available positions click the link in the top right corner of our profile ↗️

The Employee Experience

We have a fun, fast-paced environment. We work 4 days a week during the summer. Workdays are usually 9:30 am-4:00 pm, ⏰ first-year guides should expect 2-3 trips a day some days will be 4 trip days.

You will help with the basic appearance of the outpost in the morning, prep the equipment for the day, participate in daily staff meetings to set the goals for the day. As the guests arrive you will get them geared up, provide basic safety instructions, give instructions about the trip during the bus 🚌 ride and take your assigned group on a 5-mile whitewater rafting trip.

Every trip will have a Trip Leader that will give you directions on how to best fit into the trip (most trips have 7-8 rafts). Then do it again and again till we are done for the day when we put everything away and enjoy the beautiful summer evenings that we have here in East Tennessee. 🗺

Ideal Candidate

Fun, friendly and team-oriented individuals that enjoy working with the public. 😃 Folks that love the outdoors and want to share that passion with others. Being a raft guide is a hard, demanding but rewarding job. You must be outgoing, self-motivated and a team player.  You do not need to have an experience on the water, just a super positive attitude and taste for adventure!

Room and Board

Bunkhouse lodging and tent camping 🏕 is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Both have access to restrooms, showers and pavilion. Housing is $25/week to cover utilities. ⚡️

Employee Perks

  • Periodic staff dinners and field trips (Lake Day, Zip Lines) are planned throughout the season.
  • Pro Deal discounts on equipment.
  • Discounts on some attractions in town.
  • Free wifi on property.
  • Free rafting trip for your family/friends
  • Super Cool Co-workers 

Getting Here and Getting Around

We are located in Hartford, TN, a very small town surrounded by thousands of acres of public land, including The Cherokee National Forest and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ⛰ The closest bus station is in Morristown, TN and airports ✈️ are in Asheville, NC, and Knoxville, TN. Our little town has two small stores/gas stations for necessities, a local riverside cafe, 🍷 winery, and postoffice. Newport, TN is the nearest town for grocery shopping, laundry, and other services, about a 15-minute car ride. It is normally very easy to share rides into Newport. 

For Fun

Working 4 days a week gives plenty of opportunities to enjoy the area. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers hundreds of miles of the best backcountry hiking 🥾 in the country. The staff visits the other rivers in the area on off days or maybe travel to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for the day and visits all of the attractions there including Dollywood 🎢 and Ripleys Aquarium 🐙 of the Smokies. 

How to Apply

Fill out our application, include a resume and tell us a little something about yourself. After your application is submitted, we will schedule a phone interview and if accepted into the program we will provide the enrollment link to register.

We can’t wait to hear from you!



Contact Raft Outdoor Adventures