salmon river rafting guide

Dustin Aherin

I had the good fortune of getting to grow up in Idaho, where my family has resided for 5 generations. Being a proud Idahoan has kept me here, along with the natural beauty of the State. Having been employed as a guide in Idaho for 20 plus years, and not knowing what else I could do to earn a living, Idaho River Adventures was born. I stay involved with various efforts to protect and bring back Idaho’s endangered salmon and steelhead working with the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition (SOS, as well as being the current president of the Middle Fork Outfitters Association. In my spare time I enjoy rafting and spending time with Clarabell, the Idaho River Adventures wonder dog.


Owen grew up in Hailey, Idaho and had his first taste for river rafting on Idaho rivers as a young teen. Owen earned a psychology degree from Boise State University and spends his winter as an instructor for Sun Valley Adaptive sports where he stokes his interest in recreational therapy. In the spring and fall he travels and enjoys all other forms of adventure and outdoor recreation under the sun. When he’s not outside, he’s often watching old movies because that’s just what he does.”

River Guide Alex on the Middle Fork of the Salmon Idaho


Alex’s love affair with rivers really started on lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota, where she spent summers growing up. Her passion for wild places drove her west to study engineering at Montana State University, skiing at Bridger Bowl University, and river running on the Yellowstone River in Gardiner, MT. Learning that you could get paid to take people down rivers sent her on a career trajectory that diverged from many of her fellow engineering students. They dreamed of summer internships and job offers after graduation, she dreamed of guiding on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the pinnacle of river guiding. After years of pestering Dustin and developing her skills, she finally became part of the Idaho River Adventures family in 2018. More recently, Alex thought she might as well put the engineering degree to use in a more conventional sense, but living in Boise, ID still gets on the river as often as she can, typically in a kayak now. A lover of sufferfests on bike, foot, or ski and an avid sour dough baker, Alex feels over-joyed and lucky to be able to join IRA for some time on the river this summer.

middle fork salmon river outfitters


Greg is a graduate of NOLS and Fort Lewis College’s Outdoor Pursuits. He enjoyes rowing big heavy rafts down narrow rivers. After 8 years on the Middle Fork, he now works part time as a relief guide, sweep driver, somewhat effective guide trainer, and systems scrutinizer.   Greg also is the primary video and photo content creator for Idaho River Adventures. In the off season he is a commercial and documentary filmmaker. He lives in Montana and Colorado. Check out his work at


Taylor grew up in the Idaho outdoors, and after getting a taste of whitewater with the University of Idaho Outdoor program he was hooked. Although he tried to leave Idaho once after college, it just didn’t stick. He has been guiding the rivers of Idaho for 10 years, and rarely travels more than 100 miles from the Frank Church if he can help it; and then only if a river or ski trip is involved. Taylor and his very patient partner Emma live in Mccall, Idaho where he manages a ski shop and builds fragile wooden rocket ships for whitewater. When they’re not in the backcountry they run a successful underground golden retriever racing circuit. They aren’t very exciting races but they are adorable.


Steve grew up wandering around the hills of New England, growing up in Rhode Island. As soon as he realized there were more outdoor opportunities out west, he attended the University of Utah on a whim and hasn’t looked back. Steve received a degree in Professional Meteorology, and was heavily distracted by leading trips with the Outdoor Recreation Program. Good friends in that program led to connections in the Idaho guiding community and a job working as a guide based in Stanley, ID living out of his Corolla, which his parents got as a “school car”, specifically so he couldn’t live out of it (sorry, Mom). Having worked as everything from a Magazine Editor to a Laborer, Fabricator, Snow Forecaster, and Paragliding Instructor, Steve is now a Snowcat Operator at Alta Ski Area and heading into his fourth season on the Salmon.


Madi’s parents started taking her on the river as soon as she could fit in a real life jacket. After her dad flipped the boat in Bailey on the Main Salmon two days after she turned 5, she was oddly hooked (sorry to put you on blast, dad). She quickly learned how to row from dad and paddle from mom. She knew she wanted to guide from a young age and started out on the Middle Fork of the Flathead river in Montana and stayed there for three seasons. Knowing multi-day trips were more her jam, she set her sights on the Middle Fork of the Salmon river and guided there for three seasons before making her way to Idaho River Adventures where she now gets to guide the mighty Middle Fork and the Main, which after their first introduction, is quite the treat. After attending college at Montana State University, she stuck around Bozeman and has been on Big Sky Ski Patrol for the past 6 years and bops around Bridger Bowl on her off days. Outside is her happy place and she can’t wait to share the currents of the Salmon River with you!


Max grew up in the foothills outside Golden, Colorado where he fostered a fascination of the backcountry. His parents took him on a river trip when he was a sprouting young human and he fell in love with moving water. As soon as he could, he moved to the southwest to float and explore the rivers of the colorado river basin. When he’s not on the river, max averages approximately 5 cheese sticks per day. After refining his skills in the southwest and all over the world he found the middle fork of the salmon. When not rafting he spends his time ski patrolling, training his avalanche dog Tingo or adventuring with his partner Nonie. Max is a big fan of corduroy pillows.


Kira grew up in Utah camping with her family and racing mountain bikes. She went to college at the University of Utah where she graduated with a degree in kinesiology and convinced her friends to go on an adventure every weekend. While at school she got involved in the Outdoor Adventures program and was introduced to whitewater rafting. She met friends in the guiding community while at college and got stoked about doing it herself. At a friend’s recommendation she ended up in Idaho guiding on the Salmon River. This will be Kira’s fourth season guiding in the beautiful Salmon River canyons. When not guiding Kira works as a medical assistant and is working on her application for physician assistant programs.


Chayla, the littlest sister of our crew, was brought up in Salmon, Idaho where her family homesteaded over 100 years ago. Her river-guiding parents fell in love on the Salmon River and consequently, perhaps even accidentally, made a river-loving kid on the banks of the Middle Fork. Chayla currently studies at the College of Idaho and joyfully anticipates years of learning to follow her undergraduate degree. During the school year, when her nose isn’t in a textbook, you may find it in a novel or Michael Pollen’s latest. On the water, Chayla will offer a genuine smile at even a half-hearted joke and warmly welcomes all anecdotes, recollections, chronicles, accounts and spiels from lives lived beyond the Frank-Church Wilderness.


Katie’s earliest memories are of playing on sand dunes, swimming cold pools on the colorado river, and picking mulberries with her older brother. Since then, Katie has been trying to recreate the feelings of curiosity, joy and exploration that these memories are filled with. After some years spent in south-eastern Utah, Katie’s family moved to Missoula, MT, which has been more or less home base for the last 20+ years. Katie’s parents, who love both Katie and rivers, attempted to entice her into whitewater kayaking around 12 years old, to no avail. At the time, Katie found rivers to be cold, turbulent, dark, and scary. To this day, She knows those things to be true. She also now knows the river to be unequivocally beautiful, enchanting, powerful, and full of life. After her first spring on the Lochsa River of central Idaho, her life pivoted to follow the seasonal melt of rivers around Montana and Idaho.These days Katie mostly works on the Salmon rivers in the warm months for IRA, and spends the remainder of the year teaching, learning, and exploring with her wyoming found, purebred mutt dog, Tuck.


As a born and raised Texan, Blaine grew up far removed from the boating world that he finds himself in today. He began his guiding career by chance, while applying to summer  jobs after his freshman year of college. One thing led to another and by June, Blaine found himself guiding whitewater trips in Juneau, Alaska. Six summers later, he is embarking on his 6th summer of guiding, his 4th in Idaho, and his 2nd on the infamous Salmon River. He has a degree in Finance and Real Estate and has been telling his parents for the past 5 summers, that this is his last year guiding and he promises to get a “real job” someday but he is just having too much fun right now. In the winters, Blaine spends his time being a ski bum and visiting all of his guiding friends all over the West. He is an adventurer with a curious nature and will ask you questions from dawn till dusk. He is a gracious host ready to create a fun and welcoming environment for every river trip he is apart of.


Daniel grew up in the Bay Area of California and didn’t start rafting until he went to college at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Surrounded by the Rogue and Klamath watersheds, his eyes were opened to the magic of canyons, the thrill of whitewater, and the peace of camping along the riverbank. His college’s Outdoor Program ignited a passion of guiding, while providing the equipment and mentorship that helped him stand where he is now. While he enjoys mountain biking, climbing and skiing, nothing compares to the joy of playing around in boats. Outside of the outdoors, Daniel enjoys locating the nearest farmers market, building beaver dam analogs, and constantly thinking of new ways to use the surplus of frozen strawberries he has in his freezer.


Jack grew up exploring the Idaho wilderness from a young age. Born and raised in Boise, he went to college at the University of Utah, where he studied political science, but mostly skied, biked, climbed, and boated. After a few years in the hot and dry Salt Lake Valley, he found his way back home to Idaho to fulfill his destiny as a river guide in the Center of the Universe – the Salmon River. In between summers, Jack also finished a Master’s degree in Public Policy, and is now putting his education to good use as a ski patroller at Solitude Mountain Resort in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.