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Andrew Skurka Adventures, LLC

  • 3909 Apache Court East, Boulder, CO
  • www.andrewskurka.com/guided-trips
  • limitedcompany

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Apply by Feb 28, 2022

Backpacking Guides



min experience

salary range

$100 - $250 / day

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Job description: Backpacking Guides

I must add Lead Guides (at least two) and Junior Guides (one to three) to our existing all-star guide team. These guides will be assigned to trips in:

  • Escalante, Utah: Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, May 8; and/or,
  • High Sierra, California: Saturday, July 16 through Sunday, July 31

My preference is that the new guides work both locations, but I will consider applicants who are only available for or interested in one.

These positions are seasonal, and should be considered a supplement to steadier full-time work, a fun and rewarding retirement project, or an additional contract in a larger freelance portfolio.

This season I will likely need help only in Utah and California, although I would consider assigning these new hires to Washington and/or West Virginia as well if it was geographically convenient. In future seasons there will be an opportunity for more work — in 2022, the busiest guides are leading trips for about 45 days in three different locations.

Minimum qualifications for Lead and Junior Guides

To learn about my guide program, go here. We offer learning-intensive and adventure-rich courses and trips, and specialize in long-distance backpacking, off-trail travel, and modern gear and technique. I am looking for candidates that match and can support this mission, while perhaps also bringing new perspectives and life experiences.

1. Extensive backpacking experience. Have you slept on the ground (or between trees) for hundreds of nights and in a variety of seasons and environments? Do you have a practical understanding of backpacking gear, and have you developed a robust backcountry skill set?

2. Good physical fitness. On average per day, at a minimum can you hike 15 miles (at sea level) or climb 3,250 vertical feet (at altitude), and occasionally hike 20 miles or climb 4,250 feet? Are you comfortable hiking off-trail, on uneven and loose surfaces, through talus and scree, on airy slickrock, and at elevations up to 13,000 feet?

3. Interpersonal skills. Do you enjoy working with people? Can you effectively communicate your thoughts? Are you comfortable managing groups and group dynamics? Are you energetic and cheery?

Preferred qualifications for Lead and Junior Guides

4. Teaching experience. Have you guided, taught, instructed, or mentored others, including students, adults, colleagues, teammates, and classmates? Do you have any professional credentials (e.g. degrees, wilderness medicine training, workshop or course certificates)?

5. Relate-ability. Nearly all of our clients are adults; most are working professionals or recently retired; and many have children and spouses. What experiences do you have in relating to this audience?

6. Interpretive knowledge. Are you a professionally trained or self-trained geologist, historian, botanist, wildlife biologist, ornithologist, or ethnologist (with a focus on Native Americans)?

7. Community credibility. Do you have a significant following on your website or social media channels? Have you written a book, developed a route guide, or submitted content to a popular backpacking blog? Are you an ambassador for an outdoor brand? Do you give public talks or clinics?

Required qualifications for Lead Guides

8. Guiding experience. Applicants for the Lead Guide positions must have previous experience leading overnight backpacking trips with adult clients for a commercial organization.


Guides are paid a daily rate, compensated for trip preparation and travel, reimbursed for training and travel expenses, and often tipped by clients.

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