While the main volume of trips Wet Planet runs are on the White Salmon River in Washington, we also lucky enough to offer two multi-day raft trips in Idaho and Oregon. And we have awesome guides leading those epic adventures! 

Having a great time on our multi-day Main Salmon River trip. Photo credit Brianna Molchan.

During the spring, we offer 5-day raft trips down the Owyhee River – a river known for its beautiful scenery and unique geology, while in the summer we run 5 and 6-day trips (as well as a 6-day long Rowing School) down the stunning Main Salmon River, a trip that includes rugged and wild scenery, warm water and lots of history. Both of these trips require a lot of planning and a strong, knowledgeable (and fun!) river crew. And boy are we lucky to have that!

Meet our core crew of multi-day raft guides below: 

A raft guide rows a raft through a large rapid on the Main Salmon River rafting trip in Idaho while two rafters yell in excitement.

Todd Collins

A long-time veteran of the commercial whitewater industry, Todd Collins is one of the original visionaries behind the creation of Wet Planet Rafting and Kayaking. An expert kayaker and raft guide, this Wet Planet co-owner’s experience is impressive.

First hooked on kayaking at a North Carolina summer camp, Todd began guiding rafts as a way to pursue his passion for whitewater kayaking. Todd says, “at the time, it was the best way I knew to live by the river and kayak every day.” In an effort to spend as much time on rivers as possible, Todd worked summers as a raft guide while attending Connecticut College. Upon graduating with a degree in Computer Science, Philosophy, and Spanish Studies, Todd quickly turned his attention to pursuing a full-time career in the whitewater industry.

Since then, Todd has guided rafts and kayak support boated on rivers in the US from California to West Virginia and from Texas to Alaska, as well as numerous rivers in Canada, Ecuador, and Costa Rica (where he spent two years living and guiding custom kayak trips). When not working on rivers, his paddling adventures also took him to Chile, New Zealand, India, Zambia, Uganda, and Nepal. An expert-level kayaker and raft guide, he is equally at home guiding rafts on such legendary Class V rivers as the Upper Gauley and Upper Yough as he is guiding advanced kayakers on jungle rivers in Central America.

A female raft guide rows a raft through a rapid on a Mai Salmon river rafting trip while three guests smile in the front of the raft.

Sydney Lynch

Sydney (or Squid) grew up in Arizona, where she trained horses all her life. She graduated in 2014 from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Recreation Management. After working in equine occupational therapy, she wanted a change of scenery and soon turned to the river for a new challenge. She began raft guiding in the summer of 2017 and hasn’t looked back! Now, Sydney spends her time snowboarding and split boarding in the winter (mostly in Montana) and rafting in the summer. Sydney headed to the White Salmon River in the summer of 2021 for a new adventure and the pursuit of year-round whitewater!

You will find Syd on almost all of our multi-day trips, as well as teaching our Main Salmon Guide School.

Dave Rhodes

Dave was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and has worked many careers in his lifetime (including construction, managing vineyards, plowing snow, commercial fishing, and running big cranes). He truly is a true Jack of all trades! 

Dave married his wife Arwen in his 20’s and raised two beautiful children in the Willamette Valley, just west of Salem, Oregon. During that era, he earned Wilderness First Responder, Open Water, Advance Open Water, and Rescue Diver Certifications. When their youngest left the nest, Dave and Arwen decided to sell just about everything, buy a travel trailer, and make that their new home on wheels.

In 2018, Dave shifted gears and decided to move into the seasonal work lifestyle. But before his launch into seasonal work, he and his wife traveled the world for a 1 year visiting 11 countries on 3 continents, from Asia (Thailand/Japan), Europe (Portugal, France, etc.) to Africa (South Africa/Zambia). One of their favorite adventures was rafting the Zambezi River in Zambia.

Dave loves downhill skiing, hiking, rafting, snorkeling, diving, sailing, camping, fishing, planning the next adventure, chopping wood, and any project he can get himself wrapped into, or simply enjoying an adult beverage with friends. Recently, their daughter had a baby boy so Dave is really enjoying being “Papa.”

Over the years, Dave’s love of water also led him to whitewater rafting, and he and Arwen have enjoyed many multi-day river trips in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California, and Washington. Dave and Arwen’s goal is to keep on traveling, having adventures, and working seasonally. Dave is certified in River Rescue and as a Wilderness First Responder. He joined the Wet Planet team as a multi-day raft guide in 2020 and continues to hold up his reputation as the Jack of all trades with maintenance projects at the Wet Planet Base.

You will find Dave on almost all of our multi-day trips, as well as teaching our Main Salmon Guide School.

Giani Benevento

A long-time Wet Planet guide, Giani’s distinguished whitewater career began in New York on the Upper Hudson Gorge in 1995, where he was the youngest licensed guide on the river for the following 3 years. He has also guided the Sacandaga and Lower Moose rivers. Giani headed to West Virginia in 2000 and has been working on the Upper and Lower Gauley for “Gauley Season” ever since. He expanded his West Virginia river repertoire in 2001 when he also began guiding the New River.

Giani doesn’t just experience the river from a Wet Planet raft, he also owns his very own raft named Mr. Blue, which he has taken on over 40 different rivers! He even has a few raft first descents in New York. Giani’s professional rafting career is quite impressive!

Off-river, Giani has hiked the Appalachian Trail northbound in the winter (is he crazy or what?!) He also holds a degree in history.

He commercially guides all of the rivers that Wet Planet offers (such as the White Salmon, Klickitat, Wind, Hood, and Farmlands runs) and has been a trip leader since 2009. He especially loves guiding multi-day trips on the Owyhee River in Oregon, and the Main Salmon River in Idaho. He also leads our annual raft guide school and assists with our swift water rescue courses. He is Outdoor Emergency Care and CPR certified.

You will find Giani on almost all of our multi-day trips, as well as teaching our Main Salmon Guide School.

steve merrow guiding on the east glacial river in northern iceland

Steve Merrow

Steve joined the Wet Planet Team in 2022 as the Day Trip River Manager, bringing over 13 years of both domestic and international guiding experience. With previous experience managing high-level teams of international guides, Steve brings a calm leadership style to the Wet Planet river staff. Steve has been a professional raft guide, safety kayaker, trip leader, and manager on rivers around the world, from Alaska to Iceland, and Chile to California.

In 2019, Steve moved to Southern California to guide a high-water season on the Class IV-V Kern River. After a remarkable season of guiding, Steve took on the role of Operations Manager for the next two years. His goal was to bring all the wisdom he accrued from mentors and experience alike and push the next generation of guides to be more skilled, more prepared, and safer. He has carried this philosophy into his work at Wet Planet, where he is helping build an inclusive, experienced, and professional guide team.


Ernesto “Toto” Silva

Joining Wet Planet in 2024, Ernesto “Toto” Silva brings a wealth of experience and a deep love for rivers to our team. With a background in adventure tourism from Pucon, Chile, Toto’s journey into guiding and kayaking began with a whitewater degree that combined both disciplines.

Having worked on rivers across the globe, including the Trankura River in Chile, the Chili and Urubamba Rivers in Peru, the Fonce River in Colombia, the Siniguis and Orinoco Rivers in Venezuela, the Balsa River in Costa Rica, the Tampaon River in Mexico, and the Lao and Passirio Rivers in Italy. In the US, he has navigated the Tuolumne, Merced, and American Rivers in California, the Arkansas River in Colorado as well as Alaska’s challenging Six Mile Creek.

Toto’s deep connection to rivers is rooted in his hometown of Pucon, a mecca for whitewater sports in Chile. With aspirations for more multi-day trips in his guide career, Toto dreams of exploring rivers like the Marañon in Peru and various waterways in Nepal.

Kess Landon

Kess joined the Wet Planet team in 2023. Hailing from the breathtaking town of Highland, UT, she discovered her passion for rafting and kayaking as a teenager during her first rafting trip to Dinosaur National Monument. After her adventure, she told her mom she wanted to be a river guide, a feeling that only grew each time she found herself on the river. The transition into whitewater kayaking came naturally when she started guiding on the majestic Yellowstone River. Since then, Kess has commercially guided on the Yellowstone River, pre and post-flood, and the Gallatin River. She has also explored the iconic Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, the Green River in Cataract Canyon, the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, and the Snake River in Hells Canyon.

Some of Kess’s fondest travel memories stem from twenty magical days rafting on the Grand Canyon, swimming amidst bioluminescence, surfing alongside a whale in Oregon, and the awe-inspiring encounters with bison while skiing in Yellowstone National Park. When she’s off the water, Kess finds solace and joy in a myriad of outdoor activities. From climbing towering rock faces, to mountain biking through rugged trails, to backpacking across stunning landscapes, to skiing steep slopes, Kess feels most at home in nature. Yet, she also appreciates the mellower side of life while she practices yoga, reads a new book, creates art, and plays the guitar. Kess has dreams of learning all the ways to roll a kayak and becoming a river ranger, and she has completed her goal of publishing a coloring book! You can find Animals, Mushrooms, Mandalas, Moons, and More on Amazon.

Kess finds inspiration when recounting her discovery and nourishment for her love of the outdoors and how it transformed her into a happier and better person. This drives her to further immerse herself in the outdoor industry and share nature’s joy with others in the hopes that she can instill a sense of stewardship and nurture for the natural world. She also finds immense joy when she sees people’s nerves turn into excitement during their first rapid and witnessing numerous memories created for friends and family while in such beautiful places.

Marcus Tarzian

Colorado is a state that produces so many river guides because the access and opportunity to get on the water are stellar. A Steamboat Springs native, Marcus grew up along the banks of the Yampa River. He didn’t get into whitewater until later in life when he began working on Colorado’s Poudre River in 2020. This steep, challenging, class IV section pushed Marcus to improve quickly. It then inspired him to seek out new rivers like the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado, Cal-Salmon, and Washington’s Skykomish and White Salmon Rivers.

For most river runners, there is one specific experience, a moment of clarity, when you realize that working on the river is not just something you want to do but something you need to do. For Marcus, it was a highwater rafting trip on the Royal Gorge that combined a thrilling whitewater descent and the camaraderie of the guides who skillfully navigated the section. This experience solidified his desire to pursue river guiding, complementing Marcus’ wintertime pursuit of skiing and ski patrolling. 

Marcus is always seeking out the next challenge. Whether it’s kayaking a waterfall, a new ski line, or a new hike with his partner and two dogs, he is here for the abundant activities the Columbia Gorge provides. Most recently he joined the team of River Rescue instructors at Wet Planet, teaching certifying RRC river rescue courses.


Kirk Larsen

Kirk Larsen joined Wet Planet as an incredibly seasoned and skilled river guide with over two decades of experience. He grew up deeply rooted in the picturesque landscapes of New England. His whitewater journey began as a young explorer, navigating the pristine rivers, lakes, and mountains of his home, where he developed a profound appreciation for the natural world. Inspired by the beauty of his surroundings, Kirk embarked on a lifelong adventure, seeking out new rivers to conquer and new horizons to explore.

Kirk’s river resume is impressive and littered with dozens of rivers from all around the world. Throughout his robust career, Kirk has led expeditions in the canyons of Colorado’s mighty rivers, guided the best whitewater in California, Idaho, and West Virginia, and explored the deep river valleys of Japan, New Zealand, and Norway. During his time guiding, Kirk has always sought out opportunities to share these remarkable places with guests and other guides alike.

In addition to his guiding prowess, Kirk is also a skilled craftsman, having honed his skills in traditional wooden boat building at the prestigious Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, Washington. There, amidst the scent of freshly hewn timber and the sound of ringing saws, Kirk learned the art of crafting boats with his own hands, instilling in him a deep respect for the timeless traditions of craftsmanship and a reverence for the natural materials from which his boats are made. Drawing inspiration from his New England roots, Kirk brings a unique blend of expertise and a spirit of adventure to his work. Whether he’s navigating treacherous rapids, crafting boats from scratch, or sharing stories of his adventures with fellow explorers, Kirk’s commitment to excellence and his unwavering passion for the outdoors shine through in everything he does.


Alexis Foster

Growing up in Colorado with a family that prioritized exploring Colorado’s vast outdoors, it is unsurprising that Alexis’ path has led her to guide whitewater. Initially hooked on the river through fly fishing, it was multi-day trips and more intense whitewater that helped Alexis discover her true passion for rivers.

Alexis started her guiding career in 2021 on Colorado’s Arkansas River where she fell in love with not only the guiding but also the incredible people and scenery she found herself immersed in. For Alexis, the best part of guiding is giving people the exhilarating experience of going down the river together, finishing the day with a sense of accomplishment and stoke for the river. 

When Alexis is not rafting, she enjoys spending time in the mountains backpacking, climbing, and skiing. A recent graduate from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Alexis is excited to exchange her graduation cap for a helmet and embark on her whitewater journey with Wet Planet. Expect to see Alexis navigating through the narrow gorges of the White Salmon, and pushing smiling guests through the deep blue waters of the Main Salmon in Idaho.

Dylan Benson

Dylan was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The land of enchantment, but better known to the locals as the land of perpetual droughts. It was this lack of water and the abundance of dry dirt that helped build Dylan’s foundation for a love of water. 

Dylan began kayaking in middle school but moved to the Northwest in high school and pursued mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, and skiing more. It wasn’t until Dylan moved to Bellingham, WA – where he soon met the Torryd Crew at Western Washington University who lent him the gear and a boat – that he got back on the river. The abundance of magical creeks in Northwest Washington and the river community reignited his love for kayaking. Soon enough he began kayaking as much as he could (as long as there was water, which luckily Washington has a ton of). Wanting to share the river with others and bring people to places only accessible by kayak is why Dylan chose to start guiding and teaching kayaking. He fell so in love with guiding that he even changed majors from finance to outdoor recreation management & leadership to continue chasing this love for the outdoors. 

After raft guiding in Northwest Washington for a season, Dylan loaded all of his kayaks and gear into his truck and went to Colorado to chase creeks and rivers all over the state. While there, he became a certified ACA Kayak instructor and taught on the Arkansas River. With his ACA certification, his Remote Emergency Medical Technician certification, and years of experience we are excited to have him part of the team, when his not working for NOLS in remote areas in the southern hemisphere.

Ashton Rennegarbe

Ashton is an American outdoorsman and amateur artist who lives a dual life working on the river and at a charitable foundation. Born in Oakland and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Ashton has always felt a connection with rivers, chasing whitewater across California, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Now calling Seattle is home, he’s excited to be part of the Wet Planet team and work alongside the best guides in town, on the most beautiful rivers in the country.

Besides being on the river, Ashton enjoys seeking out natural hot springs, painting, backpacking, and playing guitar in the Seattle-based band The Mayonnaise. In other phases of life, Ashton has been a fine dining cook, an Alaskan tour guide, and a grant writer for local nonprofits.


Thomas Christner

Thomas grew up in Northern California around the forks of the American River. Thomas was turned onto guiding in high school by one of his teachers. Starting when he was 19 years old, Thomas worked 2 seasons on the South Fork American. After which, he started a brief career with an aggregate mining company before realizing that he belonged on the river. Thomas then quit his job, uprooted his life and moved to Washington to follow his passion to be on the river and work for Wet Planet. We’ve been happy to have Thomas as part of the Wet Planet team since 2019. In the winter you can find Thomas working in Big Sky Montana and snowboarding an average of 100+ days.

If Thomas isn’t on the river or in the mountains, he’s spending time with family and friends, and planning the next adventure!

Arwen Rhodes

While Arwen doesn’t guide on the river, we have to give a HUGE shoutout to her for playing a vital role in the preparations for our multi-day trips. She is the angel behind the scenes who makes sure that everyone on our trips eats so well, doing much of the food shopping and all of the packing (6 days of meals for up to 30 people is a lot of food organization!).

Arwen was born in Arkansas; however, being part of a military family, she never stayed in one place very long. Her family moved to Oregon in the 90s, and she finished school at Colorado State University with a degree in natural resources, recreation and tourism. She returned to Oregon for an internship, and has since worked about every job there is! This includes working at a vineyard/event facility, as a referral coordinator at a medical clinic, a tasting room manager, a property caretaker, and many customer service jobs. She even started her own canning business!

Arwen married her husband Dave (yup – one of our guides) in her 20s and raised two beautiful children in the Willamette Valley, just west of Salem, Oregon. When their youngest left the nest, Arwen and Dave decided to sell just about everything and buy a travel trailer.

The two of them love the outdoors, and you can often find them hiking, rafting, snorkeling, cross country skiing, camping, or enjoying a beer or glass, or wine with friends. Arwen also loves reading, puzzles, paddle boarding, smelling Ponderosa trees, hanging out on the beach, spending time with family, and dreaming up and organizing their next adventure. Recently, their daughter had a baby boy, so Arwen is really enjoying being “Oma.”

In 2018, Arwen shifted gears and decided to move into the seasonal work lifestyle. Before that, she and Dave traveled the world for about 1 year and visited 11 countries on 3 continents from Asia (Thailand/Japan), Europe (Portugal, France, etc.) to Africa (South Africa/Zambia). One of their favorite adventures was rafting the Zambezi River in Zambia.

As their love for whitewater grew, their fleet of gear grew too. Arwen and Dave have both done many multi-day river trips in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California, and Washington. They look forward to more adventures on water and land!

We know how lucky we are to have such an awesome raft crew leading our epic multi-day adventures on the Owyhee and Main Salmon Rivers. Thanks to these skilled and genuine people, we know our guests are gonna have a great time spending their days rafting and kayaking downstream on these adventures!

Learn more and book your multi-day rafting adventure on either the Owyhee or Main Salmon Rivers, or sign up for our Main Salmon Rowing School.