Born and raised on the Central Coast of California, Nicole spent most of her time growing up enjoying as many outdoor activities as she could find time for. Coming from a background of competitive open water swimming, she first started working on water when she became an ocean lifeguard during her college summers. It was while attending Chico State University that she was introduced to the life of whitewater and immediately fell in love with the magic of the rivers. She enrolled in her universities outdoor education course to pursue this growing passion of becoming a river guide. Unfortunately at the time of attending college Nicole didn’t see a future for her in outdoor leadership and continued on her path to graduate with a degree in Biology and Chemistry.
Shortly after 2 years of toying with the idea of a ‘normal’ (non-seasonal) profession she realized that working in an analytical lab as a wine chemist wasn’t for her and dreamed of returning to an outdoor job. Becoming a raft guide seemed like the perfect way to make a living while doing what she adored.
Working on rivers has brought Nicole around the world, chasing an endless summer. She started out rafting on the forks of the American River in Coloma, California. This was a perfect kicking-off point for her to enjoy and gain valuable experience on the many rivers California has to offer. She has internationally rafted rivers in Costa Rica, Honduras, Australia, and found a home away from home in Okere Falls, New Zealand rafting on the world famous Kaituna Waterfall.
When she is not busy on the rivers, you can find her out backpacking, mountain biking, sailing, or traveling to anywhere she can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. This has led her to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the world, Antarctica being a favorite.
Nicole commercially guides all of the rivers that Wet Planet offers (such as the White Salmon, Klickitat, Wind, Hood, and Farmlands). She also teaches our annual raft guide school and is a trip leader on multi-day adventures such as the 6-day Main Salmon River trips in Idaho, and the 5-day Owyhee River trip in Oregon. She is a Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater Rescue certified.
Interested in becoming part of the Wet Planet team? Check out our Employment Opportunities.