River Instructor Course

Credit: Brad Christensen

River Instructor Course

On this course, you will develop and refine the teaching and leadership skills needed to prepare you for professional positions at NOLS. The primary purpose of this course is to train and evaluate potential NOLS instructors. Each participant’s skills and abilities will be assessed and evaluated by the course instructors with the intent of determining their potential as an instructor.

This course takes place in Utah’s canyon country, a beautiful and colorful region of rich human and geological history. You’ll travel in rafts and kayaks through deep incisions of limestone, shale, and sandstone.

Applications for Spring/Summer 2020 Instructor Courses are now closed. Applications for 2021 Instructor Courses will open on August 15, 2020.

Take a look at the FAQs to learn more about instructor courses with NOLS.

Here is a sample of the instructor course questionnaire.



Stay tuned for upcoming course dates.


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



24 days

Minimum Age

21 yrs.

Academic Credit

4 College Credits
  • 2 Outdoor Educator
  • 2 Leadership
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Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Vernal, Utah

Fly in/out

Vernal, Utah

Skills learned


Whitewater Kayaking

Additional Details

Prerequisite: Minimum of a 70-hour Wilderness First Responder and current adult CPR certification

See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

What Our Grads Say

“I considered the responsibilities I had that evening: cooking dinner for the group, setting up my tent, being present and engaged for classes, and something in me clicked. I was able to move beyond my exhaustion, to put it aside and focus on what needed to be done for the good of the group. I had felt that I had reached the end of my rope, but I found energy reserves I had previously been unaware of.” 

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