10 Things I Learned as a Tour Guide in the Rockies

  1. Running water and flushing toilets are a gift. (I also have a strong appreciation for all buildings that don’t have mice)

2. Someone on your tour will absolutely do that thing that you told them not to. They will let go of the dog sled, and they will step in that ‘puddle’ on the glacier you warned them about that turns out to be 4 feet deep.

3. Always have a few stories or jokes saved in your back pocket. My tour bus once had an unexpected delay, and I found myself entertaining my guest two hours instead of the five minute planned ride.

4. Pack extra of everything. Have extra pairs of mitts, toques, and most importantly, snacks. Most of the people you are working with have travelled a long ways and are now in a new environment, and its not uncommon for them to feel unwell as a result, an extra Gatorade/granola bar in your pack could save your tour.

5. Tour groups love it when you sing. I personally can not sing, but the musical guides that I worked with were by far the most mentioned on TripAdvisor reviews.

6. Plenty of snacks are better than packing a full lunch. There’s not often time to sit down and eat a full meal, so it’s good to have things you can eat on the go.

7. You will clean up pee, poop, or puke more often than you think.

8. You will always be learning little lessons and anecdotes from your guests. I had new stories every day about interesting tourists I spoke with and loved meeting so many new people.

9. Squirrels are not afraid of sled dogs. They will break in to your pack and steal your lunch while your 8 dog team watches.

10. You will work long hours and be out in the elements all day, but you will enjoy every minute of it.

Happy touring!


15 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned as a Tour Guide in the Rockies

  1. What a fascinating account of your experience as a tour guide! I also really enjoyed reading your post about being a tour guide with the huskies. As it’s an older post I couldn’t comment there as the comments are now closed. It sounds very hard work but would have been so rewarding at the same time. So glad you’ve adopted a husky who’s now no longer working – the dogs are so beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog posts! I look back at that experience so fondly because I learned so much. My husky has adapted to ‘inside dog’ life very well and while she stills loves to get out and run, I think the couch is her second favorite place. Take care!

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  2. Perfect list although you forgot to mention the cell phone tower signals that we have taken it for granted in cities. I enjoy without it but then whenever guests come over that is the first thing they complained about.
    Extra everything in mountains is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh boy is that ever the truth! I used to live on the Icefield Parkway with no cell service, and you really do become accustomed to not having it. But that was also one of my main complaints from guests. People really do panic when their connection with the world is shut off for a while, and I have felt that was before too in the backcountry so I don’t blame them! But it sure is nice to disconnect for a while.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I enjoy mountains because of the fact that there is no connection other than that with nature, family, friends or self.
        When we went to David Thompson area most of the kids complained about no cellular connections when the staff there enjoyed without it which made my theory of humans adapt fast even more strong.



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