Meet Our Kayak Tour Guides
With more than 50 years of aggregated river guiding experience, our guides are some of the most experienced on the lower Colorado River. They come from all over the United States but share the same passion for the outdoors and customer service. Each guide is certified in both CPR and Wilderness First Aid to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip down the Black Canyon portion of the Colorado River.
This is Andrew. Andrew was born and raised in Las Vegas. You can usually find him exploring the outdoors with his kids. When he’s not outside, he’s probably on the couch watching any documentary he can find. If you want to know who Andrew’s favorite baseball team is, it’s definitely not the Braves.
You might find Celeste at home watching one of her favorite movies like CODA or listening to music from Khalid. Or you might find her dozens of miles from any town, in the middle of the Arizona desert, camping by the edge of a cliff. That’s because she’ll go anywhere she can pitch a tent. Originally from the Monterey Bay area of California, Celeste is a talented artist and at ten years, one of the most experienced guides on the lower Colorado River. Come on by the Blazin’ Paddles shop located in Hoover Dam Lodge where you can check-out and purchase some of Celeste’s paintings to take home for yourself.
As a first-generation Cuban born in Las Vegas, it’s no wonder that Chelsea has already developed a love for some of the iconic parts of both the Cuban and Las Vegas cultures: cigars and the Caribbean – music festivals, concerts, and tattoos. When she’s not getting in touch with her roots, she might be enjoying one of her favorite movies like “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Scarface,” or “The Shawshank Redemption” or planning that trip to Thailand that’s long overdue.
Originally from Lindale, Texas, and later Port St. Lucie, Florida, Jamaika loves experiencing new places and new cultures. If she’s not watching one of her favorite movies, The Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park, then she’s probably either doing some yoga, or hiking around the local wilderness with her camera in hand. After experiencing so much of the United States with her husband, one day she wants to cross the ocean and experience all that Australia has to offer.
Although John, or sometimes referred to as “Jun” or “Cho Cho” by his fellow guides, was raised in Las Vegas, everyone knows that his heart is in Guam. His love for the outdoors has taken him all over the US west coast where he’ll sometimes disappear into nature. When he’s back home in the city, John can be found breakdancing at his local studio or listening to some indie rock on his extensive vinyl collection. John says “hi.”
While most of our guides enjoy being on the water, Jules would almost certainly rather be in the water. After swimming for her high school alma mater in Henderson, Nevada, Jules continues to be active in the swimming community as a diving judge for local competitions. Aside from swimming, she enjoys reading, hiking, thrifting, taking pictures of her dog and taking advantage of the Las Vegas area’s vibrant restaurant scene.
Whether it’s in a kayak as a guide or on a cruise ship as a dancer, Krystalyn can almost always be found on the water. After growing up in Ocala, Florida, Krystalyn took her passion for dance performance to the other side of the world where she performed on cruise ships in Alaska and Mexico, then moved to Guam to dance in a magic show. The opportunity allowed her to experience different places from the rugged terrain of New Zealand to the amazing culture of Japan. When she’s not guiding for Blazin’ Paddles, you can bet that she’s taking a spontaneous hiking or camping trip in the Nevada wilderness or in one of the areas many National Parks.
There are those who love nature, and then there are those who love to be one with nature… Melissa is the latter. One of her favorite things to do is immersing herself and senses in nature: building fires, soak in oceans, lakes, and rivers, watching plants grow, and climbing mountains and trees. Often drawing inspiration from nature, she creates art through dance or other forms of expression and expresses the soul in whatever way it calls. Originally from Southern California, some of her favorite places to visit are Big Sur, Mexico, Hawaii, and South America. One Day, she hopes to visit Morocco, Spain, and New Zealand.
As one of the few born and raised residents of Boulder City, Mike can tell you anything you want to know about the town that built Hoover Dam. Want to know where to eat? Ask Mike. Where’s the best place to see bighorn sheep? Ask Mike. Even if you want to know how to properly treat a compound fracture you can ask Mike, because he is also a local paramedic and firefighter. When he’s not on the river or at the station, you can bet that Mike is probably spending time with his wife and kids, or possibly binging some “Star Wars” … or both.
Born and raised in the Las Vegas Valley, Nichole is no stranger to the National Parks in the bordering states. She often travels into the Utah wilderness to hike, camp, or use the quiet of the outdoors to start a new book. One day, she hopes to get as far north as Glacier National Park. When Nichole is back home, she loves to take advantage of Sin City’s many concerts and attend performances from her favorite country and hip-hop artists. If she’s looking for more of a chill activity, she’ll either be watching one of her favorite movies like Fundamentals of Caring, or Lilo & Stitch, or finishing that book she started earlier.
As an avid rugby player, it’s no wonder that someday Ray would like to visit Australia and New Zealand and maybe catch a match or six. She was born in Wethersfield, Connecticut and later moved out west. There, she developed a love for the outdoors and loves to experience nature through hiking and camping with friends. She has made a second home on the lower Colorado River where she has been guiding for over five years. It doesn’t matter if she is on or off the river, Ray can sometimes be heard singing her favorite tunes from Led Zeppelin, Rebelution, or Kendrick Lamar.
Not only is Sophie a Boulder City native, her family lineage can be traced all the way back to the town’s founding in the 1930s when her great grandfather, “Frosty,” helped build Hoover Dam. When she’s not with her family, Sophie can be found surfing, learning to roller skate, dominating at spike ball, or doing anything else outdoors just as long as the sun is shining. She loves traveling from coast to coast to places like Washington D.C. and San Diego. One day, she hopes to visit Jerusalem.