Meet Clare Magneson!
If you’ve been rafting with us in the last few years, it’s possible you’ve been on a trip with Clare Magneson, our next guide to be featured on our guide profile. She is a full-time guide here at AzRA, though she mostly guides in the summers now as she is now back in school. If you’ve ever been on the river with her, you’ll likely remember her contagious laugh!
Where were you born? Tell us a little about yourself!
My parents lived on the Magneson Dairy in Ballico, California when I was born, then moved south to Bakersfield, before finally settling way up north in Arcata. Many of my aunts and uncles were river guides and married river guides. My dad guided for ARTA on the American, Stanislas, and Tuolumne. I also started guiding with ARTA on rivers in Oregon and Utah before coming to AzRA. At 34, after having lived in CA, ME, MT, OR, UT, and AZ, I now call Flagstaff my home.
What’s your history with AzRA? When did you start guiding?
My first AzRA trip was as an assistant for guide, Sharon Hester, in 2010. Sharon is like an aunt to me. Since then, I’ve done about 50 Grand Canyon trips.
What type of trips do you guide?
Although I have swamped a handful of motor trips and rowed a few dories, I am most comfortable in an oar raft and most excited in a paddle raft. They feel risky and nice– an exacting sentiment written by guide-poet, Amil Quayle.
What are your favorite rapids and hikes? Why?
My favorite hikes are to places where I can get really hot and then swim: LCR, Upper Elves, Whispering Springs, Havasu… among others. Also, any hike that I’ve never done or rarely get to do.
Any other interesting facts about yourself you would like guests to know?
Although I am a decent cook for a group of 30, I am a pretty terrible cook for two. My cooking technique is to turn the burner up to high and walk away. No risk no reward.
What you do when not guiding at AzRA in the off-season?
I am back in school at NAU getting my Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I’m also getting a certificate in climate writing and teaching English 105 to college freshmen.
Do you have any hobbies or things you like to do?
I love the snow. In the last few years, I have been exploring more of the backcountry with a splitboard. I needed specific gear to get into the sport, so I let my boyfriend cut my snowboard in half to make a DIY splitboard. It was worth it. We are married now.
What do you love about the canyon and guiding?
I love sharing something challenging and spectacular with someone else and seeing their eyes light up in excitement. Appreciating the Grand Canyon through someone else’s eyes can be a huge reward.
Any advice you would give guests that are planning a trip with us?
Be prepared to trust your guides and let go of a little control. Every trip I’ve done has been unique and special in its own way. It would be impossible to choose a favorite. Also, bring gloves for paddling and hiking. The rocks are sharp and some guides don’t call travel strokes, Ed 😉 Finger cracks, burns, cuts and blisters are real.
Clare runs a really great adventure! Year after year, repeat guests request her on their trips because of the experience she was able to craft for them. If you’re wanting to reserve a trip with us in 2020, space is limited! If you think you’d like to travel with us in 2021, you can join our opening day list here, and we’ll notify you as soon as reservations are available.