Debunking 3 misconceptions about hiring a professional guide

If you’re planning an adventure in the Canadian Rockies, you may be considering whether or not to hire a professional guide. As a certified guiding company operating since 2018 in the South Canadian Rockies, we’ve heard our share of misconceptions about what professional guides do—or don’t do—for their clients.

In this article, we’re busting three common myths about hiring professional guides, giving you a clearer and more comprehensive picture of what professional guides are all about.

1. The price is always marked up.

We get it—we also have bills to pay, so we understand the importance of being price-smart. Operating a small business isn’t cheap. We have regular costs around completing mandatory courses, keeping up with designations, certifications, insurance, permits, and purchasing and maintaining gear. For example, we own 40 pairs of rock climbing shoes to ensure all sizes can be accommodated for our Intro to Outdoor Climbing course! Many of these costs are ongoing annually—and they really add up.

We strive to provide value where it matters most: ensuring our pricing reflects our high standards for memorable experiences for our clients, guided by professionals who have local expertise, rigorous training, and a passion for creating uniquely enriching experiences. If you break down the price, we hope you realize that you are receiving great value.

We regard your experience and the work of our professional staff very highly, which is why our prices are set to what they are.

The Massif Backpacking Trip with Uplift Adventures

2. Anyone can be a guide, so I don’t see the point of hiring one.

This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Guiding in the Canadian Rockies isn’t just about knowing the trails—certified guides undergo rigorous training in wilderness first aid, emergency response, on and off trail navigation without a gps, and environmental conservation. At Uplift, all our guides are accredited—this means our entire team is equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances, from sudden weather changes to wildlife encounters, ensuring your safety throughout the hike. But it’s not just about practical knowledge and skills—our deep understanding of the area’s past and present ensures an enriched hiking experience where we can share fascinating stories about the local people, flora, and fauna.

Something else that sets accredited guides apart from an outdoor fun-seeker is that the trips we lead are not about us—they’re about you. Your experience, your needs, and your safety.

Another important point is that to operate in any national or provincial park in the Canadian Rockies, guides are required to be certified. If they’re not, they’re operating illegally.

No matter the destination or activity, always check if your guides hold the proper certifications for that region. This guarantees you’re getting the value and security you pay for.

Want to learn more about what it takes to become a certified hiking guide in Canada? Our blog post dives deeper into all the certifications and training we’ve had to complete.

3. Guides just point out the trail.

A great guide is so much more than a human GPS! For starters, we enjoy getting off-trail—and have the professional knowledge and experience to do it safely and comfortably, so you can expect an off-the-beaten-path experience that takes you beyond the AllTrails maps.

Our job isn’t to just show you a trail, but to enhance your experience while keeping you safe. We are professionally trained on many different levels, from flora and fauna to geology and history, and we take great pride in interpreting the world around you. Imagine hearing tales of Indigenous history, geological wonders, and the unique ecosystem you’re exploring. Your trip becomes an immersive experience that’s both fun and educational.

On our multi-day backpacking trips, we take on a lot of the “grunt work” like cooking, setting up camp, and carrying the safety gear, including a well-stocked first aid kit. And for those seeking to learn and grow as adventurers, guides offer invaluable insights and tips on improving outdoor skills, from navigating challenging terrain to minimizing ecological impact. Our expertise can transform a trip from a mere walk into a journey of discovery and learning.

The Massif Backpacking Trip with Uplift Adventures

Let the experts take the lead

And that’s a wrap on dispelling those guiding myths! Adventuring in the Canadian Rockies should be more than just a walk—it should be an enriching journey where you get to know the world around you a little better. At Uplift, we’re not just about the where—we’re about the why and the how, so we can help you do just that while ensuring a safe, educational, and fun experience.

Got any questions about professional guides you want us to clear up? Ask us in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *