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Our Story

Northwest Rafting Company offers guided multi-day whitewater rafting trips on select National Wild and Scenic Rivers most of which flow through designated federal wilderness areas.

We are exclusively focused on offering the best whitewater rafting trips in the West. Our truly expeditionary whitewater experiences on the Illinois and Chetco Rivers cross the vast Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Our trips on the Rogue and Middle Fork of the Salmon are high energy, family-friendly adventures on two of the most incredible and beloved rivers in the northwest. Our rafting and cultural tour in Bhutan gives the intrepid traveler an unforgettable, soul-stirring understanding of a country that warmly welcomes its visitors but actively protects itself from becoming over-touristed.

Our selective size enables us to offer exceptional whitewater rafting and kayaking trips that adhere to the highest standards of safety, guide experience and knowledge, and guest comfort on the water and off.

We strive for professionalism and consideration in everything we do, from the first time you contact us until you’re home again. With many of our guests repeat customers, and recognition from such leading industry organizations as National Geographic Traveler and Outside magazine, we are confident you’ll find a NWRC trip is a one-of-a-kind, when-can-we-do-this-again adventure.

We believe sharing wilderness and wild rivers is the best way for people to understand the value of our public lands and to become advocates for their conservation and preservation. Unless people know about these pristine places and can experience their transformative power, the wilderness is nothing more than an abstract thought with the potential to be easily consumed by privatization and careless development.

We are inspired by a vision of a country where our Wild & Scenic Rivers are enjoyed and respected, at both intimate and distant perspectives. And where our guests build and strengthen their connections with nature, with their fellow travelers, and most especially with themselves.


  • 2009 – NWRC is founded by Zach Collier and industry legends Dick Linford and Joe Daly
  • 2009 – We make our debut on the Rogue River
  • 2011 – We take our inaugural trip to Bhutan
  • 2013 – We are issued a permit to run wilderness trips on the Chetco River
  • 2014 – Zach buys out Dick and Joe’s ownership in NWRC and adds Dan Martin as a partner
  • 2015 – NWRC buys out ECHO, adding the Middle Fork of the Salmon to NWRC
  • 2017 – We receive a permit to run the Illinois River

Steeped in a legacy of commitment to exploring and protecting our rivers

NWRC was founded by long-time backpacker, kayaker, rafter, and guide Zach Collier. Although established in 2009, our roots go back much earlier to 1998 when NWRC partners Zach Collier and Dan Martin began guiding for ECHO River Trips on the Rogue, Tuolumne, and Middle Fork of the Salmon Rivers. ECHO was operated by industry legends Joe Daly and Dick Linford who provided Zach the education, passion, and foundation to grow a successful and sustainable business as he moved through the ranks of guide to eventual manager.

In 2004, Zach became manager of ECHO’s day-to-day operations allowing Dick and Joe to scale back their involvement. Five years later, after purchasing the Sundance River Center which was renamed Northwest Rafting Company (NWRC), Zach moved to Hood River, Oregon, where he continued to manage ECHO while simultaneously growing NWRC.

In 2013, Zach bought out Dick and Joe’s ownership stake in NWRC and brought on Dan as partner. In 2014, Dick and Joe sold the last part of their ECHO business to NWRC. Dick and Joe’s philosophy has been a primary influence on our approach to creating whitewater rafting experiences with precision and consideration for both the guest and the wilderness.

Throughout the years, we have maintained a foundational commitment to explore, protect, and lead trips on beautiful and remote rivers. We work hard to maintain good relations with the government agents who regulate our rivers, with our fellow outfitters, environmental groups, and the communities in which we base our operations. Every year NWRC hosts Wild Rivers Night, a celebration for the river community that supports several nonprofit organizations that are working to protect our rivers, including American Whitewater. We also donate time and profits to Conservation Alliance, American Rivers, and Redside Foundation.