I’m Deric and I’m the owner and the head guide here at Sierra Whitewater. After 25 years as a daily newspaper editor I was looking for a change of lifestyle that would allow me to do something I loved everyday, so Sierra Whitewater was born. We are extremely proud to be a family owned and operated business since 2008. Our goal is to give guests a completely safe, fun-filled day on the river that they will never forget! If you want a gentle ride and to focus on the scenery, or to nail and surf all the biggest holes, it’s your trip and we just insist that we keep safety, respect for the river and fun in mind.

I have safely guided thousands of guests on fun-filled river trips for many years. I am advanced swiftwater rescue certified and have served as trip leader and head guide countless times. I love meeting people of all ages and backgrounds, being outdoors, laughing, telling jokes and hearing rafters’ stories. In the offseason when I’m not on the river you can find me on the ski slopes. I’m also a ski instructor, a competitive bowler and foosball player.


Achsa has been with Sierra Whitewater since 2008 and grew up in the area boating on the local rivers. She is our General Manager as well as Director of Operations. She is an avid animal lover and spends her winters teaching Special Education as well as volunteering for various non-profits related to animal rehab and rescue.


Drew has been with Sierra Whitewater for over 8 years and is a favorite among young thrillseeking rafters and families alike. He was raised in the Coloma area and has literally lived on the river banks. He is a “gearhead” who enjoys all the latest in river-rafting gear and safety equipment. Drew loves spending time on the river and when he hitting the whitewater, he spends his time with his wife and three small children.


Paige is a seasoned whitewater rafting guide who’s great with people of all ages, especially our junior rafters. She loves having fun and enjoying the great outdoors and during the off season you’ll find her in the snow. She’s a successful ski racer and back-country skiing expert winning numerous championships during her high school years and also works as a pre-school director. Paige is our Human Resources Director as well as our Administrative Director. When she isn’t rafting she is advocating for Social Justice alongside her husband and two small children.


Mason is from Placerville, California and is majoring in Fishery Resources at the University of Idaho. He loves all outdoor activities and especially loves showing people his passion for whitewater. When he isn’t in school or on the river, you can find him exploring the great outdoors hunting for those perfect, hidden fishing holes!


Michelle grew up in the jungles of Costa Rica and has competitively rafted some of the most amazing rivers in the world. She competes on the Women’s Costa Rican International Rafting Team where they have traveled from places like China, Australia, and back again. When Michelle isn’t rafting you can find her kayaking and exploring the great outdoors with her husband and daughter.


Steve is originally from Chicago and has been rafting commercially for 10 seasons. He has ample experience working in Outdoor Education as well as working various rivers on multi-day trips. He is passionate about expanding the knowledge base of outdoor education and loves rafting down the Grand Canyon, Main Fork Salmon, and many others in the ‘off season.’


Joe was born and raised in Northern California and has always had a passion for outdoor adventure, including exploring the American River systems. When he isn’t rafting, he spends his free time skiing, rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and fishing.


Carl grew up in Gold Country and has been rafting for over 10 years. He loves rafting with all types of crews and also knows all the great local hiking and fishing spots! Carl remains local in the off season, working and spending time with his family.


Robert is originally from the Bay Area but one day decided to visit the Sierra Nevada’s, and never went back! He has been working on the river over the past 12 years. When his daughters were born he moved them to the river to pursue his passion full time and to allow his girls to grow up in the place he loves most. When he isn’t rafting, you can find him and his girls exploring the amazing river systems of the West Coast.


Growing up in Auburn, CA, Ayden Danovaro has lived around the American River system for his entire life. He travels from the beach to the mountains each year as a double-major student at University of California, Santa Barbara. As an Eagle Scout, Ayden has spent years in the outdoors and in his community. When he isn’t rafting you can find him spending time with his family and friends or singing Italian Opera.