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 managing Sierra Whitewater since its inception and grew up in the area playing on the local rivers. She is an avid dog lover and spends her winters teaching Special Education and rafting the gorgeous, free flowing rivers California has to offer. When she isn’t rafting or with her dogs, she is making sure her clients have a fantastic, individualized experience!


Iowa is from Iowa and is a diehard Hawkeye fan. He has outstanding river skills and has guided across the US and around the world including multiple trips in the Grand Canyon and Costa Rica. Iowa loves rafting on challenging Class IV and V rapids, but he doesn’t particularly enjoy swimming, which gives him extra incentive to stay in the boat himself and keep guests in the raft too!


Drew has been with Sierra Whitewater several 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 has worked on the American River for several years and is always ready for a good time on the water.


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 backcountry skiing expert winning numerous championships during her high school years. When Paige isn’t working, she is at UCLA studying pre-law courses.


Joel loves the water, whether it’s in the river or frozen on a mountain! He is currently pursuing a M.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. In his off time, he’s out skiing, rafting, or flying with his private pilot’s license. Most importantly, the summer is all about rafting and he wants to tell you about the nature, history, and jokes from his knowledge as a local. He’ll show you the secret rapids on the river that no one else can, so let’s go!


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. Come check out the river with him and he will show you a fantastic time and maybe tell you some secret, local fisherman spots too!


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. Michelle also loves to kayak and spend time with her family, so she is great with all types of rafters. Whether you want a super exciting adventure or a chill, slow paced day, Michelle will make sure you have a fantastic experience you will never forget!