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About Us

The Local Experts

Our guide service is based in both Ouray and Durango, Colorado – located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. We offer both open registration courses and custom programs designed to fit individual goals. Custom programs allow us the flexibility to structure the curriculum to meet each person or self-organized group’s pecific needs and objectives. Either way, your outdoor experience will be not only instructional, but also personalized and fun.

Our tag line – “The Local Experts” – says a lot about who we are and who we continually strive to be as guides and mountain professionals. Whether it is on the classic ice routes of Ouray, Silverton, and Telluride or on remote alpine climbs in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge, we work tirelessly to consistently update, add to, and improve our knowledge of all the factors that go into running a successful and rewarding program for our clients and guests.

Expert Guiding Since 1986

San Juan Mountain Guides was founded in 1986 and the original owners were instrumental in the creation of the Ouray Ice Park as well as the development of mountain guiding in Ouray and the San Juans.

Since that time, San Juan Mountain Guides has grown its operation to the entire San Juan Range – offering guided mountain adventures on over 4 million acres of public lands encompassing 5 national forests and multiple wilderness areas. In addition, we regularly guide in 5 other mountain states and lead numerous foreign adventures. We are the Local Experts!

The San Juan Mountain Guides Difference

rexerLocally Owned and Operated: Since 1986, San Juan Mountain Guides has been both Durango and Ouray, Colorado’s premier climbing guide service that is also 100% locally owned and family operated!
rexerOnly the Best Guides: Our Guides are meticulously selected because they are 1) fun to be with in the mountains, 2) incredible teachers and instructors, 3) recognized as the best athletes in their discipline – among the finest climbers and skiers in the industry, and 4) love what they do. Our guides genuinely enjoy working with every ability level from children or rank beginners to high end athletes wanting to learn cutting edge techniques and climb some of the hardest routes in the world.
rexerGuide Certification: All of our guides are AMGA or IFMGA Certified or trained. These trainings and certifications insure that our clients are working with the best mountain practitioners in the industry.
rexerLeadership and Commitment to Education: Our guides are experienced professionals that have developed highly effective teaching skills and have unparalleled training and experience. Our Senior Guides also speak the language in the countries in which we operate international expeditions, insuring that your trips runs as smoothly as possible.
rexerCommitment to Service: You have access to a personalized office staff who are deeply committed to providing exemplary customer service from the moment of your inquiry through the completion of your trip. You can be certain that our office and support staff understand all the details of our programs and are readily available to address your questions and concerns prior to your trip.
rexerClient References: We maintain a data base of previous and current clients who can provide references for San Juan Mountain Guides’ trips and guides.
rexerStrong Domestic Program: We are not an office in a large city, far from the mountains. Our office staff and guides live, train, and work in the mountains every day.

What Does All This Mean?

What all this means to you is that your trip runs smoothly, with a high rate of success, no hassles, the highest possible risk management, and unsurpassed customer service. We know the places we run trips and love the job we do. It’s that simple. Whether you’re looking to do a major high altitude climb, learn some new skills, or just have an enjoyable mountain adventure, San Juan Mountain Guides has the experience to pull it together for you.