Owner and President of Whitewater Voyages
Born and raised in Richmond, California, Bill McGinnis started training as a river guide at age 16 with one of California's first river rafting outfitters.
After earning a Masters degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University, Bill founded Whitewater Voyages in 1975 with two rafts and a $500 gift from his grandmother.
One of the true pioneers of white water rafting, Bill has successfully built his company, Whitewater Voyages, to be the largest California rafting company guiding more people on more trips in California than any other California rafting company.
In numerous bid-prospectus competitions (for rafting permits) throughout its twenty-five-year history, Whitewater Voyages has been selected by the U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management above all its competitors – on the basis of guide training standards, history of safe trips, and the overall quality of its camps, schools and trips.
An internationally known mentor for guides, outfitters and whitewater enthusiasts of all sorts, Bill has written numerous books and articles about rafting, including the novel Kern River, Whitewater Rafting, The Class V Briefing, River Signals and The Guide's Guide Augmented, which are used in the Whitewater Voyages guide training program as well as by guides and outfitters throughout the world.
Bill's most recent book The Guide's Guide Augmented, which is designed to help guides and outfitters increase the fun, safety and overall quality of their trips, presents a comprehensive philosophy and detailed methods for creating what Bill calls Deep Fun: Life enhancing trips which entertain, inspire, educate, thrill, heal and delight!
While he has a number of first descents and pioneering raft runs in California and beyond to his credit, McGinnis says it is his influence on guiding that he is most proud of. "My goal is to help foster an inclusive, nurturing style of guiding that helps people move from fear to confidence to joy." he says. "The idea is to inspire openness, trust and true camaraderie."
In recognition of his many contributions to the sport of rafting, in 2000, Bill was named one of the Top 100 Paddlers of the Century by Paddler Magazine, the sport's leading national paddle sport publication.
Bill continues to be personally involved in training guides for Whitewater Voyages and believes that providing Whitewater Voyages guests with the best possible rafting experience is at the core of the Whitewater Voyages difference.
"There is something about river rafting that brings people together and brings out the best in them," he notes. "I can't think of a more rewarding passion."