Guiding in the Big Bend area can be challenging for even the most capable of guides and our exceptional staff is what makes this company great. We believe having the best in the business is the way to ensure a quality travel experience for you. Meet our crew and your next adventure companions!

Although Wild is a brand new company, those of you who have travelled in Big Bend will see some very familiar faces.

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Matthew Grisham

Matthew is native Texan who found his way to Big Bend as a child on a school trip. His first memories in the area are of canoeing down the Rio Grande with a company he would later work for. Matthew has developed a deep interest in the wild Southwest landscape and is passionate about canoe tripping. Gaining a love for the Rio Grande at a young age taught him how deeply a wilderness trip can impact people and he is eager to have and share that experience with others. Matthew is interested in experiential education and all things untamed, so it was only a matter of time before he would form Wild Adventure Outfitters. When Matthew is not trying to convince people to float down the Rio Grande with him, he spends his time working as a raft guide in Grand Canyon and rivers of the Idaho and Alaska.

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Jeff Renfrow

Jeff moved to the Big Bend in the Fall of 1990 after falling in love with the area while working as a guide on bicycle trips and later spending a few months training as a river guide on the Rio Grande during the summer of ‘90. It was a high-water year, the monsoon was in full swing, and he just had to get back and stay. Almost 30 years later, he still has the same passion for the river that led him to pick up and move all those years ago. He has worked year-around as a guide on rivers from Costa Rica to Alaska and spent much of his off-time running rivers for pure enjoyment. In 2003, Jeff began volunteering in Big Bend National Park on science trips as a way to tie his new life as a river guide to his previous life as a fisheries biologist. This eventually led to him forming a company working on river restoration projects and monitoring along the Big Bend reach of the Rio Grande as well as a non-profit that supports scientific research on the river. During this time, Jeff has worked closely with and developed strong ties to the Mexican managers and field crews working on restoration and other issues related to social and ecological conditions along the border. Now, after a few years of semi-retirement from guiding, he is excited to get back into sharing his love of rivers with others as a guide. He has a strong interest in developing interpretative trips focusing on natural history and science as well as hiking and back-country skills. In his spare time, Jeff is an avid fly fisherman and just might conjure up a few guided fly-fishing trips on nearby clearwater rivers.

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Sam Thackeray

Sam was born and raised in the mountains of Central Idaho where he began canoeing whilst still in the womb. His passion for the outdoors lead him to pursue a degree from the University of Idaho in Recreation and Outdoor Education. He began his guiding career on Idaho’s mighty Salmon River and has since expanded to rivers in Montana, Oregon, California, Texas, and India. A budding passion for rivers, mountains, and travel has led him to explore the west in search of the best whitewater, snow, climbing, and remote beauty. His recent discovery of the Big Bend and the Rio Grande has led to a yearly pilgrimage to Texas to guide and support scientific trips in this unique river corridor. While not on the river you can find Sam guiding backcountry skiing and splitboarding trips in Idaho and working as an EMT for the local fire and rescue service.  He has a particular passion for exploration in remote areas and leading trips which showcase his love of wilderness and connecting people with these incredible places. Few things inspire him more than a good philosophical debate/conversation, which there is ample time for on any good river trip.

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Clint Metzler (Big Tex)

North Texas Native Clint Metzler first came to the Big Bend in 2008 for a flood.  After three days on the river, he went back to the Hill Country, repacked his bags, returned to Terlingua, pitched his tent and stayed.  You could say the Chihuahuan desert peaked his interest. Clint started guiding on the Guadalupe River in 2002 and has run rivers from South Texas to the Canadian Border.  After a stint in Terlingua working for Big Bend River Tours, he spent years splitting his time between Big Bend and Montana's Glacier Country.  Over this time he worked for both Outfitters and the National Park Service.  He has made a considerable effort to spend time outside in pretty places.  A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Texas State University lends itself perfectly to this endeavor.

likes: good hats, rose colored glasses, lawn chairs of a certain vintage, and puppies dislikes: bad hats, a poor disposition, a wide variety of lawn chairs, and IPAs

“Crazy kids on the loose; but on the loose in the wilderness. That makes all the difference.”
— Terry Russell