A faded photo from the 70s of a group of youth and guides in front of a basket boat (river raft)


Environmental Traveling Companions was born on the banks of California’s Stanislaus River in 1972, when three commercial river guides shared their love for the threatened river with people who had special needs. ETC was the first organization in the country to offer adaptive rafting programs for people with a wide range of disabilities. In 1975, ETC incorporated as a 501(C)(3) non-profit and quickly expanded to include sea kayaking, cross-country skiing, and youth leadership programs. ETC is a national pioneer in the field of accessible outdoor adventures and is respected as the largest and oldest organization of its kind in California.

Since our inception, ETC has offered our life-changing programs to more than 80,000 people with special needs including visual or mobility impairments, developmental disabilities, cancer and other life-threatening illness, and youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Our programs are made possible with the expertise and enthusiasm of over 300 highly trained volunteers, the strength and resilient spirit of our amazing participants, and the generosity of donors like you.


Keeping the great outdoors open to all.