On Friday, February 1, 2013 the National Park Service will begin accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. The permits will be for specific launch dates within calendar year 2014. A total of 450 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips. Eligible individuals may apply online at the weighted lottery web site. To access the web site, start from the park’s main web page at www.nps.gov/grca and select “River Trips/Permits” then “Weighted Lottery”. Applications will be accepted online through noon Mountain Standard Time on February 26.
Each year in February, a main lottery is held to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the next year. Public notifications regarding main lotteries are made by both email and news release. In addition to the annual main lottery, follow-up lotteries are held as needed throughout the remainder of the year to reassign canceled and/or left-over river trips. Public notifications for these follow-up lotteries are made through email, an RSS feed, and Twitter (twitter.com/GCRiverPermits).
The weighted lottery web site can be accessed year-round to create or modify an account and to sign-up to receive email notifications. Individuals who are interested in a future noncommercial river permit are strongly encouraged to create an account. Lottery applications are accepted through the weighted lottery web site only when lotteries are open.
Individuals must be 18 years or older to apply for a river trip permit. Noncommercial river trips must be self-guided, and technical whitewater experience is mandatory on each trip. Individuals may participate on a maximum of one recreational river trip per year (commercial or noncommercial).
Individuals interested in professionally-guided river trips should not apply through the lottery, but instead request space on a commercial trip. A list of commercial companies offering guided trips can be found by visiting www.nps.gov/grca, selecting “River Trips/Permits”, then “3 to 18 Day Commercial Trips”.
For more information about the 2014 weighted lottery, please visit the Grand Canyon National Park web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm, contact the River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164 or 928-638-7884, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy National Park Service