Grand Canyon Rafting Permit Process

Lottery applications are accepted online for the first three weeks of February (https://npspermits.us/grandcanyon/river/login.cfm). Lottery results are emailed to applicants as well as available online by the end of February. Follow-up lotteries are then held as needed to reassign cancelled and/or left-over river trips.

Once awarded through the weighted lottery, noncommercial trip launch dates may not be changed, deferred, or traded.

Lottery Eligibility Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old and not already a member of other noncommercial or commercial trips launching within the applied for year. No one may be listed on more than one lottery application.

The Colorado River through Grand Canyon is a highly technical river, not something for the inexperienced to try. At least one member of each trip must have the experience and skills required by the National Park Service.

Noncommercial trips must be self-guided and may not hire guides.

Lottery Costs

Applying through the weighted lottery costs a nonrefundable $25 per launch year, and those who win a launch date must immediately pay a nonrefundable deposit of $400 for standard size trips and $200 for small size trip. The deposit applies toward final permit fees. Final permit fees are currently $100 per person and are due 90 days before launch.

Don’t Forget! Potential Alternate Trip Leader (PATL)

A PATL is a person who would be capable and willing to take over river trip responsibilities if the trip leader is unable to go. If the original trip leader becomes unable to go on the river trip, and there are no PATLs, the trip will be cancelled. PATLs can only be added to a river trip by the trip leader when they are submitting a lottery application. PATLs may not be added to a trip after a launch date has been won - NO EXCEPTIONS.

Trip Length:

Maximum allowable Non-motorized, non-commercial trip lengths from Lees Ferry to 
Diamond Creek:

16 days (15 nights) May 1 - August 31
18 days (17 nights) Sept 1-15
21 days (20 nights) Sept 16 - Oct 31
25 days (24 nights) Nov 1 - Feb 29
21 days (20 nights) Mar 1 - April 30

Maximum allowable trip lengths below Diamond Creek in May through September are 4 days (3 nights) to travel from Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry.

Follow-up Lottery

To keep tabs on the follow-up lottery throughout the year go to:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cancelled-dates.htm

FAQ

For a PDF of frequently asked questions go to:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/River_and_Weighted_Lottery_FAQs.pdf

For the most up to date information go to:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm

National Park Service Grand Canyon River Permits Office
Call toll free 1-800-959-9164 or outside the U.S. at 928-638-7843

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