GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – The National Park Service is now accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park in 2013. The permits are for specific launch dates within the calendar year 2013. A total of 449 permits will be available for 12-25-day river trips. Eligible individuals may apply online at the National Park Service’s weighted lottery website. Applications will be accepted online through noon MST on Feb. 22, 2012.
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 @GCRiverPermits.
The weighted lottery website can be accessed for free year-round to create or modify an account and to sign-up for e-mail 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 website only when lotteries are open.
Individuals must be 18 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 river trip per year (commercial or noncommercial).
Individuals interested in professionally guided river trips should not apply through the lottery, but instead should request space on a commercial trip. A list of commercial companies offering guided trips can be found by visiting the NPS’s Grand Canyon National Park website for River Trips and Permits.