Grand Canyon opens lottery for 2016 noncommerical river trip launches

GRAND CANYON, Arizona — Grand Canyon National Park will open the permit lottery for 2016 noncommerical river trip launch dates, with applications accepted online through noon, Feb. 24.

A nonrefundable $25 fee is required to enter the permit lottery. A total of 472 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips launching on specific dates in 2016. Eligible individuals may apply online at the lottery website.

The noncommerical river trip lottery is held in February to assign launch dates for river trips that will run the following calendar year. Due to the high demand for noncommerical river trip permits in Grand Canyon the lottery is weighted in favor of individuals who have not been on a trip in recent years.

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 leftover river trips. Public notifications for these follow-up lotteries are made through email, an RSS feed, and Twitter.

The noncommerical river trip lottery website can be accessed year-round to create or modify an account and to sign up to receive email notifications. Individuals who are interested in  future noncommerical river trip permits are strongly encouraged to create an account. Lottery applications are accepted through the noncommerical river trip lottery website 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 in a maximum of one recreational river trip per calendar 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 National Park Service website, selecting “River Trips/Permits” then “3 to 18 Day Commercial Trips.”


  • Grand Canyon National Park website,
  • For more information contact the River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164, 928-638-7884, or by email

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