GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On Feb. 1, Grand Canyon National Park opened the permit lottery for 2016 non-commercial river trip launch dates.
Applications for launch dates are accepted online through noon on Feb. 24.
The park has a total of 472 permits available for 12 to 25 day river trips launching on specific dates in 2016. A nonrefundable fee of $25 is required to enter the permit lottery. Eligible individuals may apply online at the lottery web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm.
Due to the high demand for non-commercial river trip permits in Grand Canyon the lottery is weighted in favor of individuals who have not been on a trip in recent years.
Non-commercial river trip lotteries are held in February to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the following calendar year.
Public notifications for the main lotteries are made by email and news releases.
Additional lotteries are held as needed throughout the year to reassign canceled and/or leftover river trips. Public notifications for these lotteries are made through email, an RSS feed, and Twitter at twitter.com/GCRiverPermits.
The non-commercial river trip lottery web site can be accessed year-round to create or modify an account or to sign-up to receive notifications.
The park encourages anyone interested in future non-commercial river trip permits to create an account.
Individuals must be 18 years or older to apply for a river trip permit. Non-commercial 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 calendar year - commercial or noncommercial.
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 three to 18 day commercial trips.
Lottery applications are accepted through the non-commercial river trip lottery web site only when lotteries are open.
More information about the 2016 weighted lottery can be found by visiting the Grand Canyon National Park web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm, contacting the River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164 or 928-638-7884, or by email at email@example.com