National Park Service opens 2017 non-commercial river trip permit lottery Feb. 1

A portion of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon. Non-commercial river permits are now available Loretta Yerian/WGCN

A portion of the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon. Non-commercial river permits are now available Loretta Yerian/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On Feb.1 the National Park Service began accepting applications for non-commercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.

The permits are for specific launch dates within calendar year 2017. A total of 472 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips. Eligible individuals may apply online at the weighted lottery website at nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.

Each year in February, a main lottery is held to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the following calendar 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 (https://twitter.com/GCRiverPermits).

The weighted lottery website can be accessed for free year-round to create or modify an account and to sign-up to receive email notifications. Individuals who are interested in 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 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 nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/river-concessioners.

More information about the 2017 weighted lottery is available at the Grand Canyon National Park web site at nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting. or by contacting the River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164 or 928-638-7884, or email grca_riv@nps.gov.

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