• View of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset from the South Rim

    Grand Canyon

    National Park Arizona

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  • Expect Isolated Afternoon and Evening Thunderstorms Through the Weekend

    Monsoonal weather patterns have moved into the Grand Canyon area decreasing fire danger. As a result, on Tuesday, July 8 at 8 a.m. fire managers lifted fire restrictions within Grand Canyon National Park. More »

  • Two Bats Collected in the Park Have Tested Positive for Rabies

    One on the North Kaibab Trail and the other at Tusayan Ruin/Museum. Any persons having physical contact with bats in Grand Canyon National Park, please call 928-638-7779. Rabies can be prevented if appropriate medical care is given following an exposure. More »

2 to 5 Day Noncommercial River Trips: Diamond Creek

Overview

Noncommercial river trips which launch from Diamond Creek (river mile 225) take 2 to 5 days. This unique section of the Colorado River is located at the west end of Grand Canyon National Park and is often referred to as the Lower Gorge. It includes 52 river miles of smooth and white water, with many dramatic and colorful views. A noncommercial river permit is required.

Access is across Hualapai Land: The Hualapai Tribe independently charges fees for people and vehicles to cross Hualapai Tribal land and launch or take-out boats at Diamond Creek. These fees are outside of the control of the National Park Service.

The Trip

For most of the trip, the number of potential campsites are limited. On the north side of the river (river right) is Grand Canyon National Park, on the south side of the river (river left) above the historic high water mark is Hualapai Tribal Land. Groups desiring to hike or camp on river left above the historic high water mark must request a permit from the Hualapai Tribe in adavance of their launch date. River users are asked by the National Park Service and required by law to treat the sensitive cultural sites with care and respect.

After trips launch from Diamond Creek, the entire stretch to river mile 277 (Pearce Ferry) is free-flowing whitewater. Starting at river mile 277, the surrounding Grand Wash Cliffs give way to Lake Mead National Recreation Area. River trips must be prepared for variable water levels at Lake Mead due to drought. Boaters should also be prepared for shifting sandbars, high winds, and very shallow water near Pearce Bay.

River runners can take-out at either South Cove or Pearce Ferry.

Trips will share the river with many other users. In addition to the two noncommercial trips per day authorized to launch from Lees Ferry, expect to see a large amount of other use. You may see trips which launched from Lees Ferry (commercial and noncommercial) which are continuing down to the lake. You may pass motorized upstream and downstream travel from trips that originate from Lake Mead (they can travel as far upstream as Separation Canyon). You may experience a large amount of helicopter traffic, and you may see other commercial operations on the river run by the Hualapai tribe.

Noncommercial River Permits

Grand Canyon National Park authorizes up to two noncommercial river trips to launch from Diamond Creek each day. Each trip is limited to a maximum of 16 participants. Currently the National Park Service does not charge permit fees for this section of the river, but the Hualapai Tribe will charge access fees for crossing their land. Permittees are responsible for making their own arrangements with the tribe. People interested in obtaining permits can start by completing a Diamond Creek to Lake Mead permit application and submitting it to the River Permits Office. Applications are accepted no earlier than one year in advance and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

To contact the River Permits Office


You may call us directly toll free 1-800-959-9164 or outside the U.S. at 928-638-7843. FAX number is 928-638-7844.

Email River Permits Office

You may also write to:

National Park Service
Grand Canyon River Permits Office
1824 S. Thompson St, Suite 201
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Did You Know?

COLORADO RIVER AT THE BOTTOM OF GRAND CANYON

From Yavapai Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the drop to the Colorado River below is 4,600 feet (1,400 m). The elevation at river level is 2,450 feet (750 m) above sea level. Without the Colorado River, a perennial river in a desert environment, the Grand Canyon would not exist.