River Permits

Backcountry and river day use permits may be obtained online. Overnight permits must be requested online at least two days before start of trip.

Note: The information below is for normal operations. Because of phased reopening, some of the information below may not match current operations

Learn and Explore

You can get a river permit online or in person from the backcountry reservation office in Moab, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. You can also get a permit in person at any Canyonlands National Park visitor center.

Academic institutions wishing to conduct river trips in the park may do so with a special use permit.


When should I apply?

There is no lottery for river permits in Canyonlands. These permits are available first-come, first-served. You may reserve overnight permits no more than four months, and no less than two days prior to the permit start date. Day use permits are available up to 24 hours in advance. There are no daily launch limits in Canyonlands, so there is no need to submit multiple requests for the same date. If you submit a request, you will get a permit for any date you choose.

How much are the permits?

Canyonlands charges fees for private river permits:

Permit Type Fee
Flatwater Overnight $30 reservation fee + $20 per person
Cataract Canyon Overnight $30 reservation fee + $20 per person
Flatwater Day Use No Fee
Cataract Canyon Day Use $10 per person

For example, an overnight Cataract Canyon trip with five people would cost $130: $30 (reservation fee) + $100 (five people at $20 each) = $130.

Fees are non-refundable.

What if I need to cancel my reservation?

If you cancel your trip more than two days before the trip start date, you will receive a credit for a future reservation starting within one year. Contact the backcountry reservation office at 435-259-4351 or via email for information.

What are group size limits?

Group size limit is 40 people for private river trips.

How long can I stay?

You can have a permit for up to 14 consecutive nights.

What regulations do I need to know?

Additional regulations apply to all river trips. For more information, please visit the River Regulations Page.

How do I apply for a permit?

To apply for a river permit, visit our online reservation system. Once your reservation is processed, you will receive an email with instructions for making an online payment. Once your payment is received, your permit will be sent by email.

If needed, you may also request a reservation by email, mail, or fax. Please contact the backcountry reservation office via email or call 435-259-4351 for a form to fill out. Because this is a lengthy process, we do not recommend it. The easiest and quickest way to get your preferred sites is to use the online reservation system.

Can I cache supplies in the backcountry?

Adding food, water, or supplies is only allowed with written notification of the district ranger. You may not damage resources, and you must remove all items. Email us for a cache request form.

Where can I get a map or guide book?

Our bookstore contains guidebooks to all the rivers in southeastern Utah.

What about academic groups?

Academic institutions wishing to do either flatwater or whitewater trips may do so under a Special Use Permit from Canyonlands National Park. Read more about academic river trips.

More questions?

We are available by phone to answer questions and assist with trip planning Monday through Friday, 8 am to noon (Mountain Time), at (435) 259-4351. When workload permits, we may answer phones until 4 pm. You may also contact us by email.

Last updated: September 5, 2020

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Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532



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