River Permits


The Basics

If you're planning a backcountry trip on either the Green or Colorado rivers within Canyonlands National Park, you must have a permit.

River permits are available through Recreation.gov. All overnight permits must be reserved online at least two days before start of trip. Permits are also available in person from the Backcountry Permit Office in Moab. The Backcountry Permit office is open Monday through Friday, 8 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm, but may close when rangers are needed to respond to emergency search and rescue efforts.

Group Size Limits

Group size limit is 40 people for private river trips.

Stay Lengths

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

Advanced Permit Reservations



There is no lottery for river permits in Canyonlands. You may reserve overnight permits on Recreation.gov up to four months before the following seasons and reservations close two days prior to a launch date. Day use permits are available up to 24 hours in advance.

  • April 14 – October 15 (opens December 14)

  • October 16 – April 13 (opens June 15)

There are no daily launch limits in Canyonlands

Permit Fees

There are non-refundable fees for private river permits. Fees are non-refundable.

Permit Type


Flatwater (Stillwater Canyon or Meander Canyon) Overnight

$36 Permit Reservation fee (includes $6 Recreation.gov fee) + $25 per person

Cataract Canyon Overnight

$36 Permit Reservation fee (includes $6 Recreation.gov fee) + $25 per person

Flatwater Day Use

$6 Recreation.gov fee if reserved online, no fee if in person at park headquarters

Cataract Canyon Day Use

$6 Recreation.gov fee + $10 per person

For example, an overnight Cataract Canyon trip with five people would cost $161: $36 (reservation fee) + $125 (five people at $25 each) = $161.

Cancelation Policy

Please cancel your permit via email or on Recreation.gov. The $36 reservation fee is non-refundable.

River Regulations

Additional regulations apply to all river trips. All river users should review the River Regulations Page.

Caching supplies

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. No individual, company, or other entity may be paid or otherwise compensated to place caches for someone. Email us for a cache request form.

Camping options outside park

There are numerous options for responsible camping prior to your Canyonlands National Park river trip. Visit Discover Moab for options in the Moab area.

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: January 12, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532



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