News Release

New Lees Ferry Backcountry River Permit System

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News Release Date: May 19, 2023

Contact: Mary Plumb, 928-608-6200

Beginning June 1, 2023, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is implementing a free Lees Ferry Backcountry River Permit system for watercraft using the Glen Canyon Reach, the 16-mile stretch of the Colorado River between the Glen Canyon Dam and Lees Ferry.

According to Superintendent Michelle Kerns, “This Glen Canyon stretch of the Colorado River is experiencing increased visitation and changes in visitor use. This free river permit system will provide visitor use information to inform decisions about future management of the area and improvements needed to address visitor needs. The Colorado River has been identified as one of the most endangered rivers in our nation due to impacts from climate change."

One permit per group is required and an unlimited number of permits are available. Permits are free of charge, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on an unlimited basis. They are available at a self-serve kiosk in the parking lot above the Lees Ferry launch ramp. Permits do not reserve campsites or place any restrictions on allowable activities within the river. Visitors must submit the white original copy of the permit at the permit kiosk and keep the yellow carbon copy on their person. Permits are not required for visitors hiking or fishing along the riverbank or for concessioner-operated float trips. However, visitors utilizing back-haul services will be required to obtain the permit.

River runners launching Colorado River trips downriver through Grand Canyon National Park are not required to have the free Lees Ferry Backcountry River Permit but must obtain a river permit from Grand Canyon National Park prior to launching. For more information: 

Lees Ferry is 42 miles (61 km) from Page, Ariz. via U.S. Highway 89 south and U.S. Highway 89A west. The park entrance is in Marble Canyon, just west of Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center. A paved road leads five miles (eight km) to the Lees Ferry area. Services available at Lees Ferry include a National Park Service campground, dump station and public Colorado River launch ramp. There is a gas station, store, and post office at Marble Canyon, next to the park entrance. More services are found west on U.S. Highway 89A. For more information about Lees Ferry, please visit

Last updated: May 19, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040


928 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed. If you are having an emergency, call 911 or hail National Park Service on Marine Band 16.

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