News Release

Grand Canyon National Park Announces 2021 Noncommercial River Trip Lottery Period

Two yellow and one blue raft floating on a stretch of calm river water, with desert cliffs in the background.
Starting a noncommercial trip down the Colorado River. Photo courtesy of Neal Herbert

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News Release Date: January 31, 2020

Contact: River Permits Office, 800-959-9164

Grand Canyon, AZ- The National Park Service will begin accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. The permits are for specific launch dates within calendar year 2021. A total of 462 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips. Eligible individuals may apply online at the weighted lottery website at: Applications will be accepted online through noon MST on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.

Each year in February, a main lottery is held to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the next 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 remaining river trips. Public notifications for these follow-up lotteries are made through email, an RSS feed, and Twitter, at

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 a future noncommercial river permit are 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 either 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

For more information about the 2021 Main Lottery, please visit the Grand Canyon National Park website at:, contact the River Permits Office at 1-800-959-9164 or 928-638-7843, or via email at e-mail us.


Last updated: January 31, 2020

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