The Main Lottery is held only once a year, in February, to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the following year.
2022 Main lottery is currently open Feb-1-2021 through noon (MST) Feb-23-2021, standard and small size trips available, https://grcariverpermits.nps.gov
Grand Canyon National Park noncommercial river permits are normally final and cannot be deferred. During the 2020/2021 COVID-19 pandemic, an exception was created to help those river trips awarded prior to the pandemic and scheduled to launch any time through August 2021. This included those trips in March 2020 through June 2020 which could not launch due to the temporary shutdown of the river, plus deferments from permittees with concerns about launching during COVID-19. Trips were rescheduled to launch two years later, on the same month and day as their original launch date. The result for the 2022 Main Lottery is that most April, May, and early June dates have already been claimed. Additionally, and because of the effects of the pandemic on the number of noncommercial trips that could launch in 2020, the park approved a request from the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association to add an additional small trip every other day to both March and October for the 2021 and 2022 years. All together this has resulted in a total of 244 launches being available for the 2022 Main Lottery.
Follow-up lotteries are held as needed throughout the year to reassign cancelled and/or left-over river launch dates. Lottery statistics are posted at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/noncommercial-riv-docs.htm
There are three ways to know a lottery has opened.
Are my chances at risk? If you are NOT committed to accepting one of these launches, PLEASE DO NOT APPLY. Applicants and Potential Alternate Trip Leaders (PATLs) listed on winning lottery applications lose all their chances whether or not they end up going on the trip. Your chances are not affected if you do not apply or if you apply and do not win.
Why should I list Potential Alternate Trip Leaders (PATLs)? This is important because PATLs cannot be listed later, even if you win. Having at least one confirmed PATL on your application is the only way you can protect your trip and your participants against the chance that something might come up in your life that ends up preventing you from going on your trip. If you do not list a PATL on your lottery application, win a trip but then can't go, your trip will have to be cancelled and all fees will be forfeited. We strongly encourage all who choose to apply to list at least one PATL on their lottery application.
Who Is eligible to apply? Individuals are eligible to apply in the lottery as long as they are at least 18 years old by the launch date and not already members of other noncommercial or commercial trips launching in the same calendar year as the desired launch date. No person may be listed on more than one application within any individual lottery. In the lottery system, only one account per person is allowed. A LOTTERY WINNER HAVING MORE THAN ONE ACCOUNT MAY HAVE THEIR WINNING TRIP REVOKED. If you have two profiles on the system or you received two or more emails listing different login names, then this issue must be resolved prior to the lottery. Please contact the River Permits Office, include the login name of the profile you want deleted, and ask us to delete the account. Lottery applications are accepted through the weighted lottery website only when lotteries are open.
When will the lottery drawings occur? The lottery drawings will take place soon after the lottery closes, and email notifications will be sent once the lottery has been run. Applicants who do not receive an email notification should log back in and view the status of their request. Statistics will be posted by the end of the following day.
What if I forgot my password? If you cannot remember your password, you can have it reset and sent to the email address listed in your lottery profile. Complete the form at https://grcariverpermits.nps.gov/
How do I access the weighted lottery website? 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.
Need more help? If you need help submitting an application online or navigating the website, email the River Permits Office or call 1-800-959-9164. We are happy to help. The River Permits Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
River Permits Office Contact Information:
Notifications about Lotteries: Each February a main lottery is held to assign launch dates for noncommercial river trips occurring the next year. Public notifications regarding main lotteries are made both by email and by press release. In addition to the annual main lottery, follow-up lotteries are held as needed throughout the remainder of the year to reassign cancelled and/or left-over river trips. Public notifications for these follow-up lotteries are made through email, via an RSS feed, and via Twitter.
Follow us at www.twitter.com/GCRiverPermits
Last updated: February 17, 2021