Grand Canyon National Park
will accept lottery applications for calendar year 2008 self guided Colorado River permits, beginning May 1, 2007. The open period to join the lottery will close at 12:00 noon (Arizona time) on May 28, 2007.
The lottery drawing will take place on May 31st. The lottery is a new permit distribution system which only applies to the rafting public who does not use park river concessionaires. In contrast, open spots are available with river concessionaires for the 2008 river season, at prices of up to $450 per night.
Lottery applications will be accepted through the website https://npspermits.us/ and all lottery applicants will need to have set up a user profile before applying for the lottery at https://npspermits.us/grandcanyon/river/createUser.cfm.
Applications for the lottery cost $25, and must be paid online when the application is submitted. Applicants who win a permit through the lottery will immediately be charged an additional $400 trip deposit.
This deposit is non-refundable even if the permit is cancelled immediately after the lottery. The trip deposit will be applied towards the final $100 per person cost of the permit. The Grand Canyon river permit and lottery charges are, by far, the highest do-it-yourself river running fees in the country.
Groups of river runners are forming to apply for prearranged dates. Called "permit parties", these groups are comprised of river runners who have not boated the Canyon in five or more years and would each separately apply for one or two common dates, thus increasing the group's chances to win.
The Grand Canyon lottery awards up to 5 points to potential permit holders, with more points being awarded the longer an individual has stayed away from the river.