Grand Canyon Lottery

The yearly lottery for self guided permits to float the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is held every February. The lottery application requires two steps. First you must set up a User Profile to be eligible to register for the lottery. That part is free. The second step can only be taken when the NPS is actually conducting the Main or follow-up On-Line Lotteries. Only at that time can you then submit your application along with a $25 fee. Up to five dates may be specified in the Main Lottery and you will need to have decided ahead of time on the size of your group (Standard of 16 People or Small of 8 people). Start the process today by signing up for the free RRFW Riverwire. Send an e-mail and say "add to Riverwire". We’ll post an announcement when the next Lottery is to be held. You can also visit Most importantly, see the PDF below for a step by step review of the actual NPS Profile and Lottery web pages.

Lottery Primer (Detailed information with copies of actual NPS web pages about the 2014 lottery application process (3.6MB PDF)).

The NPS has released some selected data for the lottery operations.

For the NPS Five Year Lottery Review, click here.

For the NPS Eight Year Lottery Reviwe, click here.

For RRFW's Response to the NPS Eight Year Proposed Changes, click here.

Want to visit your Congresssional representative for permit assitance? If so, click here.

Lottery Timeline




February 1, 2015

Lottery applications start for the calendar year 2016

February 24, 2015

Lottery applications close

What Happened?

4,212 applications competed for 460 launch opportunities in 2014 for 2015 dates. In 2015, 4,911 applications competed for 472 launches. The most popular date is still are just after the end of motor season on September 15. Chances to win that coveted September 17 date were 359 to 1 in 2015, while 347 folks applied for the only launch on September 20, 2016.  

Follow-up Cancellation Lotteries

Grand Canyon National Park will run multiple follow-up lotteries throughout the year. In order to participate in these lotteries, you will need to have set up a profile, and click the box to be notified about these cancellation lotteries. See the Lottery Primer for details on how to do this.

RRFW Riverwires on the lottery