River runners wishing to apply for the lottery for Grand Canyon's Colorado River for calendar year 2009 noncommercial river trips have until noon on 2/26/2008 to enter the drawing. The lottery is strictly online and may not be entered via fax, mail or phone. Winners are notified solely through email.
 
A total of 252 permits will be awarded for 12- to 25-day river trips; available dates are posted at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cancelled-dates.htm. Applications are being accepted on the Grand Canyon National Park's lottery website at: https://npspermits.us. Applicants must first establish a profile (free), if they have not already done so, by visiting the same page at any time during the year.
 
Setting up a profile does not obligate you to enter the lottery, and you will receive email updates on upcoming releases of launch dates and river news. Even if you are presently not seeking a river trip but are interested in a future date, you are strongly encouraged to register.
 
Applicants must be at least 18 years old 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 1 application within any individual lottery. The lottery drawings will take place on February 27th, and email notifications will be sent later that day.
 
To join the lottery, a non-refundable $25 application fee is required.
 
Unlike some river lotteries, Grand Canyon's lottery does require a substantial financial commitment from winners. The Park warns against declining any launch date you listed on your application since you risk your future lottery chances, and your deposit, by canceling. 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.
 
The Park also encourages applicants to list at least one PATL on their lottery application. This is important because PATLs cannot be added later, even if you win. Listing at least one 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.
 
If you need help submitting an application online or navigating the website, you may send Grand Canyon an email to grca_riv@nps.gov or call the River Office at 1-800-959-9164 (open weekdays from 8am to 5pm.
 
River Runners for Wilderness (www.rrfw.org) continues to offer free lottery assistance through email and a phone hotline for the complicated sign-up and lottery application process.
 
The RRFW telephone assistance Help-line is available at (928) 856-9065, throughout this lottery on a first-come first-serve basis.
 
RRFW's guide to navigating the Grand lottery is at  http://www.rrfw.org/lotteryguide/, click on "lottery primer."

Grand Canyon National Park's Colorado River Lottery: https://npspermits.us
 
Additional web sites include:
 
Password Reset:  https://npspermits.us/grandcanyon/river/forgotLogin.cfm
 
Frequently Asked Questions page: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/River_and_Weighted_Lottery_FAQs.pdf
 
Prior lottery statistics web info:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/noncommercial-riv-docs.htm