April 13, 2019
On April 10, 2019, the Hualapai Reservation Tribal Council voted to increase the camping fee for river runners from $100 per river trip to $100 per person. This fee increase impacts all river trips on the 109.4-mile-long border of the Hualapai Nation where reservation lands meet the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
The increase in the cost of a camping permit comes on the heels of a change in the members of the Hualapai Nation Tribal Council. The previous Council had approved a decrease of the fee from $100 per person to $100 per river trip in January of 2019.
According to Tribal officials, the number of river runners who purchased camping permits greatly increased after the fee decrease in January was announced, with almost full compliance of all river trips. They also stated that camping permits issued prior to the increase in fees April 10, 2019, will be honored
On June 1, 2018, the Hualapai Nation Game and Fish Department issued a public notice about camping on Hualapai land along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The notice stated that river runners who pay a $100 per person fee would be allowed to camp, stop for lunch, and visit riverside attraction sites anywhere along the Colorado River that abuts Hualapai Nation land. The Hualapai Nation touches the edge of the Colorado River from River Mile 164.5 to River Mile 273.9 on the east side of the river, known as “river left” when looking downstream.
According to Hualapai Nation officials, Tribal Police plan to check river runners found camping on Tribal lands for the appropriate permits this summer. Anyone found on the Hualapai Reservation where it meets the Colorado River that does not have a valid camping permit may be subject to impoundment of all their river and camping equipment, arrest, and face immediate prosecution in Tribal Court.
River Runners For Wilderness Council Member Tom Martin was saddened by the change. “While we greatly respect the Council and support a permit system for camping on Reservation land, we find this fee increase unfortunate. It was very encouraging to see river runners comply with the lower fee permit. Raising the fees to such a high level for one- or two-nights of camping will simply cause river runners to camp on the other side of the river in this area, decreasing tribal revenue. We certainly understand if river runners decide to forgo this purchase and camp on river right.”
River runners are encouraged to write the Hualapai Tribal Council, respectfully encouraging the Council to reconsider this action. A low-cost fee ensures compliance with Tribal laws and raises awareness of Tribal sovereignty. Comments should be respectful and avoid personal attacks to uphold Hualapai values and respect for one another.
Comments may be mailed to
Hualapai Tribal Chairman Dr. Damon Clarke
PO Box 179, Peach Springs, AZ 86434
River runners are reminded that the boundary between the Hualapai Tribe and the National Park Service has yet to be decided in court. That means that if you step off your boat onto dry land between River Mile 164.5 and River Mile 273.9 on the east side of the river, you are on Hualapai Tribal land, as per the Hualapai Tribe. According to Tribal officials, river runners who are found camping, having lunch or visiting attraction sites along the south side of the Colorado River on Tribal lands are committing trespass if they do not have a valid permit.
In July of 2017, Tribal Chairman Dr. Damon Clark announced the Nation would be offering camping permits for river runners. He also stated river runners who are scouting rapids may continue to do so without any sort of permit.
River runners who chose not to camp or stop for lunch on river left between River Mile 164.5 and River Mile 273.9 are not required to pay the above fees. Should river runners still desire to purchase a Hualapai Nation river camping permit, they may be obtained by calling the Hualapai Nation Game and Fish Department at 928-769-2227 or 928-769-1122 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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