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Fri, Feb. 28

2014 lottery starts for noncommercial river trip permits

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The National Park Service began accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park last week.

The permits are for specific launch dates in 2014. A total of 450 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips. Eligible individuals may apply online at the weighted lottery website. To access the website, start from the park's main web page at www.nps.gov/grca and select "River Trips/Permits" then "Weighted Lottery." The Park Service will accept applications online through noon Mountain Standard Time on Feb. 26.

Each year in February, the Park Service puts on a main lottery to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the next year. In addition to the annual main lottery, the Park Service schedules follow-up lotteries as needed throughout the remainder of the year to reassign canceled and/or left-over river trips.

Interested individuals can access the weighted lottery web site year-round to create or modify an account and to sign-up to receive email notifications. Individuals who are interested in a future noncommercial river permit are encouraged to create an account. Lottery applications are accepted through the weighted lottery web site only when lotteries are open.

Individuals must be 18 years or older to apply for a river trip permit. Noncommercial river trips must be self-guided, and technical trip. Individuals may participate in a maximum of one recreational river trip per year (commercial or noncommercial).

Individuals interested in professionally-guided river trips should not apply through the lottery, but instead request space on a commercial trip. A list of commercial companies offering guided trips can be found by visiting www.nps.gov/grca, selecting "River Trips/Permits," then "3 to 18 Day Commercial Trips."

More information about the 2014 weighted lottery is available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/whitewater-rafting.htm or from the River Permits Office at (800) 959-9164 or (928) 638-7884.

Each year in February, the Park Service puts on a main lottery to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the next year. In addition to the annual main lottery, the Park Service schedules follow-up lotteries as needed throughout the remainder of the year to reassign canceled and/or left-over river trips.

Interested individuals can access the weighted lottery web site year-round to create or modify an account and to sign-up to receive email notifications. Individuals who are interested in a future noncommercial river permit are encouraged to create an account. Lottery applications are accepted through the weighted lottery web site only when lotteries are open.

Individuals must be 18 years or older to apply for a river trip permit. Noncommercial river trips must be self-guided, and technical whitewater experience is mandatory on each trip. Individuals may participate on a maximum of one recreational river trip per year (commercial or noncommercial).

Individuals interested in professionally-guided river trips should not apply through the lottery, but instead request space on a commercial trip. A list of commercial companies offering guided trips can be found by visiting www.nps.gov/grca, selecting "River Trips/Permits," then "3 to 18 Day Commercial Trips."

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