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Want to Go Rafting Through the Grand Canyon? Now is the Time to Apply

If you dream of rafting down the famous Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, now is your chance to sign up. The National Park Service says applications for non-commercial river trip permits are now available for dates in 2025.

The Colorado River is one of the most fabled rivers in the West. About 277 miles of the river stretches through the Grand Canyon. Rafters will find a mix of tranquil beauty and roaring rapids on the journey. Adventurers also get to camp along the banks of the river.

The NPS will issue 482 permits for 12 to 25-day river trips. After submitting your application, national park officials will use a lottery system to determine who will receive a permit. The deadline to apply is noon MST on February 26, 2024.

“Each year in February, a main lottery is held to assign launch dates for river trips occurring the next year,” wrote Grand Canyon National Park officials in their press release. “Public notifications regarding main lotteries are made by both email and news release. In addition to the annual main lottery, follow-up lotteries are held as needed throughout the remainder of the year to reassign canceled and/or unassigned launch dates. Public notifications for these follow-up lotteries are made by email.”

Guided Rafting Trips in the Grand Canyon

These permits are for non-commercial purposes, so they are self-guided trips. That means you need to know what you’re doing. Anyone applying must have technical whitewater experience. Applicants must be at least 18-years-old.

So, what do you do if you’re not ready for a self-guided trip? You can always sign up for one of many professional guide services that take people through the Grand Canyon every year.

The professional guide services range from three days on the river to 18. Some provide all the essentials for the trip and occasionally use motorized rafts. The price per guest usually starts over one thousand dollars per trip. Most companies are still booking for 2024, but some are booking for 2025.

Here’s the link to sign up for self-guided trips.

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