Updated: Jul 23, 2018
Make sure you have all of the necessary information on permit systems to avoid surprises.
Access to rivers across North America is controlled in many different ways. In the West, many multi-day wilderness trips are controlled through a permit system. On some rivers you must apply in advance to acquire a permit through a lottery. On other rivers, permits are obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Across the country, many rivers are accessed via private property.
We at Maravia hope that all boaters respect the permit system and the property rights of landowners.
The following list is intended to give you the prompt for the leg work it takes to access these wonderful places. Remember, just because it isn't listed here doesn't mean that a permit or permission from private landowners is not required to reach an access point. Consult a guide book or the appropriate managing agency to avoid any surprises at put-in!
Colorado River, The Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon National Park Service, River Permit Office, Grand Canyon National Park P.O. Box 129 Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 (602) 638-7888 or 638-7843 The current wait for a Grand Canyon permit is around 7 years. Applications are only accepted in February. Once on the list, you may call for possible cancellation dates.
Colorado River, Westwater Canyon BLM Grand Resource Area 885 S. Sand Flats Rd. Moab, UT 84532 (801) 259-4421 Applications accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31 for a February Lottery.
Green River, Lodore to Split Mountain River Office, Dinosaur National Monument P.O. Box 210 Dinosaur, CO 81610 (303) 374-2468
Colorado River, Desolation and Grey Canyons BLM Price River RA 900 N. 700 E. Price, UT 84501 (801) 637-4591 On both of these runs, applications are accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31 for a February lottery.
Lower San Juan River, Bluff to Clay Hills BLM San Juan RA P.O. Box 7 Monticello, UT 84535 (801) 587-2144 Applications accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31 for a February Lottery.
Lower Yampa River Yampa River Office: Dinosaur National Monument P.O. Box 210 Dinosaur, CO 81610 (303) 374-2468 Applications ac cepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31 for a February lottery.
Kern River, Forks of the Kern USFS Sequoia NF 105 Whitney Rd. (P.O. Box 6) Kernville, CA 93238 (619) 376-3781 There is a new lottery system on the Forks run. Contact the USFS for more information.
Tuolumne River Groveland RD, Stanislaus NF 24545 Highway 120 Groveland, CA 95321 (209) 962-7825 First come, first served May 1 through Sept. 30
Rogue River 14335 Galice Rd. Merlin, OR 97532 (541) 479-3735 The Rogue has a "control" season between June 1 and Sept. 15. To obtain a permit for a start date within this window, you must apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 to enter the March lottery. For a start outside these dates, permits are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Main Salmon River, Selway River, Hells Canyon of the Snake River Idaho 4 River Permit System: Permits for the four most popular multi-day wilderness rivers in Idaho may be applied for using any one of the listed addresses. However, the chances of acquiring a permit vary from river to river. You may apply at any of these addresses:
North Fork Ranger District P.O. Box 780 North Fork, ID 83466 (208) 865-2383
Middle Fork Ranger District P.O. Box 750 Challis, ID 83226 (208) 879-5204
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area 3620-B Snake River Ave. Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 743-2297
West Fork Ranger Station Darby, MT 59829 (406) 821-3269
Applications are accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 31. Be sure to include your $5 application fee.