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Applications for 2020 Grand Canyon raft lottery accepted until March 12

(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon NPS)

PHOENIX – If you dream of rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park next year without using a commercial service, it’s time to apply.

The National Park Service started accepting 2020 permit applications Feb. 16, with the window closing March 12 at noon.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have technical whitewater experience.

The NPS will hold a weighted lottery to distribute 463 permits for 12- to 25-day river trips spread throughout the year.

Results will be available after March 15, and winners will announced by email and news release.

The application website contains instructions and details about the process.

There’s a $25 fee each year to apply for a permit.

Winners must make a $200 deposit for a small trip (1-8 people) and $400 deposit on a standard trip (up to 16 people). Other costs include $20 entrance fees and $90 river permits per participant.

If your name isn’t called in the main lottery, don’t give up hope. Follow-up lotteries will be held throughout the year as needed to distribute permits from canceled or leftover trips.

The annual lottery is typically completed in February, but it was delayed this year because of the government shutdown.

For the less adventurous or less experienced, Colorado River raft trips are available through companies listed on the NPS website.

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