Pacific River Supply


River Permits for Private Boaters

Many of the most spectacular multi-day trips in the Western United States are now regulated, with private boaters needing permits to float those rivers.

We've tried to gather all the relevant information one needs to apply for those permits. Be warned, however, requirements on some runs change on an almost annual basis. For that reason, we strongly urge you to check with the regulating agency before following last year's procedures.

In general, most permit applications must be filed at the beginning of year and are given away by lottery, although major exceptions exist to both of those generalizations

The book Western Whitewater (currently out of print) is an excellent source of information about suitable times of year and flows for almost every run profiled on our permit pages.

Western Rivers Permit Information

Permitting Agency
Permit Season/
Allocation Dates and Fees
Additional Information


Forks of the Kern River
Sequoia Natl. Forest
P.O. Box 3810
Lake Isabella, CA 93240

(619) 379-5646

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May 15-Sept. 1

March 15 to approx April 15

$2 Application fee.

Call after May 15 for cancellations.

Tuolumne River (Lumsden to Ward's Ferry)
Groveland Ranger District
24545 Highway 120
Groveland, CA 95321

(209) 962-7825

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May 1-Sept. 30

Jan.1 till all allotted

$10 per date. First come, first serve.

26 weekend dates go quickly.


Rogue River (Grave Creek to Foster Bar)
Tioga Resources Inc
P.O. Box 5149
Roseburg, OR 97470

(503)479-3735 (for cancellations.)

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May 15-Oct. 15

Dec. 1 -Jan. 31 (Lottery)

New $20 a head fee for permit.

Great solitude in early and late season. Permits easier to get for months of May and September.


Middle Fork Salmon River
US Forest Service
Middle Fork Rgr. Station
P.O. Box 750
Challis, ID 83226

(208) 879-5204

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Control Season: June 1-Sept. 3

Lottery regulates

Lottery Applications: Dec. 1-Jan. 31

$6 app.fee/lottery

24 Hot Springs!

Scat machine up and running!

Main Salmon River
US Forest Service
P.O. Box 180
North Fork Rgr. Station
North Fork, ID 83466

(208) 865-2383

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Contol Season: June 20-Sept. 7

Lottery Applications: Dec. 1-Jan. 31

$6 app.fee/lottery

Great sand beach campsites and roller coaster rapids.

Selway River
USForest Service
West Fork Rgr. Station
6735 West Fork Rd.
Darby, MT 59829

(406) 821-3269

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Control Season: May 15-July 31

Lottery Applications: Dec. 1-Jan. 31

$6 app.fee/lottery

Most primitive of four controlled Idaho rivers.


Gates of Lodore
Green River/Yampa River

River Office
Dinosaur Natl. Mnmt.
4545 Highway 40
Dinosaur, CO 81610

(303) 374-2468

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Lottery for 2nd Mon/ May-2nd Fri/Sept. By Feb.1

$10 app. fee

Call between 8 and noon to talk to a human.


Cataract Canyon Colorado River
Canyonlands Natl. Park
Cataract Canyon Permits
2282 S. West Resource Blvd. Moab, UT 84532

(801) 259-4351

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Lottery for April 15-Oct. 14 after Jan. 1

$25 app. fee first come, first serve

If Lake Powell is full, there is to 16 miles of flat water.

Westwater Canyon
Colorado River

Bureau of Land Management
885 S. Sand Flats Road
Moab, UT 84532

(801) 259-4421

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April 1-Oct. 31 Jan.1 to Feb. 16

$3 per person/lottery.


Green River

Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 7004
Price, UT 84501

(801) 636-3600

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Lottery for April 1-Oct. 31

Dec. 1-Jan. 31 lottery. Then first come, first serve.

You can phone in after March 1, but you must have applied.


Grand Canyon
Colorado River
River Permits Office
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O.Box 129
Grand Cyn, AZ 86023

(520) 638-7843

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All year

New apps due during month of February

$25 application fee


Rio Chama River
Bureau of Land Management
226 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM 87571

(505) 758-8851

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May-Labor Day

By Feb. 1

$5 app. fee/ lottery

Snow melt early, dam release later.

Upper Salt River
Globe Ranger District
Route 1, Box 33
Globe, AZ 85501

(520) 425-7189

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March1-May 15

Dec. 1 to Jan. 31

$5 app. fee

Read application carefully.

Hells CanyonSnake River
US Forest Service
Hells Canyon Nat'l Rec. Area
P.O. Box 699
Clarkston, WA 99403

(509) 758-1957

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Friday before Mem. Day-Sept. 10

Dec. 1-Jan. 31

$6 app.fee/lottery

Eight craft limit per permit.

Bluff/Clay Hills
San Juan River

Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 7(801) 587-2144
Monticello, UT 84535

(801) 587-2144

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Lottery for April 1-Oct. 31

Must be in by Jan. 31

No application fee/

Lottery phone-in, must have applied.

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