How long will I have to wait?
If you are extremely flexible on when you are willing to go, if you consistently try calling in to claim cancelled launch dates, and if you are lucky, you might wait as little as 3 months. In the year 2000, 12 launch dates were claimed by people who got on the list in 2000. Though people with waiting list numbers between 1 and 4000 were eligible to call the cancellation line one or more days ahead of the rest, a total of 22 different dates were not claimed by them and thus were made eligible to people who had not waited as long. Please see the Cancellation Policy section below for more information.
Those who choose to not try to obtain cancelled launch dates will wait much longer. Back in 1991 there were roughly half as many people on the waiting list as there are now. In the year 2000, nobody on the waiting list had joined before 1991. Now all those on the list who had joined in 1991 have been contacted at least once for participation in the initial scheduling process for launch dates in the 2002 season. Since current waiting list rules allow these people to delay their participation in initial scheduling, they could extend their wait indefinitely. It is likely that it will take more than 12 years for a person joining the waiting list to reach the top of the list.
Please keep in mind that at some point the park will continue and complete work on a new management plan that will govern river use. We do not know how this plan will affect our non-commercial river permitting system and the existing waiting list. For this reason those joining the waiting list should be aware that the current rules, fees, waiting times, and promises may have to be changed in ways some may feel are disadvantageous. Nevertheless and regardless how the system might change, all fees will remain non-refundable.
How many noncommercial launches are there each year?
There are approximately 262 noncommercial launches each year.
How many people are on the waiting list?
After the new additions were added in 2002, there were 7,601 people on the waiting list.
How much will my waiting list number drop each year?
Once you are on the waiting list, your number should drop each year. Overall the waiting list has been losing approximately 500 people each year. Progress up the list is quickest in the beginning and slows down as waiting list numbers get closer to 1.
How do I join the waiting list? To join the waiting list, please complete the new addition application and enclose payment of $100.00. Payment can be in the form of a check (personal or cashier’s), money order, or credit card authorization. Applications will not be accepted if they are not postmarked or faxed in the month of FEBRUARY. Those who miss this deadline will have to wait until the next year.
What is the Continuing Interest Requirement?All persons on the waiting-list are responsible for informing the River Permits Office in writing each year before January 31st that they wish to remain on the waiting-list. Continuing Interest (CI) Form are mailed out in October and may be returned to the River Permits Office at any time from then until January 31st. All persons on the list are required to submit continuing interest every year whether or not they hear from The River Permits Office. Participants who miss more than one CI deadline over any four-year time frame will be removed from the waiting list. Currently there is no fee for the continuing interest process.
How Does the Park Release Cancelled Launch Dates? Past trends indicate that approximately 20% to 40% of trip leaders cancel their scheduled launch dates. This results in approximately 60 to 70 launch dates becoming available each year. The River Office releases these cancellations to waiting list participants in a way that in general favors those who have waited the longest. Only waiting list participants are eligible to participate in this process, and launch dates released through this process cannot be deferred. Anyone who claims a launch date through this process is immediately removed from the waiting list. To find out about cancelled dates you can call 1-800-959-9164, menu option 4 on Friday evenings and all day Saturdays and Sundays. You will hear a recorded message that will list cancelled dates (if any dates are available) and when to call to claim them.
How Does the Trip Participation Rule Work? Once on the waiting list you may participate in only one noncommercial river trip on the Colorado River at Grand Canyon National Park (during the entire time you are on the waiting list until you have an actual launch date and launch on your trip). Once you participate on a second noncommercial trip your name will be removed from the waiting list. You will need to reapply the next year to get back on the waiting list. Trips that launch at Diamond Creek are not counted against your status on the waiting list.