A highly competitive lottery for self-guided river rafting trips through the Grand Canyon has opened.
The National Park Service says 468 permits are available for specific launch dates in 2019. Anyone 18 or older can apply.
Additional draws are held for trips that are canceled or left over after the Feb. 21 application deadline. Trips can last 12 to 25 days.
The trips have become more popular over the years. The Park Service received 6,650 applications for 463 permits in the last lottery, 1,000 more than the previous year. The five follow-up lotteries drew 8,270 applications, with some people applying multiple times.
Technical whitewater experience is mandatory.
Those who are drawn can participate in only one commercial or private river trip annually.
The lottery replaced a waiting list in 2006.