The Park's FAQ http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisi...ttery_FAQs.pdf
has several things to say that have a bearing on that issue. All of them seem to mean that the good old days -- hanging out at the Ferry for a last-minute trip -- are over.
Can I camp out at Lees Ferry with my boats and wait for a "no show"?
No. Due to the cancellation policies, "no shows" are extremely rare. All dates will be awarded through the lottery process.
Can I change my passenger list or gear after sending you my trip application?
Participant names may be changed online before launch. Before going to Lees Ferry, ensure that each participant will have picture ID and the total number of participants (including the permitee) does not exceed 16 at any one time. The trip leader must be present the entire trip. You may change or add boats at Lees Ferry. Just be sure to show up with the required gear associated with the additions. Between 30 and 90 days before launch, the trip leader will be allowed to request that additional trip participants be added to the trip. For these late additions there will be the normal $100 charge per added person plus an additional late fee of $100 per added person. Trip participants may not be added within 30 days of launch.
Why is it necessary for trip participants I list on my successful permit application to log in and confirm their participation on my trip?
There are several reasons. First, our policy dictates that any person may participate on at most one trip (whether commercial or private) down the Colorado river each year. Thus, a person participating on your trip will not be able to participate on any other trip during that calendar year. Second, if a person is listed as a participant on your permit at the time your trip launches, then the system will record that participation as the person's "most recent trip down the river" and will adjust future lottery preference points accordingly. Asking trip participants to log in and confirm their participation allows us to ensure that participants are prepared to make this commitment.
However, there actually are a few things that can be done to increase your chances to get on a GC trip.
GCPBA operates a web site with a forum devoted to helping people find trips. It's located at http://www.gcpba.org/component/optio...ard/Itemid,37/
You also can post your interest and qualifications on the GCPBA Yahoogroups listserv, at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages
Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at http://www.gcpba.org
. click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater representation on Grand Canyon issues. And follow GC issues on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages