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Old 03-13-2014   #1
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432
Grand Canyon Regulation Experts

Lapping the Grand Canyon on a single permit (trip) without exceeding trip length?

I have this goal to kayak the grand as fast as possible for me (probably 5-6 days).

That said, the biggest hurdle seems to be the 1 trip per year rule. You sacrifice so much more than users that maximize their maxim trip days allotment as specified in the regulations.

However, it depends on how you define a trip right? For example, what if you did four laps in 25 days in one January trip. I do not think you would be breaking any rules. Assuming, you did four 5 day laps with one rest/drive day in between.

What are your interpretations of what the regulations will allow in trip length? See page 4 of the regulations:


OR Consider this quote from the regulations, "Please note, in calculating
one’s trip length, count the day the trip launches from Lees Ferry, the day the trip reaches Diamond Creek, and all days
between whether the trip is active on the river or not. " I want to interpret the "or not" part of the above sentence as driving shuttle between laps.

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Old 03-13-2014   #2
God Amongst Men
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
Im no legal expert, but I wouldnt be surprised if they say once you "reach Diamond Creek" then your trip is "complete", regardless of how many days you did or did not use.

Again, im not an expert so i dont know. But, seems like someone has probably already thought of this and theyve probably got a way to deal with it.

My guess is you are only allowed one (1) launch from Lees Ferry per permit......but im not an expert. Curious to see what people say.....

"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 03-13-2014   #3
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 286
I would think that your only allowed one "launch" from lees ferry. It would be possible to take out at diamond and hike in at the little Colorado or something and put back on. Although, I doubt there is a legal way to lap the Grand.

I read about one of the first pack raft trips down the grand sometime back. They were on a non standard agenda as the group wanted to use their 21 days or whatever, but take out and put in at different side canyons. I think they were allowed to do their trip but had to maintain downstream progress. I'll try to find the trip report and post it.

EDIT: Here is the link with the trip report from their trip.
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Old 03-13-2014   #4
North, Idaho
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 18
You could also re launch from the pariah
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Old 03-13-2014   #5
-, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 101
Really? Questions like this is why we end up with 20 pages of regulations for everything we do in life.

It is obviously the intent of the permit that a trip through Grand Canyon is a one way, point A to point B trip from beginning to end, just like we all interpret a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. We don't try to convince the airline that since we bought trip from SFO to HNL that means we don't need a second ticket to go back home, since that is really just the same trip, but in reverse.....

Because of people trying to "game the system" there are rules which have to state the minutia of every detail and attempt to close every loophole. Then we as users complain about how complicated the rules are.

Come on and act like a grown up so that others may treat you as a grown up.

All for now.
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Old 03-13-2014   #6
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 187
Possession of a permit allows the participants one trip between Lees and Diamond, not a maximum number of days in that stretch on multiple laps. Asserting and acting on your interpretation will expose you to criminal prosecution as well as confiscation of your gear and likely being banned from the Canyon for a number of years. Nice try, and no one has had more issues with NPS jurisdiction over the years than I have - but this one is pretty obvious...
Note the trip length tied to season of launch is also a tool used to determine carrying capacity. Multiple laps would create multiple impacts, especially if you camp at the same place more than once.
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Old 03-13-2014   #7
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Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I haven't looked at the regs for a while, but I believe it is one trip per calendar year. You could do a December lap and a January lap.
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Old 03-13-2014   #8
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
WTF? Why don't you just do a helicopter tour and throw a bucket of water in your face?
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Old 03-13-2014   #9
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
Ok, sorry, that was harsh. But I don't really see the point in racing through the canyon.
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Old 03-13-2014   #10
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Originally Posted by mikepart View Post
Ok, sorry, that was harsh. But I don't really see the point in racing through the canyon.
I get that part. At least understand. I did a three day Middle Fork just because the river came up and we could.

It's still the Grand and it would still be awesome.

I don't get the trying to game the regs.......

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