FYI, the NPS is making several administrative changes to provide greater flexibility for Grand Canyon river trips. Superintendent Uberuaga released the following summary of the changes:
1. The summer maximum group size of 32 for commercial trips will be extended through the shoulder season (April 1st through October 30th). This will allow outfitters to operate more efficiently without increasing their annual number of launches, passengers, or user days. The number of commercial user days will remain unchanged.
2. Up to 20 unused noncommercial launches (last minute cancellations) will be added to the subsequent year’s list of available dates and made available through lotteries to the public. Launches will be scheduled in the subsequent year near the date of the original planned launch.
Noncommercial launches canceled more than 30 days in advance will continue to be distributed through a lottery system for the original launch date. This change will apply to last minute cancellations and no-shows.
3. Noncommercial permit holders will also be allowed to add qualifying family members as additional potential alternate trip leaders after the trips are awarded.
These changes are expected to enhance opportunities for both commercial and noncommercial river trips while continuing to protect park resources. These changes will not create conditions that exceed the caps and limits, including Trips at One Time and User Day caps, imposed by the 2006 Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP).
These changes will be implemented immediately in time for the 2015 summer season.
For additional information about the noncommercial changes please see the recently updated Noncommercial Trip Regulations at http://go.nps.gov/grca-river-regs
Have a good one.