Four Rivers Lottery and Permit Reservation System


Four Rivers Lottery and Permit Reservation System

Selway River, Hells Canyon-Snake River, Wild Main Salmon River, Middle Fork of the Salmon River

The Selway River, (Wild Main) Salmon River, Hells Canyon-Snake River, and Middle Fork of the Salmon River (aka 4 Rivers) use randomized lottery drawings to assign launch reservations for their control (primary) seasons. The 4 Rivers Lottery Control (Primary) seasons:

  • Selway River: May 15 - July 31
  • Hells Canyon-Snake River: Friday before Memorial Day - Sept. 10
  • Wild Main Salmon River: June 20 - Sept. 7
  • Middle Fork of the Salmon River: May 28 - Sept. 3

2015 Lottery Calendars for 4 Rivers  null








  • FAQs about the Lottery




  • How the Lottery works


    Lottery applications, reservations, cancellations and recreation fee payments for permits to float these Four Rivers are processed through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) website at .

    Acceptance of Four Rivers Lottery Applications begins annually on December 1 and closes on January 31.

    • Each person applying for the lottery will need to have their own unique email address and access to a computer.
    • Applications must be submitted online at; paper application forms are no longer accepted.
    • Each river has a separate lottery application and drawing.
    • An applicant may submit only one application to each river's lottery.
    • An applicant may submit up to 4 launch date choices for each river if desired.
    • Each river will require a separate application fee of $6.00.
    • Boaters who are being penalized for a late cancellation or no-show cannot apply to the river they incurred the penalty on.
    • The lottery will run on February 1st, and results will be posted on or about Feb. 6th to the applicant's account profile in
    • Successful applicants must confirm their reservation by March 15. Payment is required to confirm Wild Main Salmon River and Middle Fork of the Salmon River launches.

    The Four Rivers are also using to allocate all river permit reservations, including reassigning cancellations and unconfirmed dates. You can reserve cancellations at or call 1-877-444-6777 to check for launch date availability.

    The website is also the method boaters will use to update their reservation details, or to cancel their reservation if necessary. This is also the place to submit payment of recreation fees for the Middle Fork and the Main Salmon Rivers. Complete and final payment of recreation fees must be entered in your reservation prior to your launch date; payments will not be accepted at the launch sites.

    Pre/Post Season Reservations: Each year at 8:00 Mountain time on October 1st, the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Wild Main Salmon rivers begin accepting reservations for available pre- and/or post-season launch dates which occur outside of the lottery control seasons. The Wild Main Salmon River has unlimited launches for pre/post season dates. The Middle Fork only allows 7 launches per day throughout the year.

    To reserve pre or post season launch dates, go to and search for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River or for the Salmon River, or call 1-877-444-6777. Reserving a pre or post season launch date does not exclude the person from applying to the lottery.


    Each river has different reservation/permitting requirements for pre/post season trips. For details, click on the river name at the bottom of this page. For a summary about each river, see Whitewater Rafting on the Four Rivers page.

    2014 Lottery Numbers:

    Lottery Statistics Summary: 2010-2014

    2014 Lottery Applications: Demand by Date and River

    2014 Lottery: Applications and Success by State & Country


    Lottery Results Available February 6, 2015

    The lottery drawing is completed in early February. Applicants will need to log into their profile at to see the results of their lottery application(s). Email notices will be sent to all applicants, but occasionally may not reach your inbox, so be sure to log into your profile to see your results. Do not assume no email means no luck.

    How to Confirm Your Lottery Reservation  - Deadline is March 15

    Immdiately after the lottery results emails are sent out, any unfilled lottery dates, or any successful lottery reservations that are declined or cancelled will be posted on the website at a random time within 24 hours of being released, except for Selway reservations, which will not be released until March 16th.

    CONFIRMATION DEADLINE is March 15 for all successful lottery applicants. To confirm your reservation, log into your profile, accept your reservation, and enter your Permit Details information by March 15th. You must enter at least one person and the required information on the Permit Details page to confirm your reservation. You will be able to change your group size and trip details at any time prior to the launch date. The Salmon and the Middle Fork require payment of recreation fees to confirm your launch reservation.

    Unconfirmed reservations for the 4 Rivers will be released randomly (same as cancellations) on March 16th. These unconfirmed dates may appear at any time on the website, or call 1-877-444-6777 to check for availability.

    Successful applicants do not receive a paper packet of confirmation materials. Boaters will need to access the respective river's information webpage for details about equipment requirements, regulations and trip information. The website will be listed on the confirmation letter that will be emailed once the reservation is confirmed. Or you can click on the river's links at the bottom of this page.

    CANCELLATIONS: Cancelled reservations are released randomly at within 24 hours of submission. Boaters should try to anticipate high and low water levels before reserving a launch date. Individuals can only have one reservation at a time during the lottery/primary contol season for each river. Individuals who are being penalized for being a no-show or cancelling late are not eligible.

     How to Find an available Launch Date

    On the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, cancellations of August 15 through September 15 will not be reissued after March 15. This is one of the mitigation measures in place for spawning chinook salmon.


    The National Recreation Reservation Service is processing all river lottery applications, reservations, cancellations and payments for the four rivers.  Visit their website at and search for a river.

    • Reservations for pre-season and post-season launches on the Middle Fork and Wild Main Salmon Rivers are available annually as of October 1st at 10:00 am Eastern time at or call 1-877-444-6777. Reserving a pre/post season launch date does not make someone ineligible for the lottery.
    • How to reserve a pre/post season launch date.


    Previous Lottery Statistics and Calendars

    Weighted Lotteries for the Four Rivers

     Transition to National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS)

     In 2010, the National Recreation Reservation Service began processing all river lottery applications, reservations, cancellations and payments. Visit their website at


     River Contact Information

    Email the Four Rivers Lottery group. We welcome your comments and questions.


    Main Salmon River
    North Fork Ranger District
    (208) 865-2700
    Fax: (208)-865-2738

    Middle Fork of the Salmon River
    Middle Fork Ranger District
    (208) 879-4101
    Fax: (208) 879-4198


    Snake River
    Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
    (509) 758-1957
    Fax: (509) 758-1963

    Selway River 
    West Fork Ranger District
    (406) 821-3269
    Fax: (406) 821-1211