Snake River Non-Commercial Group Use Permits

Snake River Non-Commercial Group Use Permits

In 2020, no rafting permits will be issued for groups. Because our boating facilities are small, in order to keep groups from congregating and adhering to social distancing requirements,  all rafting parties must be 15 people or fewer. If you have more than 15 people, your group must launch seprately with a 30-minute spacing between launches. 

In 2021, Permits will be Required for Groups Over 15 People.

2 week advance permit application is required starting in 2021 to ensure receipt of a permit due to busy summer seasons and heavy use on the river. No Exceptions!

Non-Commercial Permits Are Free. 

Please apply and wait for approval. An online application is available, but mailing via snail mail or faxing your application is the best way to ensure your application is received. We will notify you by e-mail or phone within 5 days of the date we receive your application, no matter how you choose to apply. Please don't call until after 5 days has passed. A copy of application is located at the bottom of the page.

 **Please read the following information prior to applying for a non-commercial river permit**.

Why do we require groups over 15 to have a permit on the Snake River begining in calendar year 2021?

Part of the mission of the National Forest Service is "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run." This permit program helps to enhance the river environment by providing a safer and more enjoyable experience by reducing crowding, while at the same time protecting the resource.

Management direction relevant to group use in the Snake River corridor is as follows:

  • All groups over 15 people will be required to have a permit in 2021. In 2020 groups of more than 15 people will have launches separated by 30-minutes. This rule was instituted in 1998.

  • Group use will be limited to no more than four rafts (duckies and kayaks may be considered on a case by case basis).

  • A maximum of one permit/day may be issued to any group over 15 people begining in 2021.

  • Groups will be scheduled for requested launch times on a first come first serve basis to meet ramp capacity.

  • Launch times will be assigned when the permit is issued. Groups must stick to their assigned launch times. Failure to do so is a violation of the permit, and the permit may be cancelled for the day. Please do not expect to launch outside your assigned times.

  • Monday - Thursday: 3 launches/day maximum may be allowed. Visitors are encouraged to boat Monday through Thursday as this period is a low use time, being less crowded and you are more likely to receive a permit.

  • Friday - Sunday: 2 launches/day maximum per group are allowed.

  • No more than 2 consecutive days per permitted group. (This allows for other groups to have access to the river.)

  • *30 people maximum are allowed to float at one time with a permit.

    *If your group is larger than 30 you will be provided one permit for the entire group. Groups over 30 are required to take turns launching so as to provide the opportunity for all members to float.

    Example: 60 people in a group = 1 group permit with 2 launches = 30 people each launch

  • Groups found abusing the system by obtaining more than one permit will lose the permits and receive a citation and or be asked to leave the river.


  • The earlier your application is submitted, the better your chances of having your permit scheduled as requested.

  • If you have applied and haven’t received a response within days of applying, call the river office at 307-739-5444 and leave good contact information and the reason you’re calling. Do not wait until the day before your trip, as we will not have time to process your permit at that point in time and you will not be allowed to float the river as a group larger than 15. Do allow 5 days to pass from submitting your application.

  • Applications will be considered on a case by-case basis.

  • Noncommercial Group Use Permits and Institutional Permits are required all year long begining again in 2021. Permit applications will be accepted for consideration from April 1 to September 15 each year.

  • Applicants may be billed for recovery of costs related to issuing permits.

  • Groups over 15 showing up at the river without a permit will be turned away. Permits will not be issued at the Forest Service District Office or at the river, regardless of availability!

  • Citations are issued to all persons violating permit requirements, including one large group launching separately under 15 people and rejoining each other on the river, institutional groups posing as noncommercial groups, and persons being untruthful or abusive to ramp personnel. Violations are punishable by up to six months in jail, and/or a $5,000 fine.

    We appreciate your cooperation in working with us in advance. In the long run this will alleviate many conflict situations and ensure the river corridor remains a healthy ecosystem, while at the same time providing a safe and enjoyable place for everyone to recreate far into the future.

    IN 2021, **Only Accepting Applications Between April 1st  through September 15th**

    You can scan and email the application at or send it by mail. If  for some reason you can't get the application to us by the means described, call us at 307-739-5444 for an alternate fax number.

Any applications received before April 1 will not be accepted.

We appreciate your cooperation in working with us in advance. In the long run this will alleviate many conflict situations and ensure the river corridor remains a healthy ecosystem, while at the same time providing a safe and enjoyable place for everyone to recreate far into the future.


Begining April 1, 2021, you can use the below link to apply for a non-commercial group permit for your group of more than 15 people.

Temporary River Outfitter and Guide Application

For more information please contact the following:

River Permits Office
BTNF Jackson Ranger District
PO Box 1689
Jackson, WY 83001
For general river information: (307) 739-5444

If you have any problems with accessing the form or website, contact the webmaster.