Four Rivers Lottery and Permit Reservation System

Wild & Scenic Rivers Act 50th Anniversary Logo 

Selway, Hells Canyon-Snake, Wild Main Salmon, Middle Fork of the Salmon (4 Rivers)

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.

Acceptance of Four Rivers Lottery applications begins annually on December 1 and closes on January 31 at 11:59 p.m. Applications must be submitted through the www.Recreation.gov website.

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

All four rivers are part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. To learn more about the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, visit www.rivers.gov/wsr50/ .

 

Cancelled lottery control season dates

For the 2018 float season, boaters wishing to reserve lottery control season launch dates for the Four Rivers (Selway, Salmon, Snake, and Middle Fork of the Salmon Rivers) should note that the booking window will open one hour earlier, at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (8 a.m. Mountain, 9 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. Eastern). This will coincide with the opening of the Call Center to improve customer service and the reservation process. These high-demand launch dates can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis through Recreation.gov online or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The booking window will remain open for two hours. There will also be a “CAPTCHA” requirement (verifies users are not robots) when reserving a launch date.

Boaters are encouraged to check Recreation.gov before the booking window opens; there should be an “A” on the availability grid if there is a launch date that will be available at the designated time. When the booking window opens at 7 a.m. Pacific Time, the first person to secure the reservation will obtain the launch date. Cancellations may appear during the two-hour booking window, should someone cancel a reserved permit during that time. If the launch is not reserved during the booking window, the cancellation will be held until the next day’s window.

What rivers and dates are affected by the timing change of the booking window? The lottery control season dates for float permits for the following rivers:

  • Selway: May 15‐July 31
  • Salmon: June 20‐Sept. 7
  • Snake: May 25‐Sept. 10
  • Middle Fork Salmon: May 28‐Aug. 14 (Aug. 15‐Sept. 15 launches are not reissued due to spawning salmon in the Middle Fork)

Cancellations for pre-season and post-season launches on the Middle Fork and Salmon rivers will still be released randomly within 24 hours of being cancelled. The two-hour booking window will only apply to lottery control season dates.

Individuals can only have one reservation at a time during the lottery season for each river. For the Selway, the Salmon, and the Middle Fork of the Salmon, there is a limit of one permit per lottery control season per person.

Boaters should try to anticipate high and low water levels before reserving a launch date.
 

How to Find an available Launch Date, including Cancellations

 

Pre/Post Season Reservations: Reservations for 2019 pre/post season launch dates on the Middle Fork Salmon and Wild Main Salmon rivers will be delayed from the typical October 1st opening. The start time will remain as 8 am Mountain time, but the date will be pushed back; the specific date will be determined by September. 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 www.recreation.gov 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.

How to reserve a pre/post season launch date

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.


The www.recreation.gov 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.

 

To see how many launches are available for each day on each river,  check out the 2018 Four Rivers Lottery Calendars.

Previous Lottery Demand, Statistics and Calendars 

 

2018 Four Rivers Lottery Results were posted Feb. 14

Applicants - log into your profile at www.Recreation.gov to see the results of your lottery application. All lottery launches were assigned for all four rivers in the 2018 drawing. If you have difficulty getting logged into your profile, contact Customer Service at 1-888-448-1474.

Throughout the confirmation period, any successful lottery dates that are declined, cancelled or revoked can be reserved at www.recreation.gov, except for Selway dates, which will not be released until March 16th.

Lottery applications, reservations, cancellations and recreation fee payments for permits to float these Four Rivers are processed at www.Recreation.gov .

Successful applicants must accept their awarded launch date before midnight on March 15.

All successful lottery applicants must log into their profile, accept their awarded launch date, and enter the required Permit Details information by March 15 to confirm their reservation. Enter at least one person, the exit date, and any required information on the Permit Details page before continuing to the cart to finalize the confirmation process. Changes to the number of people and other trip details are allowed prior to receiving your permit. The Salmon and the Middle Fork require payment of recreation fees to confirm your launch reservation.

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.

 

Four Rivers Lottery:

 

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
Email

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

 

Snake River
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
888-758-8037
(509) 758-1957
Fax: (509) 758-1963

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

 

 

 

 


 Weighted Lotteries for the Four Rivers