Colorado River rafting applications accepted starting Saturday

Rafters pass one of the rapids of the Colorado River in the gorge of the Grand Canyon. (WIKIMEDIA/Courtesy)

Rafters pass one of the rapids of the Colorado River in the gorge of the Grand Canyon. (WIKIMEDIA/Courtesy)

GRAND CANYON - On Saturday, the National Park Service will begin accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. The permits are for specific launch dates within calendar year 2015, and 461 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips.

Eligible individuals may apply online at www.nps.gov/grca; select "River Trips/Permits" and then "Weighted Lottery." Applications will be accepted until noon Feb. 25.

Individuals must be 18 years or older to apply for a permit. Noncommercial river trips must be self-guided, and technical whitewater experience is mandatory. Individuals may participate in one recreational river trip per year (commercial or noncommercial).