FAQ Index

Enter a Lottery

Lotteries on Recreation.gov


Current Lotteries

There are no lotteries currently open. Check back in May for the Cables on Half Dome Daily Lottery.


Why lotteries?

Visitors love certain special places on such a scale that we must limit access to prevent damage to the natural landscape or the experience. A trip to any of these sites also requires advance planning to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. A lottery provides a fair allocation process and ensures equal access to the opportunity.

Lottery Descriptions and Dates

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) Permits

For 2014, the lottery will be retained for Fall Lake entry points D and 24 and Moose Lake entry points F, G and 25. The lottery applications for these five entry points begin on December 17, 2013 and will close January 15, 2014, after which the lottery drawing occurs. Reservations for the remaining permits for these five entry points along all other BWCAW entry points may be made on a first-come, first-served basis starting the last Wednesday of January 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time. Visit Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness application information for more details.

Denali National Park Road Lottery

The application period for the 2014 lottery is May 1- May 31, 2014. Winners of the lottery will be announced in mid-July, 2014. The dates of the lottery will be September 12-15, 2014. Learn how to apply through the Denali National Park Road lottery application information web page.

Desolation Gray Section of the Green River Launch Permits

Reservations awarded in the lottery occurs from May 16th – August 16th of each year. The lottery application period is from December 1 through January 31 each year, and Recreation.gov posts lottery results to applicants’ personal profiles in the first part of February. Visit Desolation Gray application information for more details.

Dinosaur National Monument – Green and Yampa River Launch Permits

Permits for floating either the Green or Yampa Rivers in Dinosaur National Monument during the high-use season are subject to lottery. High-use season dates for the Green River are the second Monday in May through the second Friday in September. On the Yampa River, the high-use season runs from the second Monday in May through the second Saturday in July. The lottery application period is December 1 to January 31 annually. Recreation.gov posts lottery results to applicants’ personal profiles in the first part of February. Visit Dinosaur application information for more details.

Enchantment Hiking Permits

Reservations allocated by lottery run from June 15 through October 15 each year. Applications for the lottery begin February 1 and end March 31 each year. You may review your lottery success by logging into your Recreation.gov account and paying the permit fee. Visit the Enchantment lottery page for more lottery information.

Middle Fork of the Salmon River Launch Permits

Lottery allocation dates occur from May 28th through September 3rd each year. Dates to apply are December 1 through January 31 and the drawing occurs on February 6 annually. Check your Recreation.gov profile for success. Visit the Middle Fork of the Salmon River application information page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet!

Mount Whitney Hiking Permits

Enter the lottery to reserve backpacking trips on the Mt Whitney trail, or day hikes in the Mt Whitney Zone for hikes occurring between May 1 and November 1. Applications are accepted from February 1 through March 15. Look for results after March 23. To keep a date won in the lottery, log into your Recreation.gov profile April 1-April 30 to accept and pay the $15 per person reservation fee. Any space leftover from the lottery will go on sale April 1 at 10:00am EST. Throughout the season, any cancelled permits are available through Recreation.gov. For more details, visit the Mount Whitney Lottery reservation web page, as well as Inyo National Forest FAQ & Tip Sheet!

National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Enter the lottery to experience the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the National Mall. Check Recreation.gov in mid-to late October or visit thenationaltree.org for dates.

Snake River Hells Canyon Float Boat Launch Permits

Lottery Allocation dates occur from the Friday before Memorial Day, through September 10 each year. Applications accepted from December 1 through January 31 annually and the drawing is on February 6. Check your Recreation.gov profile for success. Canceled permits are also available through Recreation.gov. Visit the Snake River Hells Canyon application information web page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet!

Selway River Launch Permits

For launches occurring from May 15th to July 31st, you must apply in the lottery. The lottery application period is open from December 1 through January 31 annually and the drawing occurs on February 6. Check your Recreation.gov profile for success. Visit the Selway River application information web page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet!

Salmon River—Wild Section Launch Permits

Lottery-awarded reservations are needed from June 20th through September 7th. The application period is open from December 1 through January 31 annually and the drawing occurs early each February. Check your Recreation.gov account for success. Visit the Salmon River application information web page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet!

Yosemite—Cables on Half Dome Pre-Season Lottery

Lottery applications for permits to climb the Cables on Half Dome are required during the peak season, which is from the Friday before Memorial Day Friday through Columbus Day. The lottery application period is open between March 1 and March 31 each year. Recreation.gov announces results in mid-April. Applicants receive an email notification of lottery results also in mid-April. Changes to lottery applications may be made only during the lottery application period, and only by calling Recreation.gov at 888-448-1474. Visit the Cables on Half Dome pre-season lottery application information web page for more details, as well as this application Tip Sheet

Yosemite—Cables on Half Dome Half Dome Daily Permits

Approximately 50 permits are available each day by lottery during the hiking season. The application period for the daily lotteries occur two days prior to the hiking date between midnight to 1 p.m. Pacific Time and notifications are made later that night. For example, to hike on Saturday, submit your application on Thursday between midnight and 1 p.m. Pacific Time and receive an email notification of results late on Thursday night. Results are also available online or by phone the next morning. Visit the Half Dome Daily lottery application information web page for more details.

White House Easter Egg Roll

This annual event, with a tradition dating back hundreds of years, takes place on the south lawn of the White House. Check Recreation.gov several weeks before Easter or visit Easter Egg Roll website for dates.