By obtaining a permit for overnight camping, the permittee agrees to read and comply with all permit stipulations. The permittee must allow River Rangers to complete permit checks to determine the validity of the permit, ascertain that the group has required equipment, and orient participants about river etiquette and safety. Trips may be delayed or permits invalidated if permittees do not adhere to stipulations below. Failure to comply with stipulations or launching without a permit may result in penalties under Federal or Colorado laws and regulations.
Your safety is your responsibility. Travel on the Colorado River has inherent risks, and river runners assume complete responsibility for their own safety.
1. The permit is not transferable and a signed copy must be in the possession of the permittee on the trip. The permittee must provide photo ID at permit inspection.
2. The permittee must allow rangers to complete permit checks to determine the validity of the permit, ascertain that the group has all required equipment, and orient participants about river etiquette and safety.
3. The permittee must have at the launch:
a. a group of 25 people or fewer and not greater than the number pre-paid for on the permit,
b. a first aid kit adequate for the size of the group and sufficient for treating serious injuries,
c. a repair kit or kits with adequate materials to repair the types of boats used on the trip,
d. an air pump or pumps adequate to inflate boats after repairs,
e. a washable, leak-proof, reusable toilet system or an engineered bag waste containment system containing enzymes and polymers to treat human solid waste that allows for the carry-out and disposal of solid human body waste in a responsible and lawful manner. The system must be adequate for the size of the group and length of the trip. All solid human waste, including bags, must be contained in a leak-proof, animal-proof, hard-sided container with a screw-on or ratchet-locking lid. Leaving solid human waste on Public Land or dumping it into vault toilets at BLM facilities is prohibited.
f. a durable metal fire pan at least 12 inches in diameter with at least a 2 inch lip around its outer edge and sufficient to contain fire and remains. Fire pans must be carried on all trips even if stoves are being used for cooking. All fires must be contained in the fire pan. Fire blankets under fire pans are recommended to facilitate total ash removal.
g. a properly sized whitewater type I, III, or V life jacket (approved on the label for paddling, whitewater, kayaking, etc. as required) in good working condition for each member of the party. Type II life jackets are permissible under State Law, however, BLM strongly advises against the use of type II jackets. Inflatable life jackets are not allowed.
4. Each raft, dory, or canoe must have at the launch:
a. an extra oar, paddle, or motor capable of maneuvering the vessel, and
b. a bail bucket or bilge pump (does not apply to self-bailing boats, kayaks, and inflatable kayaks).
5. Parties using low capacity vessels (kayaks or inflatable kayaks) must have one spare paddle for every three vessels.
6. Each boat 12 feet or longer must have a type IV throwable device or a commercially made rescue rope with at least 40 feet of line, and a horn or whistle capable of a 4 to 6 second blast.
7. The permittee must ensure that all trip participants:
a. carry out all charcoal, fire ash, garbage (dishwater strainers recommended), pet waste, and solid human waste out of the river area,
b. ensure children under 13 years of age are wearing an approved PFD for the entire length of the river,
c. do not engage in commercial use as defined by 43 CFR 2932 [i.e., 1) any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands, led sponsored, or organized by that person, group, or organization. Anyone collects a fee or receives other compensation that is not strictly a sharing of actual expenses, incurred for the purpose of the activity, service or use; there is paid public advertising to seek participants; Participants pay for a duty of care and expectation of safety .2) Profit making organizations and organizations seeking to make a profit are automatically classified as commercial, even if that part of their activity covered by the permit is not profit-making or the business as a whole is not profitable or .3) Use of public lands by scientific, educational, and therapeutic institutions or non-profit organizations is commercial and subject to a permit when it meets any of the threshold criteria in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition. The non-profit status of a group or organization does not alone determine that an event or activity by such an organization is noncommercial.]
e. keep springs and other non-river water sources free of soap and other contaminants,
f. do not remove, damage, or destroy archaeological, historical, or ecological resources, or cause damage to the natural and cultural resources of the public lands,
g. make campfires only in firepans and do not collect or cut wood for campfires,
h. launch, travel (stay within visual contact) and camp together as a group,
i. have no more than two dogs per party
8. All overnight river users must have an assigned campsite. Camping at any of these sites without a reservation is a violation of permit stipulations, and may result in a citation.Camping in non-designated sites is prohibited.
9. The discharge of fireworks or explosives is prohibited on public lands. Recreational shooting is also prohibited.
In addition to these permit stipulations, visitors are also subject to laws to protect cultural and paleontological resources, including the National Historic Preservation Act. Additional information related to cultural resource protection laws is provided below to ensure that Ruby-Horsethief boaters understand legal requirements related to cultural resources:
- To protect archaeological and historical resources all persons associated with this Ruby-Horsethief permit understand and agree to their legal and stewardship responsibility. You may not injure, destroy, excavate, appropriate or remove any historic or prehistoric ruin, artifact, object of antiquity, Native American remains, Native American cultural item, or archaeological resources.
- The National Historic Preservation Act protects newly discovered historic or archaeological materials. If you identify a cultural resource that is threatened by natural or human disturbance during activity at your campsite or during your exploration of the canyon help us protect the resource. Your activity must not further impact the discovery and the BLM must be notified immediately (or as soon as access to a phone is made).
- The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act requires that if inadvertent discovery of Native American Human Remains or Objects of Cultural Patrimony occurs, any activity must cease in the area of discovery, a reasonable effort made to protect the item(s) discovered, and immediate notice be made to the BLM Authorized Officer.