Starting tomorrow, September 1, snowmobilers can enter a lottery for a non-commercial trip permit in Yellowstone National Park.
Permits are required for all non-commercially guided snowmobile trips in Yellowstone. According to a Yellowstone press release, interested parties can enter the lottery by applying at www.recreation.gov from September 1-30. Lottery winners will be notified in mid-October. In November, any remaining or cancelled permits will be made available on a first-come, first-serve basis through the recreation.gov site.
Permits cost $40 per day requested, along with a $6 application fee. Trips must be no more than three days in duration. From a Yellowstone press release:
The Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program was authorized in the 2013 final Winter Use Rule. The program allows one non-commercially guided group per day to enter Yellowstone from each of its four winter entrances. A maximum of five snowmobiles are permitted in each group and all snowmobiles must meet the park’s New Best Available Technology (BAT) standard. A list of approved snowmobiles is available at www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/newbatlist.htm.
Permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old by the first day of the trip. All snowmobile operators in a non-commercially guided trip must possess a state-issued driver’s license and have successfully completed the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification program. Anyone can take the course to learn more about park rules and regulations that help visitors safely enjoy the unique experience of winter in Yellowstone while also protecting park resources. Go to http://provalenslearning.com/yellowstone-snowmobile-education-certificate
The development of the Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program has had significant stakeholder involvement. In particular, the State of Wyoming, through the Governor’s Office and the State Trails Program, has provided critical support for the development and maintenance of the required online snowmobile education course.
For more information regarding the permit program or rules for non-commercially guided trips, please check Yellowstone’s management site or contact program coordinator Ivan Kowski via email or by calling 307-344-2165.