Starting September 1, 2017, visitors can enter the winter 2017-2018 snowmobile lottery for permits in Yellowstone National Park.
According to a Yellowstone press release, the lottery is mandatory for anyone wishing to snowmobile in Yellowstone without a commercial guide. Indeed, all non-commercially guided snowmobile groups must have a permit to enter the park. Since 2013, Yellowstone’s Winter Use Rule has mandated that groups of up-to-five snowmobiles touring Yellowstone without a guide must obtain a permit. From the press release:
The park invites those wishing to snowmobile without a commercial guide to apply through www.recreation.gov from September 1 to September 30, 2017. We will notify successful lottery applicants in mid-October. The park will make any remaining or cancelled permits available on a first-come, first-served basis through the same webpage beginning on November 3. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the website often for openings. Trips can be for a maximum of three days in length, and permits cost $40 per day with a $6 application fee.
Permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old on the first day of their trips. All snowmobile operators must possess a state-issued driver’s license and successfully complete the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification program. Anyone can take the course to learn more about park rules that help visitors safely enjoy the unique experience of winter in Yellowstone while also protecting park resources.
All snowmobiles wishing to enter the park must meet Yellowstone’s New Best Available Technology (BAT) standard, which covers qualities like emissions and noise. Snowmobilers are expected to make as little impact on the park as possible.
If you have any questions regarding the snowmobile lottery or regulations regarding non-commercial snowmobile access, please contact Program Coordinator Ivan Kowski via email or by phone at 307-344-2165.