Visitor watching boat on lake.

A visitor photographs a canoe Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake.

NPS/J. Peaco

Private Boats

Boating is allowed on most of Yellowstone Lake and on Lewis Lake. Only non-motorized boating is allowed on most other lakes. Only one river is open to non-motorized boating: the Lewis River channel between Lewis and Shoshone lakes.

Permits are required for all boats and float tubes. Boaters must have a Coast Guard approved wearable flotation device for each person. All boat permits (motorized & non-motorized) can be purchased at the South Entrance, Grant Village Backcountry Office, and Bridge Bay Ranger Station. Float tube only permits are available at the Mammoth, Canyon and Old Faithful backcountry offices, Northeast Entrance, and Bechler Ranger Station.

All boats will be inspected by National Park Service rangers for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) when obtaining a permit. As a precaution, any type watercraft suspected of harboring AIS will be subject to a non-chemical decontamination treatment.

The use of jet skis, personal watercraft, airboats, submersibles, and similar vessels is prohibited in Yellowstone National Park.

A group of kayaks on a large lake

Guided tours of Yellowstone Lake area available.


Rentals and Guided Boat Trips

Outboards and rowboats may be rented (first come, first served) from Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Bridge Bay Marina on Yellowstone Lake. Xanterra also provides guided fishing boats which may be reserved in advance by calling (307) 344-7311 or 1-866-GEYSERLAND (439-7375).

TDD service (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) is available at 307-344-5395. Online reservations are not available at this time.

Other commercial businesses are permitted to offer guided services for canoeing, kayaking, and motorized boating.


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