Boating in Yellowstone National Park
A permit is required for all vessels (motorized and non-motorized including float tubes) and must be obtained in person at any of the following locations: South Entrance, Lewis Lake Campground, Grant Village Backcountry Office, and Bridge Bay Ranger Station. Non-motorized boating permits are available at West Entrance, Northeast Entrance, Mammoth Backcountry Office, Old Faithful Backcountry Office, Canyon Backcountry Office, Bechler Ranger Station, West Contact Station, West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce and locations where motorized permits are sold. The fee is $20 (annual) or $10 (7 day) for motorized vessels and $10 (annual) or $5 (7 day) for non-motorized vessels. A Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device is required for each person boating.
All motorized boats are now required to obtain an AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) inspection before getting a permit.
Boat permits issued in Grand Teton National Park are honored in Yellowstone, but owners must register their vessel in Yellowstone and obtain a no-charge Yellowstone validation sticker from a permit issuing station.
Jet skis, personal watercraft, airboats, submersibles, and similar vessels are prohibited in Yellowstone National Park.
All vessels are prohibited on park rivers and streams except the channel between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes, where only hand-propelled vessels are permitted.
Yellowstone National Park Boating Regulations (609 KB pdf)
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.
Did You Know?
At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.