The Environmental Education Tour CUA allows CUA holders to conduct interpretive road-based tours, day hiking, non-instructional photography tours, and act as a step-on guide on park roads with visits to facilities and services.
- The Environmental Education Tour CUA includes the following activities:
- Road-based tours in which certified guides lead groups in educational and interpretive tours throughout the park, including stops at services, pullouts, developed areas, and boardwalks. Road-based tours allow for photography opportunities that do not include photography instruction. Workshops where instruction is given requires a Painting and Photography Workshop CUA. Portrait and wedding photography is not covered under this CUA and requires a Wedding and Portrait Photography CUA.
- Day hiking tours include guided and interpretive day hiking tours on trails throughout Yellowstone that are longer than ½ mile. CUA holders are encouraged to stay on designated trails. Specific areas may be closed to off-trail travel if impacts are noted. The guide for any day hiking trip within the park must have a basic knowledge of map reading and have a topographic map for the area of their hike. It is recommended that the guide have a compass and knowledge of compass use. Each guide must carry a minimum of one can of bear spray at all times and be trained in its use. Bear spray for clients is recommended.
- Step-on guide service is defined as a guide who rides in a visitor’s vehicle, tour bus, or other commercial vehicle and acts as a guide for sightseeing tours. It is the CUA holder’s responsibility to check the clients’ proof of auto liability insurance before the trip.
- Day hiking, road-based interpretive tours, and non-instructional photography activities operating under the Environmental Education Tour CUA are limited to a maximum group size of 15 participants, including the guides. There is no maximum group size for step-on guide service.
- In order to minimize impacts on natural resources, CUA holders conducting day hiking trips more than 1/2 mile from the road are limited to three groups per day, with no group exceeding 15 people. Groups should be dispersed and may not congregate on trails or at a destination.
- There is no limitation to the number of trips a CUA holder can take for road-based tours as long as the group size of no more than 15 participants per group is adhered to.
- Guides must meet one of the requirements listed below in order to be considered a qualified guide under this activity and be issued a guide card to provide tours within Yellowstone:
- Attend one Resource Education Training given by Yellowstone National Park in the spring, watch a recording of the most recent Resource Education Training, or provide an outline of your Yellowstone specific training given to employees, and
- Complete and pass a test regarding Yellowstone National Park’s natural and cultural resources, as well as park regulations. All answers can be located in the Yellowstone National Park Resource and Issues Book located on the Resources for Commercial Guides page. The test is available at: Yellowstone Environmental Education Guide Test.
- Guides are encouraged to stay on designated trails, avoid using social trails, and avoid creating new social trails to reduce impacts to resources.
- Road-based tours and photography tours may occupy the parking areas or vehicle pull-outs in Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley for a maximum of 2 hours.
- Impeding traffic or causing unnecessary delays in traffic is prohibited. Slow moving vehicles must use roadside pull-outs and parking areas to allow free flow of other traffic. Vehicles may not stop in the roadway to allow clients to take pictures of animals or load and unload passengers.
- Vehicles shall not be left idling in parking areas or park across multiple parking spaces. Loading zones must not be occupied longer than necessary to load and unload passengers.
- All vehicles transporting clients and conducting tours under an Environmental Education CUA must display the following information on their vehicles (step-on guides are exempt from this requirement):
- Company name that the CUA is issued under,
- Department of Transportation number if required,
- Markings must appear on both sides of the vehicle,
- Letters must contrast sharply in color with the background on which the letters are placed, and
- Markings must be legible, during daylight hours, from a distance of 50 feet with the vehicle stationary.