Boat on a Lake

 
 
 
 
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Duration:
1 minute, 5 seconds

Clean, drain, and dry your equipment before visiting Yellowstone.

 
A decorative figure of a boat on a trailer near water on an octaganol red background with the text Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Be a good steward. Clean. Drain. Dry.

Permits & Inspections

  • All watercraft, including angler float tubes and paddle boards, must pass a Yellowstone AIS inspection to receive a permit prior to launching. A boat arriving after hours cannot launch in park waters until it has fulfilled the Yellowstone AIS inspection requirement.
  • A 30-day dry time is required for all sailboats and certain complex motorized boats (inboard, inboard/outboard, or inboard jet drives). Without a valid AIS inspection receipt and intact seal demonstrating a 30-day day dry time, these boats will be denied launch. In addition to Yellowstone National Park seals, which can be obtained at park inspection locations, the park also honors inspection receipts and seals from these agencies: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
  • Upon exiting Yellowstone waters, boaters can receive an exit inspection and Yellowstone seal. Returning watercraft with an intact Yellowstone seal and inspection receipt can relaunch without an additional 30-day dry time.
  • Watercraft that leave the park for any period or that relaunch 7 days after the date on the AIS sticker must return to an inspection location for a new inspection.
  • Watercraft that arrive dirty or with standing water will be subject to decontamination.
  • Watercraft that does not pass inspection will be denied launch.
 

Inspection Locations

Permit & Inspection Location Status 2024 Dates 2024 Hours Notes

Bridge Bay Ranger Station

Open

May 25–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Contact: (406) 823-9006

Grant Ranger Station

Open

May 25–October 31

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Contact: (406) 581-9040

Lewis Lake Ranger Station

Closed

To Be Determined1

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Contact: (406) 581-9040.

Bechler Ranger Station

Closed

June 3–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

Mammoth Backcountry Office

Open

May 15–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

Northeast Entrance Station

Open

May 25–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

Snake River Backcountry Office

Open

May 23–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

Tower-Roosevelt Backcountry Office

Open

May 15–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

West Yellowstone Visitor Information Station Backcountry Office

Open

May 23–TBD

8:00 am–4:30 pm

Angler float tubes only

1 Lewis Lake Ranger Station will open for AIS inspections when ice is off the lake.

 

Boating Permit Fees

  • Non-motorized: $20 for 7 days or $30 for the season
  • Motorized: $40 for 7 days or $60 for the season

Includes the required aquatic invasive species inspection. Fees are payable by debit or credit card.

Motorized Watercraft

  • Motorized boats are only allowed on Lewis and Yellowstone lakes. Boaters using motorized boats on Yellowstone Lake must familiarize themselves with the 5 mile per hour mileage zones and non-motorized boat zone locations.
  • Vessels must not exceed 40 feet in length.
  • The use of jet skis, personal watercraft, airboats, submersibles, and similar vessels is prohibited in Yellowstone.
  • Towing water skiers, wakeboards, parasails, or performing similar activities is prohibited.

Non-motorized Watercraft

  • Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and other non-motorized boats are permitted on all lakes except Sylvan Lake, Eleanor Lake, Twin Lakes, and Beach Springs Lagoon.

Other Regulations

 
 

Guided Trips & Rentals

Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides boat rentals and guided boat trips at Bridge Bay Marina on Yellowstone Lake. Other companies offer guided services for canoeing, kayaking, and motorized boating.

More Information

 
A park ranger with a dark beard and wearing a green and grey uniform kneels with a hose next a boat.
Aquatic Invasive Species Management

Learn more about how Yellowstone is working to stop AIS and how you can help.

Zebra mussels next to a dime
Aquatic Invasive Species Ecology

At least eight AIS already exist in Yellowstone's waters.

Angler fishing in Yellowstone during a golden morning.
Catch a Fish

Be a responsible angler and understand the regulations before you come.

Yellowstone cutthroat trout
Fish Ecology

Yellowstone is home to 12 native species of fish.

Last updated: May 24, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us