Yellowstone's Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program permits people to snowmobile in Yellowstone without the presence of a commercial guide. Permits are limited, so if you haven't already, read more about how to apply.
All snowmobile drivers traveling under a non-commercially guided permit must complete the Yellowstone Snowmobile Education online training and print their certificate. The certificate is valid for two years after completion.
Groups must check-in at their permitted entrance before 4 p.m. on the first day of their trip. Groups may check-in as early as the day before their trip. Contact your permitted entrance location if you have questions:
East Entrance: (307) 587-2682
During check-ins, rangers ensure that all permit requirements are met, issue you a printed copy of the permit, and provide a brief orientation.
Groups must pay the park entrance fee for each snowmobile or show an annual park pass. Groups entering the park through the North Entrance pay the per vehicle fee.
Hours of Travel
Once you have completed your first day check-in, you may travel in the park from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. with the exception of the East Entrance Road and South Entrance Road which open at 8:00 am. Overnight trips must exit the park by 9:00 pm on their last day. We recommend that groups travel during daylight hours only.
Only Best Available Technology (BAT) Snowmobiles that meet the sound, emission, age, and mileage limits are approved for use in Yellowstone. Permit holders may bring their own machines if they are on the list of Approved Snowmobiles or rent BAT machines from local companies. Rentals are located outside of Yellowstone's borders and in some cases may require that the renter transport/tow machines to the park. Contact the rental companies for more information.
Weather can change quickly and varies throughout the park. Check local forecasts, and be prepared for extreme conditions even if they’re not forecasted. Overnight temperatures can drop to more than 20 degrees below zero. Hazardous weather conditions like snowstorms, whiteouts, and freezing fog are common. Permits will not be rescheduled or refunded in the event of poor weather.
Occasionally the park closes roads due to winter weather. If there is a closure in effect on the day of your trip, you can either wait for the closure to be lifted later in the day, obtain another permit if available, or cancel (no refund). The East Entrance Road which crosses Sylvan Pass may close due to avalanche danger for hours or even days at a time. Permits will not be rescheduled or refunded in the event of road closures.
The park maintains a series of warming huts throughout the park. Visit our Winter in Yellowstone page for more information.
Fuel is available in the park (credit card only) at Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grant Village, and Old Faithful. Fuel is also available in some gateway communities.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hotel are open during winter. Visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges for dates of operation, availability, and reservations. Make reservations as far in advance as possible. Lodging is also available in nearby communities.
Winter dining opportunities include the Mammoth General Store, the Mammoth Terrace Grill, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Geyser Grill, and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Dining Room. Visit our Winter in Yellowstone page for dates and hours of operation.
Do not rely on cell phones for critical communications. Cell coverage is not available in many areas and cold temperatures can cause batteries to fail quickly.
All operators must have the following:
In addition, the permit holder must carry:
Other items to consider:
All participants are responsible for understanding and abiding by the following regulations:
Use hand signals to signal which way you are turning and when slowing and stopping.
Last updated: September 6, 2023