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.
Groups must schedule a check-in at their permitted entrance at least 48 hours in advance of their trip. Please call your permitted entrance station to schedule a time:
East Entrance: (307) 587-2682
North Entrance (Albright Visitor Center): (307) 344-2263
South Entrance: (307) 543-2800
West Entrance: (307) 344-2867
Check-ins are not available without an appointment. During check-ins, rangers ensure that all permit requirements are met 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. Overnight trips must exit the park by 9:00 pm on their last day. We recommend that groups travel during daylight hours only.
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 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 driver’s must have the following:
- Valid driver’s license proving that you are at least 16
- New BAT Snowmobile with current registration
- Printed Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certificate
In addition, the permit holder must carry:
- Valid driver’s license proving that you are at least 18
- N-CGSAP decal (provided at check-in)
Other items to consider:
- Check current road conditions online or call 307-344-2117.
- A credit card is required to purchase fuel in the park.
- Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member and check in with them when you leave the park or reach your overnight destination.
Wind chill is a big factor on snowmobiles. We suggest all riders bring the following items: insulated snowmobile suit, helmet with a face shield, sunglasses and/or goggles, insulated gloves, insulated boots, heavy wool or synthetic socks, a moisture-wicking under layer, insulating layers, and a ski mask/balaclava or neck gaiter.
In addition to appropriate clothing, groups should consider bringing extra food, water, a shovel, avalanche beacons, extra layers, map, snowmobile drive belt, a basic tool kit or multi-tool, a first aid kit, a flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries, chemical heat packs, and a survival kit. At a minimum, a survival kit should include a thermal foil blanket, rope, whistle, fire starter kit, water purification system, and signal flares.
All participants are responsible for understanding and abiding by the following regulations:
- Every snowmobile operator must complete the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Program and print their certificate.
- Every snowmobile operators must have a valid driver’s license.
- The permit holder must keep a copy of their signed permit with them at all times.
- All groups must display a N-CGSAP decal (provided at check-in).
- Off-road travel is prohibited: snowmobiles must stay on groomed, oversnow roads.
- The maximum snowmobile speed limit is 35 mph (unless posted otherwise).
- Do not drink alcohol and operate a snowmobile. Open container laws apply to snowmobile operators. Group leaders have a limit of .04 blood alcohol content (BAC); all other operators have a BAC limit of .08.
- Do not approach or feed wildlife.
- Animals always have the right of way. Expect to encounter them on park roads and slow down or stop your snowmobile until they pass or move off the road.
- Remain on marked paths/boardwalks in thermal areas.
- Do not idle snowmobile for more than three minutes.
- Groups must stay together: within 1/3 mile of the lead snowmobile.
- Pets are not allowed to accompany groups traveling under non-commercially guided permits.
- Towing sleds is allowed with a rigid tow bar: people cannot ride on towed sleds.
Use hand signals to signal which way you are turning and when slowing and stopping.