NPS Announces Lottery for 2018-2019 Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program

Here are some highlights of the Yellowstone Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program for this coming winter season (2018-2019).

First, each day during the coming winter season, there will be up to five snowmobiles in each of four Non-Commercially Guided Transportation Snowmobile Events/trips, one from each of the four Yellowstone Park Gates.

Second, you will be required to possess a non-commercial snowmobile access permit which will be awarded annually through an online lottery system. The lottery located at the website starts on August 1st to determine the trip dates for Non-Commercially Guide Leaders wanting to visit Yellowstone this coming winter season (2018-2019). The lottery will remain open until August 31, 2018. (The August date is a month earlier due to an updating of the website.)

After the lottery is finished and the initial trips are awarded (only one trip from the lottery) you can still sign up to lead a trip or a second trip at on a first-come-first-served basis for the dates still available. Note these remaining dates will be available on October 9th.

Finally, a total of only two trips are allowed per season per non-commercial guide, the trips can last up to 3 days. Note: you will be charged $40 for each day of your permit, day permit $40.00 two day permit $80.00 three day permit $120.00.

Third, each snowmobile operator will be required to have successfully completed the Yellowstone Snowmobile Safety Education Certification training course. The training course is available online. This course was developed with the help and sponsorship of the Wyoming State Snowmobile Program, it is now sponsored by Yellowstone National Park. This “No Cost” course is now available at the website below:

Fourth, you will be required to use only current Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles in your group. Note these required machines can be rented at locations near the four gates (

For the complete detailed information on the Non-Commercially Guided Access Program, please see the Yellowstone Park Service website at (

For additional information on the Yellowstone Winter Use issue and snowmobile community’s combined seventeen-year effort to keep snowmobile access to Yellowstone in winter, visit our dedicated website

Please remember one of our collective main efforts during the last SEIS Winter Planning process was to have a “Non-commercially Guided access program for entry into Yellowstone. We accomplished that and now is your chance to plan a trip into the Park without a commercial guide. Please consider signing up during the lottery period, which will run from August 1st until August 31, 2018.

Reminder, after the lottery is finished and the initial trips are awarded you can still sign up to lead a trip at on a first-come-first-served basis for the dates still available. A total of only two trips allowed per season. The open signup period will begin on October 9th, 2018 for an opportunity to lead a non-commercially guided trip into the Yellowstone Park this season (2018-2019).

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Jack Welch
National Snowmobile Ambassador
Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition