Yellowstone National Park Winter Season Update 2019

NPS Announces Lottery for 2019-2020 Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program

Dear Action Alert Subscribers,

Here are some highlights of the Yellowstone Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program for this coming winter season (2019-2020).

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 is located at the www.recreation.gov website started on August 1st to determine the trip dates for Non-Commercially Guide Leaders wanting to visit Yellowstone this coming winter season (2019-2020). The lottery will remain open until August 31, 2019. Applicants will be notified on September 10. Successful applicants will have until September 30 to accept or decline their awarded choice.

After the lottery is finished and the initial trips are awarded (only one trip from the lottery) unclaimed or cancelled permits will be made available via www.recreation.gov  on a first-come, first-serve basis, for the dates still available, beginning on October 1, 2019, at 8:00 am MT. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the website often for openings.

Finally, a total of only two trips are allowed per season per non-commercial guide, the trips can last up to a maximum of three days in length. Note: permits cost $40 per day with a $6 application fee.

Third, permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old on the first day of their trips. All snowmobile operators must possess a state-issued driver’s license and successfully complete the free online Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certification program. Anyone can take the course to learn about park rules that help visitors safely enjoy the unique experience of winter in Yellowstone while also protecting park resources.

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 (www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/ncgsap.htm).

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 www.saveyellowstonepark.com.

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 from August 1-31, 2019.  

To learn more about planning a winter trip to Yellowstone, visit Explore in Winter.

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

Jack Welch
Vice President
National Snowmobile Ambassador/Volunteer
Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition
303-324-7185