Yellowstone National Park Opens to Snowmobiles December 15

Gates will open for another season for snowmobile access to Yellowstone

YNP opens to snowmobiles starting December 15
Yellowstone National Park will be open to snowmobiles and non-commercially guided snowmobile access starting December 15, 2016.Image Courtesy of

Yellowstone National Park will open its gates for another season of snowmobile access on December 15, 2016. This access will be regulated by the Final Regulation to implement the Record of Decision (ROD).

According to the National Park Service, the ROD provides a frame work for more effectively managed access for snowmobiles and snowcoaches in Yellowstone National Park while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, and wildlife. The final regulation will guide management of winter use in the Park and will implement the preferred alternative in the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

This 2016-2017 Winter Season, the Park will permit up to 110 "transportation events" daily, initially defined as one snowcoach or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven snowmobiles per group per season. Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles. Management by transportation events is an impact-centric approach designed to minimize the impact of oversnow vehicles (OSVs) on air quality, soundscapes, and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number of vehicles allowed in the Park. Under this approach as many as 500 snowmobiles could be allowed in the Park per day this winter.

In addition, another important part of the Final Regulation is that four transportation events per day (one per gate) would be reserved for non-commercially guided snowmobile access. Please note: A lottery was held in September based on requests entered into the website during September. This lottery determined initial non-commercially guided access to the Park this winter. Please remember that any dates not allocated by the lottery for non-commercially guided groups are now available.

For additional information on Yellowstone Winter Use Plan, please visit the Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition dedicated website of