Yellowstone National Park's winter landscape offers a magical experience for those willing to brave its cold temperatures. Most roads in the park are groomed for over-snow traffic via either snowcoaches or snowmobiles. The majority of visitors to the park travel these roads with commercially guided tours. However, the park has set aside four trips per day for groups that want to enter Yellowstone without commercial guides. This program, called the Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program (N-CGSAP), allows one group of up to five snowmobiles through each of the North, South, East and West entrances per day. Trips can be 1, 2 or 3 days in length.
Groups may apply for permits for up to three days/two nights and can leave and re-enter the park through any gate during that time. Group leaders must be 18 years old by the first day of their trip and all snowmobile operators must carry a valid driver's licenses. Costs include a $6 application fee and a $40 per day recreation fee upon trip confirmation.
Entrance fees will be collected at the time of your arrival.
The lottery opens annually for applications in August. Open dates/entrances (due to cancellations or spaces that were not filled through the lottery) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on Recreation.gov beginning October 1 and throughout the remainder of the season.
Permits may be available throughout the winter open season due to non-assignment or cancellation. Check back often.
This permit allows people to snowmobile in Yellowstone without the presence of a commercial guide. Up to four non-commercially guided groups are allowed to enter the park daily, one at each oversnow entrance.
The winter snowmobile season runs from December 15 through March 15.
Entrance open dates: 2022-2023 season
North: December 15 - March 5
East: December 15 – March 15
South: December 15 – March 15
West: December 15 – March 15
Many visitors treasure opportunities to witness the park's wildlife, thermal features, and snow-covered scenery without summer crowds. However, winter also offers unique challenges. Snow conditions can vary, leading to difficult riding conditions. Avalanche danger on Sylvan Pass, west of the East Entrance, can close the park road for hours or even days. Additionally, recent mild winters have resulted in roads opening late or closing early in the season due to insufficient snow levels on the park's roads. There will be no refunds or rescheduling due to road closures. There are sometimes long distances between popular destinations and entrance stations, possibly leading to long days and fatigue. Sparse cell phone coverage may mean that help in times of emergency is a long time coming. Severely cold temperatures and sudden snowstorms can affect unprepared riders. Lodging and dining opportunities are limited. Park staff encourages N-CGSAP participants to secure lodging and snowmobile rentals as early as possible in your trip planning process.
Things to bring on the morning of your trip:
The reservation/application fee (non-refundable) is $6.
The recreation fee is $40 per-day, per-group.
Groups must pay the park entrance fee for each snowmobile or show an annual park pass. Groups entering through the North Entrance pay the per-vehicle entrance fee.
The permit is non-transferable. However, exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for medical or special circumstances. Call the N-CGSAP manager at (307) 344-2165 if you have questions.
Changes may be made to the group size, participant names, and number of snowmobiles at any time before the permit is issued.
If you need to change your dates or entrance location, you will need to cancel your existing reservation and make a new one (subject to availability); all fees will apply to the new reservation.
If you cannot make a trip, you must cancel through the Recreation.gov reservation system. Please log in to your existing Recreation.gov account, find your reservation, and follow the cancellation instructions.
Permit fees ($40 per-day) are refundable if you cancel 14-days or more prior to the start of the trip. Permit fees are not refunded if you cancel less than 14-days before the start of the trip.
The $6 reservation fee is not refundable.
PO Box 168 Yellowstone National Park WY 82190