Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 1, people may apply to the 2023-2024 winter lottery for permits to snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park without a commercial guide. Authorized in 2013, the Non-Commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program allows permit-holders to enter the park for up to three days with a group of up to five snowmobilers.
This year’s lottery will be open on www.recreation.gov from Aug. 1-31, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified in early September. Unclaimed or canceled permits will be made available via www.recreation.gov on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on Oct. 1, 2023. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the website often for openings. Trips can be for a maximum of three days in length and permits cost $40 per day with a $6 application fee.
Permit holders are considered non-commercial guides and must be at least 18 years old on the first day of their trip. 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. All snowmobiles must meet the park’s New Best Available Technology standard.