If you want to go snowmobiling this winter without a guide in Yellowstone National Park now is the time to put in for a winter lottery permit. Authorized in 2013, the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program allows one group of up to five snowmobiles to enter Yellowstone from each of its four winter entrances per day.

This year’s lottery will be open on www.recreation.gov until August 31, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified in mid-September. Unclaimed or cancelled permits will be made available via www.recreation.gov on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning on October 1, 2019. There is no waiting list. Cancellations may occur throughout the winter season, so check the above 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.

Please note: 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. All snowmobiles must meet the park’s New Best Available Technology standard.

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