36 CFR § 7.13 - Yellowstone National Park.
(1) Notwithstanding the prohibition of commercial vehicles set forth in § 5.6 of this chapter, commercial vehicles are allowed to operate on U.S. Highway 191 in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) The transporting on U.S. Highway 191 of any substance or combination of substances, including any hazardous substance, hazardous material, or hazardous waste as defined in 49 CFR 171.8 that requires placarding of the transport vehicle in accordance with 49 CFR 177.823 or any marine pollutant that requires marking as defined in 49 CFR Subtitle B, is prohibited; provided, however, that the superintendent may issue permits and establish terms and conditions for the transportation of hazardous materials on U.S. Highway 191 in emergencies or when such transportation is necessary for access to lands within or adjacent to the park area.
(3) The operator of a motor vehicle transporting any hazardous substance, hazardous material, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant in accordance with a permit issued under this section is not relieved in any manner from complying with all applicable regulations in 49 CFR Subtitle B, or with any other State or federal laws and regulations applicable to the transportation of any hazardous substance, hazardous material, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant.
(4) The superintendent may require a permit and establish terms and conditions for the operation of a commercial vehicle on any park road in accordance with § 1.6 of this chapter. The superintendent may charge a fee for permits in accordance with a fee schedule established annually.
(5) Operating without, or violating a term or condition of, a permit issued in accordance with this section is prohibited. In addition, violating a term or condition of a permit may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.
(b) Employee motor vehicle permits:
(1) A motor vehicle owned and/or operated by an employee of the U.S. Government, park concessioners and contractors, whether employed in a permanent or temporary capacity, shall be registered with the Superintendent and a permit authorizing the use of said vehicle in the park is required. This requirement also applies to members of an employee's family living in the park who own or operate a motor vehicle within the park. Such permit, issued free of charge, may be secured only when the vehicle operator can produce a valid certificate of registration, and has in his possession a valid operator's license. No motor vehicle may be operated on park roads unless properly registered.
(2) The permit is valid only for the calendar year of issue. Registry must be completed and permits secured by April 15 of each year or within one week after bringing a motor vehicle into the park, whichever date is later. The permit shall be affixed to the vehicle as designated by the Superintendent.
(i) A general permit, issued by the Superintendent, is required for all vessels operated upon the waters of the park open to boating. In certain areas a special permit is required as specified hereinbelow. These permits must be carried within the vessel at all times when any person is aboard, and shall be exhibited upon request to any person authorized to enforce the regulations in this chapter.
(ii) A special permit shall be issued by the Superintendent to any holder of a general permit who expresses the intention to travel into either the South Arm or the Southeast Arm “Five Mile Per Hour Zones” of Yellowstone Lake, as defined in paragraphs (d)(6) (ii) and (iii) of this section, upon the completion and filing of a form statement in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d)(10) of this section.
(iii) Neither a general nor special permit shall be issued until the permittee has signed a statement certifying that he is familiar with the speed and all other limitations and requirements in these regulations. The applicant for a special permit shall also agree in writing to provide, in accordance with paragraph (d)(10) of this section, information concerning the actual travel within the “Five Mile Per Hour Zones.”
(2)Removal of vessels. All privately owned vessels, boat trailers, waterborne craft of any kind, buoys, mooring floats, and anchorage equipment will not be permitted in the park prior to May 1 and must be removed by November 1.
(3)Restricted landing areas.
(i) Prior to July 1 of each year, the landing of any vessel on the shore of Yellowstone Lake between Trail Creek and Beaverdam Creek is prohibited, except upon written permission of the Superintendent.
(ii) The landing or beaching of any vessel on the shores of Yellowstone Lake (a) within the confines of Bridge Bay Marina and Lagoon and the connecting channel with Yellowstone Lake; and (b) within the confines of Grant Village Marina and Lagoon and the connecting channel with Yellowstone Lake is prohibited except at the piers or docks provided for the purpose.
(i)Vessels are prohibited on Sylvan Lake, Eleanor Lake, Twin Lakes, and Beach Springs Lagoon.
(ii)Vessels are prohibited on park rivers and streams (as differentiated from lakes and lagoons), except on the channel between Lewis Lake and Shoshone Lake, which is open only to handpropelled vessels.
(5)Lewis Lake motorboat waters. Motorboats are permitted on Lewis Lake.
(6)Yellowstone Lake motorboat waters. Motorboats are permitted on Yellowstone Lake except in Flat Mountain Arm as described in paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section and as restricted within the South Arm and the Southeast Arm where operation is confined to areas known as “Five Mile Per Hour Zones” which waters are between the lines as described in paragraphs (d)(6) (ii) and (iii) of this section in the South Arm and Southeast Arm, but which specifically exclude the southernmost 2 miles of both Arms which are open only to hand-propelled vessels.
(i) The following portion of Flat Mountain Arm of Yellowstone Lake is restricted to hand-propelled vessels: West of a line beginning at a point marked by a monument located on the south shore of the Flat Mountain Arm and approximately 10,200 feet easterly from the southwest tip of the said arm, said point being approximately 44°22′13.2″ N. latitude and 110°25′07.2″ W. longitude, then running approximately 2,800 feet due north to a point marked by a monument located on the north shore of the Flat Mountain Arm, said point being approximately 44°22′40″ N. latitude and 110°25′07.2″ W. longitude.
(ii) In the South Arm that portion between a line from Plover Point running generally east to a point marked by a monument on the northwest tip of the peninsula common to the South and Southeast Arms; and a line from a monument located on the west shore of the South Arm approximately 2 miles north of the cairn which marks the extreme southern extremity of Yellowstone Lake in accordance with the Act of Congress establishing Yellowstone National Park; said point being approximately in latitude 44°18′22.8″ N., at longitude 110°20′04.8″ W., Greenwich Meridian, running due east to a point on the east shore of the South Arm marked by a monument. Operation of motorboats south of the latter line is prohibited.
(iii) In the Southeast Arm that portion between a line from a monument on the northwest tip of the peninsula common to the South and Southeast Arms which runs generally east to a monument at the mouth of Columbine Creek; and a line from a cairn which marks the extreme eastern extremity of Yellowstone Lake, in accordance with the Act of Congress establishing Yellowstone National Park; said point being approximately in latitude 44°19′42.0″ N., at longitude 110°12′06.0″ W., Greenwich Meridian, running westerly to a point on the west shore of the Southeast Arm, marked by a monument; said point being approximately in latitude 44°20′03.6″ N., at longitude 110°16′19.2″ W., Greenwich Meridian. Operation of motorboats south of the latter line is prohibited.
(7) Motorboats are prohibited on park waters except as permitted in paragraphs (d) (5) and (6) of this section.
(9)Five Mile Per Hour Zone motorboat restrictions. The operation of motorboats within “Five Mile Per Hour Zones” is subject to the following restrictions:
(i) Class 1 and Class 2 motorboats shall proceed no closer than one-quarter mile from the shoreline except to debark or embark passengers, or while moored when passengers are ashore.
(10)Permission required to operate motorboats in Five Mile Per Hour Zone. Written authority for motorboats to enter either or both the South Arm or the Southeast Arm “Five Mile Per Hour Zones” shall be granted to an operator providing that prior to commencement of such entry the operator completes and files with the Superintendent a form statement showing:
(i) Length, make, and number of motorboat.
(ii) Type of vessel, such as inboard, inboard-outboard, turbojet, and including make and horsepower rating of motor.
(iii) Name and address of head of party.
(iv) Number of persons in party.
(v) Number of nights planned to spend in each “Five Mile Per Hour Zone.”
(vi) Place where camping is planned within each “Five Mile Per Hour Zone,” or if applicable, whether party will remain overnight on board.
(11) The disturbance of birds inhabiting or nesting on either of the islands designated as “Molly Islands” in the Southeast Arm of Yellowstone Lake is prohibited; nor shall any vessel approach the shoreline of said islands within one-quarter mile.
(12) Boat racing, water pageants, and spectacular or unsafe types of recreational use of vessels are prohibited on park waters.
(2) The superintendent may impose closures and establish conditions or restrictions, in accordance with the criteria and procedures of §§ 1.5 and 1.7 of this chapter, on any activity pertaining to fishing, including, but not limited to, seasons and hours during which fishing may take place, size, creel and possession limits, species of fish that may be taken and methods of taking.
(3)Closed waters. The following waters of the park are closed to fishing and are so designated by appropriate signs:
(i) Pelican Creek from its mouth to a point two miles upstream.
(ii) The Yellowstone River and its tributary streams from the Yellowstone Lake outlet to a point one mile downstream.
(iii) The Yellowstone River and its tributary streams from the confluence of Alum Creek with the Yellowstone River upstream to the Sulphur Caldron.
(iv) The Yellowstone River from the top of the Upper Falls downstream to a point directly below the overlook known as Inspiration Point.
(v) Bridge Bay Lagoon and Marina and Grant Village Lagoon and Marina and their connecting channels with Yellowstone Lake.
(vi) The shores of the southern extreme of the West Thumb thermal area along the shore of Yellowstone Lake to the mouth of Little Thumb Creek.
(vii) The Mammoth water supply reservoir.
(f)Commercial passenger-carrying vehicles. The prohibition against the commercial transportation of passengers by motor vehicles in Yellowstone National Park contained in § 5.4 of this chapter shall be subject to the following exception: Motor vehicles operated on an infrequent and nonscheduled tour on which the visit to the park is an incident to such tour, carrying only round trip passengers traveling from the point of origin of the tour will, subject to the conditions set forth in this paragraph, be accorded admission to the park for the purpose of delivering passengers to a point of overnight stay in the park and exit from the park. After passengers have completed their stay, such motor vehicles shall leave the park by the most convenient exit station, considering their destinations. Motor vehicles admitted to the park under this paragraph shall not, while in the park, engage in general sightseeing operations. Admission will be accorded such vehicles upon establishing to the satisfaction of the superintendent that the tour originated from such place and in such manner as not to provide in effect a regular and duplicating service conflicting with, or in competition with, the services provided for the public pursuant to contract authorization from the Secretary. The superintendent shall have the authority to specify the route to be followed by such vehicles within the park.
(1)Camping in Yellowstone National Park by any person, party, or organization during any calendar year during the period Labor Day through June 30, inclusive, shall not exceed 30 days, either in a single period or combined separate periods, when such limitations are posted.
(2) The intensive public-use season for camping shall be the period July 1 to Labor Day. During this period camping by any person, party, or organization shall be limited to a total of 14 days either in a single period or combined separate periods.
(h)Dogs and cats. Dogs and cats on leash, crated, or otherwise under physical restraint are permitted in the park only within 100 feet of established roads and parking areas. Dogs and cats are prohibited on established trails and boardwalks.
(j)Travel on trails. Foot travel in all thermal areas and within the Yellowstone Canyon between the Upper Falls and Inspiration Point must be confined to boardwalks or trails that are maintained for such travel and are marked by official signs.
(k)Portable engines and motors. The operation of motor-driven chain saws, portable motor-driven electric light plants, portable motor-driven pumps, and other implements driven by portable engines and motors is prohibited in the park, except in Mammoth, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, and Madison Campgrounds, for park operation purposes, and for construction and maintenance projects authorized by the Superintendent. This restriction shall not apply to outboard motors on waters open to motorboating.
(1)What is the scope of this regulation? The regulations contained in paragraphs (l)(2) through (l)(15) and (l)(18) of this section apply to the use of snowcoaches and snowmobiles by guides and park visitors. Except where indicated, paragraphs (l)(2) through (l)(15) do not apply to non-administrative oversnow vehicle use by affiliated persons.
Affiliated persons means persons other than guides or park visitors. Affiliated persons include NPS employees, contractors, concessioner employees, their families and guests, or other persons designated by the Superintendent.
Commercial guide means a person who operates as a snowmobile or snowcoach guide for a monetary fee or other compensation and is authorized to operate in the park under a concession contract or a commercial use authorization.
Enhanced emission standards means for snowmobiles, a maximum of 65 dB(A) as measured at cruising speed (approximately 35 mph) in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1161 test procedures and certified under 40 CFR part 1051 to a Family Emission Limit no greater than 60 g/kW-hr for carbon monoxide; and for snowcoaches, a maximum of 71 dB(A) when measured by operating the snowcoach at cruising speed for the test cycle in accordance with the SAE J1161 test procedures.
Non-commercial guide means a person who has successfully completed training and certification requirements established by the Superintendent that demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills to operate a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park. In order to be certified and receive a special use permit, a non-commercial guide must be at least 18 years of age by the day of the trip and possess a valid state-issued motor vehicle driver's license.
Non-commercially guided group means a group of no more than five snowmobiles, including a non-commercial guide, permitted to enter the park under the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program.
Oversnow route means that portion of the unplowed roadway located between the road shoulders and designated by snow poles or other poles, ropes, fencing, or signs erected to regulate oversnow activity. Oversnow routes include pullouts or parking areas that are groomed or marked similarly to roadways and are adjacent to designated oversnow routes. An oversnow route may also be distinguished by the interior boundaries of the berm created by the packing and grooming of the unplowed roadway.
Oversnow vehicle means a snowmobile, snowcoach, or other motorized vehicle that is intended for travel primarily on snow and has been authorized by the Superintendent to operate in the park. All-terrain vehicles and utility-type vehicles are not oversnow vehicles, even if they have been modified for use on snow with track or ski systems
Snowcoach means a self-propelled mass transit vehicle intended for travel on snow, having a curb weight of over 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms), having a capacity of at least eight passengers and no more than 32 passengers, plus a driver.
Snowcoach transportation event means one snowcoach that does not meet enhanced emission standards traveling in Yellowstone National Park on any given day, or two snowcoaches that both meet enhanced emission standards traveling together in Yellowstone National Park on any given day.
Snowmobile means a self-propelled vehicle intended for travel solely on snow, with a maximum curb weight of 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms), driven by a track or tracks in contact with the snow, and which may be steered by a ski or skis in contact with the snow.
Snowmobile transportation event means a group of 10 or fewer commercially guided snowmobiles traveling together in Yellowstone National Park on any given day or a non-commercially guided group, which is defined separately. Snowmobiles entering Cave Falls Road are not considered snowmobile transportation events.
Snowplane means a self-propelled vehicle intended for oversnow travel and driven by an air-displacing propeller.
(3)When may I operate a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park? You may operate a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park each winter season only in compliance with use limits, guiding requirements, operating hours, equipment, and operating conditions established under this section. The operation of snowmobiles under a concessions contract or commercial use authorization is subject to the conditions stated in the concessions contract or commercial use authorization. The Superintendent may establish additional operating conditions after providing notice of those conditions in accordance with one or more methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(4)When may I operate a snowcoach in Yellowstone National Park? (i) A snowcoach may be operated in Yellowstone National Park only under a concessions contract or commercial use authorization each winter season. Snowcoach operation is subject to the conditions stated in the concessions contract or commercial use authorization and all other conditions identified in this section. The Superintendent may establish additional operating conditions, including performance-based emission standards for snowcoaches, after providing notice of those conditions in accordance with one or more methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(ii) The requirements in paragraphs (l)(4)(iii) through (iv) of this section apply to:
(A) new snowcoaches put into service on or after December 15, 2014;
(C) all existing snowcoaches as of December 15, 2016.
(iii) The following air emission requirements apply to snowcoaches:
|A snowcoach that is a . . .||must meet the following standard . . .|
|(A) Diesel-fueled snowcoach with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) less than 8,500 pounds||The functional equivalent of 2010 (or newer) EPA Tier 2 model year engine and emission control technology requirements.|
|(B) Diesel-fueled snowcoach with a GVWR greater than or equal to 8,500 pounds||The EPA model year 2010 “engine configuration certified” diesel air emission requirements. Alternately, a snowcoach in this category may be certified under the functional equivalent of 2010 (or newer) EPA Tier 2 model year engine and emission control technology requirements if the snowcoach:
|(C) Gasoline-fueled snowcoach greater than or equal to 10,000 GVWR||The functional equivalent of 2008 (or newer) EPA Tier 2 model year engine and emission control technology requirements.|
|(D) Gasoline-fueled snowcoach less than 10,000 GVWR||The functional equivalent of 2007 (or newer) EPA Tier 2 model year engine and emission control technology requirements.|
(iv) A snowcoach may not exceed a sound level of 75 dB(A) when measured by operating the snowcoach at 25 mph, or at its maximum cruising speed if that is less than 25 mph, for the test cycle in accordance with the SAE J1161 test procedures.
(v) All emission-related exhaust components (as listed in the applicable portion of 40 CFR 86.004-25) must function properly. These emission-related components must be replaced with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) component, if practicable. If OEM parts are not available, aftermarket parts may be used.
(vi) Operating a snowcoach with the original pollution control equipment disabled or modified is prohibited.
(vii) Before the start of a winter season, a snowcoach manufacturer or a commercial tour operator must demonstrate, by means acceptable to the Superintendent, that a snowcoach meets the air and sound emission standards. The NPS will test and certify snowcoaches for compliance with air and sound emission requirements at locations in the park. A snowcoach meeting the requirements for air and sound emissions may be operated in the park through the winter season that begins no more than 10 years from the engine manufacture date, or longer if the snowcoach is certified to meet performance-based emission standards established by the Superintendent under paragraph (l)(4)(i) of this section.
(5)Must I operate a certain model of snowmobile? Only snowmobiles that meet NPS air and sound emissions requirements in this section may be operated in the park. Before the start of a winter season, a snowmobile manufacturer must demonstrate, by means acceptable to the Superintendent, that a snowmobile meets the air and sound emission standards. The Superintendent will approve snowmobile makes, models, and years of manufacture that meet those requirements. Any snowmobile model not approved by the Superintendent may not be operated in the park.
(6)What standards will the Superintendent use to approve snowmobile makes, models, and years of manufacture for use in the park? (i) Snowmobiles must meet the following air emission requirements:
(A) Through March 15, 2015, all snowmobiles must be certified under 40 CFR part 1051 to a Family Emission Limit no greater than 15 g/kW-hr for hydrocarbons and to a Family Emission Limit no greater than 120 g/kW-hr for carbon monoxide.
(B) As of December 15, 2015, all snowmobiles must be certified under 40 CFR part 1051 to a Family Emission Limit no greater than 15 g/kW-hr for hydrocarbons and to a Family Emission Limit no greater than 90 g/kW-hr for carbon monoxide.
(ii)Snowmobiles must meet the following sound emission requirements:
(A) Through March 15, 2015, snowmobiles must operate at or below 73 dB(A) as measured at full throttle according to SAE J192 test procedures (revised 1985). During this period, snowmobiles may be tested at any barometric pressure equal to or above 23.4 inches Hg uncorrected.
(B) As of December 15, 2015, snowmobiles must operate at or below 67 dB(A) as measured at cruising speed (approximately 35mph) in accordance with SAE J1161 test procedures. Sound emissions tests must be accomplished within the barometric pressure limits of the test procedure; there will be no allowance for elevation. A population of measurements for a snowmobile model may not exceed a mean output of 67 dB(A), and a single measurement may not exceed 69 dB(A). The Superintendent may revise these testing procedures based on new information or updates to the SAE J1161 testing procedures.
(iii) A snowmobile meeting the requirements for air and sound emissions may be operated in the park for a period not exceeding six years from the manufacturing date, or after the snowmobile has travelled 6,000 miles, whichever occurs later.
(iv) Operating a snowmobile that has been modified in a manner that may adversely affect air or sound emissions is prohibited.
(v) These air and sound emissions requirements do not apply to snowmobiles operated on the Cave Falls Road in the park.
(7)Where may I operate a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park? (i) You may operate an authorized snowmobile only upon designated oversnow routes established within the park in accordance with 36 CFR 2.18(c). The following oversnow routes are so designated:
(A) Entrance roads: from the parking lot at Upper Terrace Drive south of Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Junction, from the park boundary at West Yellowstone to Madison Junction, from the South Entrance to West Thumb, and from the East Entrance to junction with the Grand Loop Road.
(B) Grand Loop Road segments: from Norris Junction to Madison Junction, from Madison Junction to West Thumb, from West Thumb to the junction with the East Entrance Road, from Norris Junction to Canyon Junction, and from Canyon Junction to the junction with the East Entrance Road.
(C) Side roads: South Canyon Rim Drive, Lake Butte Road, Firehole Canyon Drive, North Canyon Rim Drive, and Riverside Drive.
(ii) The Superintendent may open or close these oversnow routes, or portions thereof, for snowmobile travel after taking into consideration the location of wintering wildlife, appropriate snow cover, public safety, avalanche conditions, resource protection, park operations, use patterns, and other factors. The Superintendent will provide public notice of any opening or closing by one or more of the methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(iv) Maps detailing the designated oversnow routes are available at Park Headquarters.
(8)What routes are designated for snowcoach use? (i) Authorized snowcoaches may be operated on the routes designated for snowmobile use in paragraph (l)(7)(i) of this section. Snowcoaches may be operated on the Grand Loop Road from Canyon Junction to the Washburn Hot Springs Overlook. In addition, rubber-tracked snowcoaches may be operated from the park entrance at Gardiner, MT, to the parking lot of Upper Terrace Drive and in the Mammoth Hot Springs developed area.
(ii) The Superintendent may open or close these oversnow routes, or portions thereof, after taking into consideration the location of wintering wildlife, appropriate snow cover, public safety, avalanche conditions, resource protection, park operations, use patterns, and other factors. The Superintendent will provide public notice of any opening or closing by one of more of the methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(ii) Unguided snowmobile access is prohibited.
(vii) The guiding requirements described in this paragraph (l)(9) do not apply to Cave Falls Road.
(10)Are there limits upon the number of snowmobiles and snowcoaches permitted to operate in the park each day? As of December 15, 2014, the number of snowmobiles and snowcoaches permitted to operate in the park each day will be managed by transportation events, as follows:
(ii) No more than 110 transportation events may occur in Yellowstone National Park on any given day.
(iv) Four of the 50 snowmobile transportation events allowed each day are reserved for non-commercially guided groups, with one such group allowed per entrance per day. The Superintendent may adjust or terminate the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Access Program, or redistribute non-commercially guided transportation events, based upon impacts to park resources, park operations, utilization rates, visitor experiences, or other factors, after providing public notice in accordance with one or more methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(viii)Snowmobile transportation events conducted by a commercial tour operator may not exceed an average of 7 snowmobiles, averaged over the winter season. However, snowmobile transportation events conducted by a commercial tour operator that consist entirely of snowmobiles meeting enhanced emission standards may not exceed an average of 8 snowmobiles, averaged over the winter season. For the 2014-2015 winter season only, snowmobile transportation events conducted by a commercial tour operator that consist of any snowmobile that does not meet the air emission requirements in paragraph (l)(6)(i)(B) of this section or the sound emission requirements in paragraph (l)(6)(ii)(B) of this section may not exceed an average of 7 snowmobiles, averaged daily.
(x) A commercial tour operator that is allocated a transportation event, but does not use it or exchange it can count that event as “0” against that commercial tour operator's daily and seasonal averages. A commercial tour operator that receives a transportation event from another concessioner, but does not use it, may also count that event as “0” against its daily and seasonal averages.
(xi) Up to 50 snowmobiles may enter Cave Falls Road each day.
(xii) Daily allocations and entrance distributions for transportation events are listed in the following table:
Daily Transportation Event Entry Limits by Park Entrance/Location
|Park entrance/location||Commercially guided
transportation events if all 50 snowmobile
events are used
transportation events if zero commercially
transportation events are used*
* The remaining 4 transportation events are reserved for non-commercially guided snowmobiles.
(xiii) The Superintendent may decrease the maximum number of transportation events allowed in the park each day, or make limited changes to the transportation events allocated to each entrance, after taking into consideration the location of wintering wildlife, appropriate snow cover, public safety, avalanche conditions, park operations, utilization rates, visitor experiences, or other factors. The Superintendent will provide public notice of changes by one or more of the methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7.
(xiv) For the 2013-2014 winter season only, the number of snowmobiles and snowcoaches allowed to operate in the park each day is limited to a certain number per entrance or location as set forth in the following table. During this period, all snowmobiles operated by park visitors must be accompanied by a commercial guide. Snowmobile parties must travel in a group of no more than 11 snowmobiles, including the guide.
Number of Snowmobiles and Snowcoaches Allowed in the Park on Any Day by Park Entrance/Location for the 2013-2014 Winter Season
|Park entrance/location||Commercially guided
|Commercially guided snowcoaches|
|North Entrance *||12||13|
|Old Faithful *||12||16|
* Commercially guided snowmobile tours originating at the North Entrance and Old Faithful are currently provided solely by one concessioner. Because this concessioner is the sole provider at both of these areas, this regulation allows reallocation of snowmobiles between the North Entrance and Old Faithful as necessary, so long as the total daily number of snowmobiles originating from the two locations does not exceed 24. For example, the concessioner could operate 6 snowmobiles at Old Faithful and 18 at the North Entrance if visitor demand warranted it. This will allow the concessioner to respond to changing visitor demand for commercially guided snowmobile tours, thus enhancing the availability of visitor services in Yellowstone.
(xv) Paragraph (l)(10)(xiv) remains in effect until March 15, 2014.
(11)How will the park monitor compliance with the required average and maximum size of transportation events? As of December 15, 2014:
(iii) Each commercial tour operator must submit a monthly report to the park that includes the information below about snowmobile and snowcoach use. We may require the report to be submitted more frequently than monthly if it becomes necessary to more closely monitor activities to protect natural or cultural resources in the park.
(A) Average group size for allocated transportation events during the previous month and for the winter season to date. Any transportation events that have been exchanged among commercial tour operators must be noted and the receiving party must include these transportation events in its reports.
(B) For each transportation event; the departure date, the duration of the trip (in days), the event type (snowmobile or snowcoach), the number of snowmobiles or snowcoaches, the number of visitors and guides, the entrance used, route, and primary destinations, and if the transportation event allocation was from another commercial tour operator.
(B) Maintain separate records for snowmobiles and snowcoaches that meet enhanced emission standards and those that do not to allow the park to measure compliance with required average and maximum sizes of transportation events.
(12)How will I know when I can operate a snowmobile or snowcoach in the park? The Superintendent will:
(i) Determine the start and end dates of the winter season, which will begin no earlier than December 15 and end no later than March 15 each year. The Superintendent will consider appropriate factors when determining the length of the winter season, including adequate snow cover, the location of wintering wildlife, public safety, resource protection, park operations, and use patterns. Based upon these factors, the Superintendent may determine that there will be no winter season for oversnow vehicles or that certain areas of the park may be closed to public OSV use.
(ii) Determine operating hours, dates, and use levels.
(iii) Notify the public of the start and end dates of the winter season, operating hours, dates, use levels, and any applicable changes through one or more of the methods listed in § 1.7 of this chapter.
(iv) Except for emergency situations, announce annually any changes to the operating hours, dates, and use levels.
(13)What other conditions apply to the operation of oversnow vehicles? (i) The following are prohibited:
(A) Idling an oversnow vehicle for more than three minutes at any one time.
(D) Driving an oversnow vehicle with disregard for the safety of persons, property, or park resources, or otherwise in a reckless manner.
(E) Operating an oversnow vehicle without a lighted white headlamp and red taillight.
(F) Operating an oversnow vehicle that does not have brakes in good working order.
(G) The towing of persons on skis, sleds, or other sliding devices by oversnow vehicles, except for emergency situations.
(H) Racing snowmobiles, or operating a snowmobile in excess of 35 mph, or operating a snowmobile in excess of any lower speed limit in effect under § 4.21(a)(1) or (2) of this chapter or that has been otherwise designated.
(ii) The following are required:
(A) All oversnow vehicles that stop on designated routes must pull over to the far right and next to the snow berm. Pullouts must be used where available and accessible. Oversnow vehicles may not be stopped in a hazardous location or where the view might be obscured. Oversnow vehicles may not be operated so slowly as to interfere with the normal flow of traffic.
(iii) The Superintendent may impose other terms and conditions as necessary to protect park resources, visitors, or employees. The Superintendent will notify the public of any changes through one or more methods listed in § 1.7 of this chapter.
(14)What conditions apply to alcohol use while operating an oversnow vehicle? In addition to 36 CFR 4.23, the following conditions apply:
(i) Operating or being in actual physical control of an oversnow vehicle is prohibited when the operator is under 21 years of age and the alcohol concentration in the operator's blood or breath is 0.02 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or 0.02 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
(ii) Operating or being in actual physical control of an oversnow vehicle is prohibited when the operator is a guide and the alcohol concentration in the operator's blood or breath is 0.04 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 0.04 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
(15)Do other NPS regulations apply to the use of oversnow vehicles? (i) The use of oversnow vehicles in Yellowstone National Park is subject to §§ 2.18(a) and (c), but not subject to §§ 2.18(b), (d), (e), and 2.19(b) of this chapter.
(16)What forms of non-motorized oversnow transportation are allowed in the park?
(i) Non-motorized travel consisting of skiing, skating, snowshoeing, or walking is permitted unless otherwise restricted under this section or other NPS regulations.
(ii) The Superintendent may designate areas of the park as closed, reopen previously closed areas, or establish terms and conditions for non-motorized travel within the park in order to protect visitors, employees, or park resources. The Superintendent will notify the public in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter.
(iii) Dog sledding and ski-joring (a skier being pulled by a dog, horse, or vehicle) are prohibited. Bicycles, including bicycles modified for oversnow travel, are prohibited on oversnow routes in Yellowstone National Park.
(17)May I operate a snowplane in Yellowstone National Park? The operation of a snowplane in Yellowstone National Park is prohibited.
(18)Is violating a provision of this section prohibited? (i) Violating a term, condition, or requirement of paragraph (l) of this section is prohibited.
(19)Have the information collection requirements been approved? The Office of Management and Budget has reviewed and approved the information collection requirements in paragraph (l) and assigned OMB Control No. 1024-0266. We will use this information to monitor compliance with the required average and maximum size of transportation events. The obligation to respond is required in order to obtain or retain a benefit.
(m)Swimming. The swimming or bathing in a natural, historical, or archeological thermal pool or stream that has waters originating entirely from a thermal spring or pool is prohibited.