Yellowstone Snowmobile Education Certificate

Learn the rules and procedures for operating a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park. Once you have a permit, you must also complete this course and be operating a 'Best Available Technology' snowmobile to be allowed into the park.




In order to operate a snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park on a non-commercial trip, you must obtain a permit through the lottery, complete this course, and be operating a Best Available Technology snowmobile. You must take and pass a brief assessment in order to complete this course. Completion certificates expire two years after they are issued.

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The purpose of this course is to educate visitors who intend to visit and snowmobile in Yellowstone about the rules and regulations governing winter use in the park, as well as to prepare them for the park’s unique environment.

This course is part of a non-commercially guided snowmobile access program, which allows members of the public to enter Yellowstone without being accompanied by a commercial guide. This does not mean unguided access: if you follow the guidance in this course, you will have the knowledge you need to act as a guide for your party. The primary goals of the park are to protect Yellowstone's resources and make possible a high quality visitor experience. Whether you are a novice or an experienced snowmobiler, there are several important things you will need to know about snowmobiling in Yellowstone.

The National Park Service is pleased to provide this education course and the Non-commercially Guided Snowmobile Education Program. Both were developed with input from a working group that includes members of the snowmobiling community, environmental organizations, local businesses, and local government. In particular, the National Park Service would like to thank Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming and the State of Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Recreational Trails Program for providing funding.

Course Schedule

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need. While exploring course content, learners can investigate topics in greater detail through enrichment activities that link to real-world examples, original source materials, and policy documents. Learners can easily move from section to section as they navigate through the course, revisiting concepts as needed.

Elements of the course

  • Informational text
  • Informational video
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Final assessment

After completing all course activities, you will complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Riding a Snowmobile in Yellowstone
  • Wildlife and Other Park Resources
  • Changing Times
  • Hazard Awareness
  • Conclusion

Be able to:

  • Identify the tools, safety and emergency equipment, apparel, and personal items to bring to Yellowstone.
  • List sources of local weather forecasts
  • Select Best Available Technology (BAT) snowmobiles and rental locations as necessary
  • List entry and certification documents required for park entry.
  • Explain the check-in process.
  • Determine the correct snowmobile speed limits for roads within developed and undeveloped park areas.
  • Determine how to drive in adverse conditions, such as inclement weather or poor road conditions.
  • Recognize hand signals.
  • Identify appropriate group riding order, appropriate following distances, safe speeds, procedures for transporting passengers, and stopping times.
  • Describe when and why different riding positions should be used.
  • Use Yellowstone's roadside markers to safely navigate terrain.
  • Recall the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Yellowstone.
  • Explain why staying on the roads is required and how this procedure reduces the risk of getting stuck and preserves resources.
  • Explain the importance of interacting with wildlife safely and minimally.
  • Identify and contact Emergency Services available in the park.
  • Identify the steps to take to get help and keep riders in your group safe when presented with emergency scenarios.

If you require additional assistance while registering for this course or creating your account, please contact the Eppley Institute help desk at 812-855-3095 or use our contact form to submit a request online.

Recommended Background

Each snowmobile operator, including the trip leader, must successfully complete this course prior to your snowmobiling event. The non-commercial guide (the trip leader) must be at least 18 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license by the first day of the trip. The trip leader requirements need not be met prior to completing this course.


SNOWMOBILE Review by Jukeya
I really enjoyed this course and I hope to visit this site soon (Posted on 4/27/2020)
wordyReview by Julianna
entertainingly filled with knowledge (Posted on 1/30/2020)
Unecessary trick questionsReview by WYOGirl
Didn't care for all the unnecessary trick questions. Please keep it straight forward and honest. We found two answers that were different from the original course. (Posted on 1/20/2020)
okReview by Bryan
ok wont give me my 2020 (Posted on 1/13/2020)
Great courseReview by Barry
very good (Posted on 1/11/2020)
Great courseReview by Barry
good information (Posted on 1/11/2020)
Great courseReview by Linda
I am glad this is a mandatory requirement for riding snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park. I learned a lot of valuable information (Posted on 1/11/2020)
unsatisfactoryReview by Constant
I can't get my certificate. (Posted on 1/11/2020)
Marginally satisfactoryReview by Constant
Very difficult for me to follow (Posted on 1/11/2020)
Good courseReview by Tif
A ton of info, much of it new to me. Hope to remember it all. Very informative and took much longer to complete than expected. (Posted on 1/10/2020)
greatReview by Di
it is good to learn such important information before heading to the park (Posted on 12/27/2019)
Great practical, and useful information.Review by Ryan
I'm glad that this is a requirement. Great info. (Posted on 12/15/2019)
The course was a very good and is applicable to all snowmobilersReview by Tarry
I recommend the course to all snowmobilers since it contains useful information for any time you ride (Posted on 10/18/2019)
Great courseReview by Elizabeth
Concise and hits the key points for safety and respecting the park. (Posted on 9/17/2019)
Very GoodReview by Robert
Had a hard time loading the assessment part of the test. I had to go the round the block, but finally was able to access the blocked part. Some of the questions was confusing. (Posted on 9/11/2019)
Useful Review by Callin
Very useful and detailed. Thank you for your time and resources into making this course available. (Posted on 8/3/2019)
Learn alotReview by John
Great course (Posted on 2/28/2019)
Very informativeReview by Ahalya
Very detailed info on do's and don'ts. effective knowledge. (Posted on 1/30/2019)
Good!Review by Jim
Very good! (Posted on 1/21/2019)
simpleReview by Ryan
Quick and simple (Posted on 1/7/2019)
Very informative. Review by Ed
Excellent. (Posted on 12/31/2018)
veri niceReview by Kyle
veri nice (Posted on 12/26/2018)
concise yet practical and comprehensiveReview by John
concise yet practical and comprehensive (Posted on 12/23/2018)
The course is fine but gives different information than the assessment test wantsReview by Lauren
I missed two questions on the assessment because I gave the answers the course gave me, verbatim. It's not right that you can take the course and give the exact answer provided The course should give all the information needed to pass the test and the information should be accurate, OR the test should use an answer key that reflects the course material.

For example: one question asks what equipment you should bring and gives two options. 1) Whistle, rope, blanket 2) Blanket, rope, batteries. In the course materials a blanket and extra batteries are specifically listed as items to bring. No where in the PDF was a whistle mentioned yet the correct answer is whistle, rope, blanket.

The other question that was flawed was in regards to how many spare drivebelts should be brought on your trip. The course specifically says "make sure there is at least one extra for your group." So on the test I put that 1-2 drivebelts for a group was sufficient and it was incorrect. The test wanted me to put that there should be 1 belt per snowmobile.

Now, I do not disagree that a whistle, blanket, and rope should be brought in your survival kit nor do I disagree that each rider should have their own drivebelt. That makes perfect sense to me. The course does not say that though and either the teachings are incorrect or the test is. Either way, something needs to be fixed so that groups do not go into the parks with bad information and improper equipment.

Other than that, the format of the course is well done. (Posted on 12/12/2018)
Good courseReview by Gary
Questions should be more specific. (Posted on 11/19/2018)
good courseReview by Bill
fun (Posted on 9/11/2018)
niceReview by elvin
nice (Posted on 2/8/2018)
Good courseReview by Brianna
Instructive, effective (Posted on 2/8/2018)
good courseReview by Smokey
Thank you for this very important information. (Posted on 2/7/2018)
Some questions really poorly wordedReview by Jennifer
At times the questions here were worded in such a way where it was possible to answer the question technically correct and still get an error. Example question was about whether Snowmobiles were only allowed to drive on all roads open to car traffic in Summer. I answered this question as "False" which told me I was incorrect and stated that snowmobiles are only allowed on groomed roads (no off-roading). I knew this but in the materials it did say that certain roads -open to car traffic in Summer- were not open to snowmobiles in Winter e.g. Dunraven Pass. So the question is misleading. (Posted on 2/7/2018)
The course is quite helpful, especially for inexperienced sledders and those who don't understand the needs of wildlife.Review by Dr. John
The course is fine and informative for those who have not ridden sled and are not appreciative of the needs of wildlife, especially during the challenging winter months. My only concern is that one or two of the questions could be interpreted a bit differently by experienced rides. For example the one on getting a sled unstuck could be reworded with respect to clearing the headlight and air intakes. We're used to riding in deep powder in norther Colorado and when we have a sled stuck we clean the air intakes before riding out to prevent more snow from being sucked in, but I recognize that not everyone might agree as it's a minor point. In total the tutorial is fine and we appreciate all the park service is doing to make this unique experience available and safe. (Posted on 2/7/2018)
well doneReview by Peggy
Good over view (Posted on 2/1/2018)
Informative and well laid outReview by Kenneth
I found the structure of the course to be well laid out with the repetitive information. (Posted on 2/1/2018)
Good informationReview by Rich K
Took the course and even though I have ridden in Yellowstone before with a guide it provided good insight and information you may not have considered otherwise. (Posted on 1/30/2018)
Assessment Test needs rewritingReview by Eric
A few of the questions are poorly written.
For example, it should be TRUE that idling your snowmobile for 5 minutes is not allowed (even if 3 minutes is the limit). That is still a TRUE. (Posted on 1/29/2018)
ExcellentReview by Ken
Great overview of winter in Yellowstone! (Posted on 1/23/2018)
One of the final questions misleadingReview by Troy
One of the questions is a True/False question:

No idling longer than five minutes. While I get that you all are testing to see if we remember the three minute idling rule...the statement "no idling over five minutes" is also technically true (as 3<5). I would rephrase to say T/F: It is okay to idle your engine for less than 5 minutes to clear up any ambiguity. (Posted on 1/22/2018)
Well done.Review by Barbara
Well done. (Posted on 1/1/2018)
HelpfulReview by Alan
Very helpful in understanding the rules while snowmobiling in yellowstone (Posted on 12/30/2017)
it was informativeReview by Richard
perfessional (Posted on 12/28/2017)
very usefulReview by POLINA
I have learned quite a bit and feel the course was extremely helpful for our upcoming trip. Thanks you (Posted on 12/28/2017)
okReview by Chris
ok (Posted on 12/22/2017)
A lot of good information!Review by David
Some of the info I already knew, but it is always good to refresh this info. (Posted on 12/20/2017)
Very GoodReview by Chuck
Course is well done and informative. (Posted on 12/17/2017)
GoodReview by Taylor
Good (Posted on 12/14/2017)
goodReview by ryan
good to know stuff here (Posted on 12/10/2017)
Basic Review for Preperation to Ride in Yellowstone.Review by Amy
I have ridden in Yellowstone on two occasions and am looking forward to riding again. The course covers the material well and I appreciate the online format. (Posted on 11/28/2017)
!Review by Eric
!! (Posted on 11/12/2017)
very well doneReview by Jay
thank you (Posted on 10/28/2017)
niceReview by Daniel
long (Posted on 10/18/2017)
This Course is very basicReview by Matthew
This course covers the very basic amount of knowledge needed to snowmobile in Yellowsone (Posted on 10/5/2017)
Good courseReview by Anthony
Good course. (Posted on 9/5/2017)
good courseReview by Bruce
just enough information (Posted on 12/6/2015)

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