BRC Snowmobile Visitation to Yellowstone Increases 4.5%

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May 8, 2008

Jack Welch, Special Projects Consultant, BlueRibbon Coalition
- Phone: (303) 279-8436 or Cell (303) 324-7185
- Fax: (303) 279-8214
- Email:
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Date: 02/11/2008

by Jack Welch, Special Projects Consultant
BlueRibbon Coalition

Yellowstone National Park remains a very popular winter destination for snowmobile enthusiasts. In fact, the rate of visitation to the Park continues to grow, as shown by the just-released report from the National Park Service, which shows that December through January snowmobile visitors year over year were 17,007 versus 16,268 for a 4.5 percent increase. This increase is on top of a 10.31 percent increase for the 2006-2007 winter season in Yellowstone.

What does this mean? It means that, even with the plethora of restrictions and controversy, snowmobile visitation to Yellowstone is on the rebound! And here are several reasons for the national appeal of Yellowstone by snowmobile and for the increase in ridership.

I just returned from a commercially guided trip into the Park with "Wyoming Adventures." We went from Flagg Ranch in Wyoming through the South Entrance to the West Thumb and Old Faithful area. In my group were people from varied locations, including Tennessee and South Carolina. Yes, Yellowstone has the same broad appeal in winter as in other seasons. We traveled to West Thumb and on to Old Faithful area for lunch and to view the Old Faithful Geyser. In our 90-plus mile trek, we viewed thermal features and, of course, the wildlife along the groomed roads. A major reason snowmobiles continue to grow in popularity for visiting the Park is that they provide the most flexible mode of transportation. If a group of riders want to stop to watch a geyser erupt, they can just pull over on the groomed roads and do so. In addition, the view of the Park from a snowmobile is a personal one, with ever-changing vistas to be remembered for the rest of your life.

And now let's review the management prescriptions that continue for the rest of this season. The main points include 720 snowmobiles entries to Yellowstone per day, all of which have to meet Best Available Technology standards (BAT) and must be commercially guided. Please note, the regulations for next season are changing and will be covered in additional updates.

For more information, review the Yellowstone Park and Grand Teton National Parks' latest winter planning newsletter posted at the end of this update.

In closing, please remember that Yellowstone remains open to snowmobiles and represents one of the most profound victories over the extreme preservationists in our lifetime. Enjoy the victory and make your plans to come enjoy Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this winter on a snowmobile. We are blessed with abundant snow this winter and the Park will be open for sledding until early March!

Note: For current information on items covered in this summary, go to our dedicated website of

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks' Winter Planning Newsletter


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