Road ecology blog: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park

January 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Road ecology blog: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.

The situation with snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park has been much improved over the last decade. Two stroke engines were commonplace but these machines are very noisy, pollute the environment substantially, and the emissions are unhealthy, especially for park personnel at entrance booths. Currently only four stroke engines are allowed. The four stroke engines are much more quiet, pollute less, and do not put the health of park personnel at the entrances at so much risk. In addition, snowmobiles can now only enter with a guide (one guide for a group of 10 snowmobiles at a maximum) and there are strict rules on how to drive and behave, especially around wildlife. This has much reduced irresponsible thrill seeking behavior and disturbance to wildlife that do not have energy to spare in the winter months. Personally, I prefer a snow coach.  Snow coaches are much warmer, you can bring more gear (including skis), you get to know other people in the snowcoach, and you have a guide that drives you while you eat a sandwich or drink your tea. While a snowmobile may seem to offer more "freedom of movement" it really does not as you need to always pay attention to the guide and the snowmobiles in front of you and follow strict rules. This takes away from the time you have to look around, enjoy the landscape and look for wildlife.

Click here for the snowmobile images in Yellowstone.

Click here for more images of the snowcoach ride.

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Line of snowmobiles (guide in front) passed by our snow coach, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles (guide in front) passed by our snow coach, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles (guide in front) passed by our snow coach, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Guide leading a line of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USAGuide leading a line of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USAGuide leading a line of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA Line of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA Line of snowmobiles parked along road to view wildlife, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles parked along road to view wildlife, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALine of snowmobiles parked along road to view wildlife, near West Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA Lines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA Lines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USALines of snowmobiles at Madison junction parking area, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

 

Image below: Passenger van with snow tracks, Madison Junction, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Passenger van with snow tracks, Madison Junction, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USAPassenger van with snow tracks, Madison Junction, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USAPassenger van with snow tracks, Madison Junction, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA


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