Excerpt from an interview with Jason Smith of Scenic Safaris.
What are the benefits of a winter tour in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks?
Benefits to the winter tour start with the lack of other tourists in the area. There is also an increased level of animal population mobilizing back and forth and the elk heading down to the refuge where you can get a little different view of them there. In addition the moose come down or out of the mountains and onto the flat areas and bison tend to go back and forth through different pathway corridors.
What are the rules for riding snowmobiles in the national parks?
Drivers must retain a valid driver’s license from their place of origin.
Are there any restrictions to riding a snowmobile?
In the National Park, there are speed limitations in areas. We follow the rules of the road as you would have a vehicle. In the National Forest it’s built more for off the road experience and being able to take time to stop at different places. There are opportunities to get off trail and drive as fast as you like but there’s also places that are just very much simpler and flatter and less exhilarating.
What do I need to bring? Do you have snowmobiling suits, goggles and other necessary equipment for rent through Scenic Safaris?
Yes. As a company we have all of the perfect gear boots, snow suits, gloves and helmets. We do have for purchase head warmers, balaclavas for a face sock, and if you’re on a guided trip a lot of guys do carry extra goggles, but that is not something that Scenic Safaris provides as an outfitter. We do have with all of our helmets, which we have several versions, a transparent visor that slips down in front of your eyes and it’s a matter of personal preference, whether you have goggles or sunglasses or just the transparent shield that slips down in front of your face. It’s all set up to the individual person that there’s not one answer for the comfort of a snowmobiler.