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Prevent the transport of aquatic invasive species to Yellowstone by making sure you clean, drain, and dry your boat before you arrive.
Exploring Yellowstone’s lakes by boat offers a great way to see the park from a different perspective. However, boating in the Northern Rockies presents significant risks. Water temperatures on park lakes are in the 40s (Fahrenheit) in June, and may reach the 60s by late summer. In addition, sudden strong winds can produce three to five foot waves, making open-water crossings very dangerous. Boaters in canoes, kayaks, and other small craft must be aware of these hazards and plan accordingly.
Guided Trips & Rentals
Yellowstone National Park Lodges provides boat rentals and guided boat trips at Bridge Bay Marina on Yellowstone Lake. Other companies offer guided services for canoeing, kayaking, and motorized boating.
Permits & Inspections
If you plan to use your own boat or angler float tube, you’ll need a permit and a Yellowstone aquatic invasive species inspection. You can speed up the inspection process by arriving with a boat that is clean, drained, and dry. Watercraft that arrive dirty or with standing water will be subject to decontamination. Watercraft that cannot be properly decontaminated will be prohibited from launching.
Permits and inspections are issued at the locations listed below. These facilities are open seven days a week from 8 am to 4:30 pm during the summer season. Boating season opens on the Saturday of Memorial day and ends the first Monday in November.
Motorized & Non-motorized Watercraft (including angler float tubes)
Angler Float Tubes Only
Inspection Station Contact Numbers
The following fees are charged for boating permits (includes required aquatic invasive species inspection):
Payable by debit or credit card.
Addition regulations apply. If you plan to boat in the park, read our booklet on boating regulations and safety.
Last updated: September 7, 2021