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Snowmobile Safety

Register Online for a Snowmobile Safety Course!

  • 2014/2015 class schedule  **Pre-registration is required. Contact your regional trail coordinator below for details.**

View or download the "Snowmobiling in Idaho" brochure

These one-day classes are divided into classroom and field exercises and are held regularly during winter months in Northern, Eastern and Southern Idaho. For information about dates of classes in your region, contact your region coordinator:
 
Northern Idaho
Blair Geiger
(208) 769-1511
 
Eastern Idaho
(208) 514-2414
 
Southern Idaho
(208) 514-2414

Snowmobile safety basics

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. 
  • Always keep to the right on snowmobile trails. 
  • Don't ride alone; two snowmobiles traveling together are much safer than one. 
  • Don't drink alcohol and ride. 
  • Always carry basic emergency and survival equipment (below). 
  • Be familiar with your snowmobile; try short trips and practice in open areas to become thoroughly familiar with its controls and operation before going on extended trips. 
  • Always wear adequate winter clothing and protective glasses, goggles or face shields. Use sun screen to protect your skin from sunburn.

Snowmobile survival kit

  • Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel
  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container 
  • Several disposable lighters 
  • Cell phone 
  • Plastic whistle 
  • Map, compass, GPS 
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries 
  • 50 feet of 1/4-inch rope 
  • First aid kit 
  • Space blanket 
  • Candles 
  • High energy food 
  • Signal mirror 
  • Knife 
  • Metal cup 
  • Folding saw 
  • Extra drive belt, spark plugs and tool kit 
  • Tarpaulin or plastic windbreak

 

 

Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting sport that enables people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors in the winter. Each year in Idaho the sport continues to grow. While snowmobiling is one of the best ways to enjoy Idaho’s backcountry, it can be hazardous if you aren’t prepared.

See all Snowmobiling events


Idaho Snowmobile Program

The Idaho snowmobile program is funded through registration fees purchased by snowmobilers. On November 1 of each year every snowmobile operated on private or public land must be registered. Registration fees are $32.50 for residents and non-residents and $62.50 for rental machines. Note: non-residents are not exempt from purchasing an Idaho snowmobile registration.

Click here for Idaho snowmobile registration statistics.

Click here to review the 2011-2012 Snowmobile Program Audit by County.

Designations

To ensure the area you ride has enough funding to operate throughout the season, please designate your registration fees to the county you ride.

How is your registration fee broken down?

  • $1.50 vendor fee
  • $1.00 snowmobile related Search and Rescue efforts
  • 85% goes to the county operated snowmobile grooming programs 
  • Up to 15% goes to administration fees and the printing costs of registration stickers.

What are the registration fees used for?

  • Grooming
  • Parking lot plowing
  • Signing
  • Clearing groomed trails
  • Avalanche forecasting
  • Avalanche classes
  • New rider classes

When does grooming occur?

Grooming happens as weather, snow and safety permit. The below bullets briefly identify when programs groom trails.

  • When safety of the equipment and operators are not a concern.
  • When there is a minimum of 18” of snow in the parking lot.
  • When avalanche conditions do not pose a safety concern for grooming operations.
  • When the grooming temperatures are between -20⁰F and 40⁰F.

 


Riding Your Snowmobile Legally in Idaho

Why should I register my snowmobile?

Idaho Snowmobile owners are legally obligated to register their snowmobiles.  Snowmobile owners must register their snowmobiles on or before November 1 of each year.

How do I register a new or used snowmobile?

 
A snowmobile must be registered before it leaves the premises of a snowmobile dealer/retailer at the time of sale.  The purchaser of a used snowmobile, which has been previously registered, must transfer the registration within 15 days of the sale. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation or its vendors (click here for a list) will prepare a new registration with the purchaser's name and address. The transfer fee is $4.50. Applications for an Idaho title must be filed at the nearest county assessor's office. Idaho Code 67-7103.

How do I renew my snowmobile registration?

 
The easiest way to renew your snowmobile registration is to go online at Idaho Parks and Rec.  You may also renew at your local DMV or a designated vendor.
 

How much are registration fees?

The registration fee is $32.50 for personal machines, $62.50 for rental machines including a $1.50 vendor fee.

How long is my sticker valid?

For one year.  All registrations are valid from November 1 to October 31 of the following year. Idaho Code 67-7103

Do I have to register my snowmobile if I am a not a resident of Idaho?

Idaho requires all out-of-state snowmobilers to purchase a nonresident snowmobile user certificate. The certificate costs $32.50 and is available at authorized snowmobile registration vendors. It is good for a period of one year. Short term certificates are not available. Nonresidents may designate their certificate fees to the county snowmobile program of their primary use.

Where do I put the registration sticker on my snowmobile?

The registration stickers must be placed on the right and left side of the cowling of the snowmobile and be visible and legible at all times. Placing the registration stickers on places other than the right and left side of the cowling invalidates the registration. Idaho Code 67-7103

Where do my registration dollars go?

Snowmobile Registration Designation Map

Back into your sport!  Registration dollars collected for snowmobile registration go back into programs that benefit snowmobilers.  You can designate which Idaho county you want your registration dollars to go.  Each county with a snowmobile program is entitled to 85% of the registration fees designated for that county. The money may only be used for county snowmobile programs such as maintenance and operation of snowmobile trail groomers, signing of snowmobile trails, plowing parking lots, and maintaining warming shelters. Up to 15% of the state snowmobile account generated each year may be used by the department for administrative costs, such as the cost of the sticker and mailing renewal notices.

 

 

 


Avalanche Safety Training

Avalanche safety training is a critical tool for snowmobile riders in Idaho today, from the extreme sport enthusiast to the casual rider.   

Approximately half of all avalanche fatalities are snowmobile related. In 90 percent of the avalanche accidents the victim or someone in the victim’s party triggers the avalanche. Avalanche conditions are predictable and many accidents can be prevented. If you are planning to ride in avalanche terrain, be sure to check the local avalanche forecast before your trip. We encourage you to take an avalanche awareness course if you ride in avalanche country, and check the United States Forest Service avalanche center forecast website. 

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers free avalanche safety courses throughout the state of Idaho during the winter months. Take the time to attend an avalanche awareness course and get educated about avalanche safety.

Avalanche Equipment

Make sure you and the people you ride with carry and know how to use the following avalanche equipment:

  • Avalanche safety gear

  • Avalanche beacon 

  • Backcountry snow shovel 

  • Avalanche probe 

  • Backpack to keep gear on snowmobiler, not machine

 

 

Take a Free Avalanche Safety Course

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers free snowmobile-based avalanche awareness courses throughout the state. Avalanche awareness training provides snowmobile riders with the information needed to make informed decisions. For your personal safety and the safety of those you travel with, take one of the free awarenss courses.



Frequently Asked Questions about Snowmobiling in Idaho

How do I prepare to go snowmobiling?

The best thing you can do is take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche safety course from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. It's helpful to join a club to get to know other riders. Also, know your snowmobile. Take the time to read your owner's manuel.

What type of clothing should I wear when I snowmobile?

  • DOT and SNELL approved helmet 
  • Goggles or face shield 
  • Polypropylene base layer for wicking moisture (long sleeve shirt and pants)
  • Warm fleece insulating layer (jacket & pants) 
  • Waterproof/windproof/breathable outer layer (jacket and bibs)
  • Warm merino wool or wool socks that wick moisture
  • Waterproof/insulated winter pac boots or snowmobile specific boots
  • Waterproof/insulated gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat

What are the snowmobile safety basics?

  • Take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche course from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. 
  • Always keep to the right on snowmobile trails. 
  • Don't ride alone; two snowmobiles traveling together are much safer than one. 
  • Don't drink alcohol and ride. 
  • Be familiar with your snowmobile; try short trips and practice in open areas to become thoroughly familiar with its controls and operation before going on extended trips. 
  • Always wear adequate winter clothing and protective glasses, goggles or face shields.
  • Use sun screen to protect your skin from sunburn.

How do I prepare if I go snowmobiling in Idaho backcountry?

  • Take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche safety course from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Be prepared for harsh weather.
  • Wear synthetic and waterproof/windproof clothing. 
  • Bring a GPS or cell phone and keep in close contact with people. 
  • Be prepared to spend a night out in the woods if necessary. Preparedness can mean the difference between being a little uncomfortable or becoming a statistic. 
  • Make it a point to assemble a survival kit and be sure to carry it with you every time you go out.
  • Always let someone know where you are headed. 

What is in a basic snowmobile survival kit?

  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container 
  • Several disposable lighters 
  • Cell phone 
  • Plastic whistle 
  • Map, compass, GPS 
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries 
  • 50 feet of 1/4-inch rope 
  • First aid kit 
  • Space blanket 
  • Candles 
  • High energy food 
  • Signal mirror 
  • Knife 
  • Metal cup 
  • Folding saw 
  • Extra drive belt, spark plugs and tool kit 
  • Tarpaulin or plastic windbreak

Why should I register my snowmobile?

Idaho snowmobile owners are legally obligated to register their snowmobiles. Snowmobile owners must register their snowmoniles on or before November 1 of each year.

How do I register a new or used snowmobile?

A snowmobile must be registered before it leaves the premises of a snowmobile dealer/retailer at the time of sale.  The purchaser of a used snowmobile, which has been previously registered, must transfer the registration within 15 days of the sale. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation or its vendors (click here for a list) will prepare a new registration with the purchaser's name and address. The transfer fee is $4.50. Applications for an Idaho title must be filed at the nearest county assessor's office. Idaho Code 67-7103.

What is the snowmobile code of ethics?

  • I will be a good sports enthusiast. I recognize that people judge all snowmobile owners by my actions. I will use my influence with other snowmobile owners to promote safe snowmobile conduct. 
  • I will not litter trails or camping areas. I will not pollute streams or lakes. 
  • I will not damage living trees, shrubs, or other natural features. I will go out only when there is sufficient snow so that I will not damage the land. 
  • I will respect other peopleís property and rights. 
  • I will lend a helping hand when I see someone in distress. 
  • I will make myself and my vehicle available to assist search and rescue parties. 
  • I will not interfere with or harass hikers, skiers, snowshoers, ice anglers or other winter sports enthusiasts. I will respect their rights to enjoy our recreation facilities. 
  • I will know and obey all federal, state, and local rules regulating the operation of snowmobiles in areas where I plan to ride. 
  • I will not harass wildlife. I will avoid areas posted for the protection of wildlife. I will not ride under the influence of alcohol.
 
 
 

 

 

Snowmobile Safety

Register Online for a Snowmobile Safety Course!

  • 2014/2015 class schedule  **Pre-registration is required. Contact your regional trail coordinator below for details.**

View or download the "Snowmobiling in Idaho" brochure

These one-day classes are divided into classroom and field exercises and are held regularly during winter months in Northern, Eastern and Southern Idaho. For information about dates of classes in your region, contact your region coordinator:
 
Northern Idaho
Blair Geiger
(208) 769-1511
 
Eastern Idaho
(208) 514-2414
 
Southern Idaho
(208) 514-2414

Snowmobile safety basics

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. 
  • Always keep to the right on snowmobile trails. 
  • Don't ride alone; two snowmobiles traveling together are much safer than one. 
  • Don't drink alcohol and ride. 
  • Always carry basic emergency and survival equipment (below). 
  • Be familiar with your snowmobile; try short trips and practice in open areas to become thoroughly familiar with its controls and operation before going on extended trips. 
  • Always wear adequate winter clothing and protective glasses, goggles or face shields. Use sun screen to protect your skin from sunburn.

Snowmobile survival kit

  • Avalanche beacon, probe and shovel
  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container 
  • Several disposable lighters 
  • Cell phone 
  • Plastic whistle 
  • Map, compass, GPS 
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries 
  • 50 feet of 1/4-inch rope 
  • First aid kit 
  • Space blanket 
  • Candles 
  • High energy food 
  • Signal mirror 
  • Knife 
  • Metal cup 
  • Folding saw 
  • Extra drive belt, spark plugs and tool kit 
  • Tarpaulin or plastic windbreak

 

 

Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting sport that enables people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors in the winter. Each year in Idaho the sport continues to grow. While snowmobiling is one of the best ways to enjoy Idaho’s backcountry, it can be hazardous if you aren’t prepared.

See all Snowmobiling events

Idaho Snowmobile Program

The Idaho snowmobile program is funded through registration fees purchased by snowmobilers. On November 1 of each year every snowmobile operated on private or public land must be registered. Registration fees are $32.50 for residents and non-residents and $62.50 for rental machines. Note: non-residents are not exempt from purchasing an Idaho snowmobile registration.

Click here for Idaho snowmobile registration statistics.

Click here to review the 2011-2012 Snowmobile Program Audit by County.

Designations

To ensure the area you ride has enough funding to operate throughout the season, please designate your registration fees to the county you ride.

How is your registration fee broken down?

  • $1.50 vendor fee
  • $1.00 snowmobile related Search and Rescue efforts
  • 85% goes to the county operated snowmobile grooming programs 
  • Up to 15% goes to administration fees and the printing costs of registration stickers.

What are the registration fees used for?

  • Grooming
  • Parking lot plowing
  • Signing
  • Clearing groomed trails
  • Avalanche forecasting
  • Avalanche classes
  • New rider classes

When does grooming occur?

Grooming happens as weather, snow and safety permit. The below bullets briefly identify when programs groom trails.

  • When safety of the equipment and operators are not a concern.
  • When there is a minimum of 18” of snow in the parking lot.
  • When avalanche conditions do not pose a safety concern for grooming operations.
  • When the grooming temperatures are between -20⁰F and 40⁰F.

 

Riding Your Snowmobile Legally in Idaho

Why should I register my snowmobile?

Idaho Snowmobile owners are legally obligated to register their snowmobiles.  Snowmobile owners must register their snowmobiles on or before November 1 of each year.

How do I register a new or used snowmobile?

 
A snowmobile must be registered before it leaves the premises of a snowmobile dealer/retailer at the time of sale.  The purchaser of a used snowmobile, which has been previously registered, must transfer the registration within 15 days of the sale. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation or its vendors (click here for a list) will prepare a new registration with the purchaser's name and address. The transfer fee is $4.50. Applications for an Idaho title must be filed at the nearest county assessor's office. Idaho Code 67-7103.

How do I renew my snowmobile registration?

 
The easiest way to renew your snowmobile registration is to go online at Idaho Parks and Rec.  You may also renew at your local DMV or a designated vendor.
 

How much are registration fees?

The registration fee is $32.50 for personal machines, $62.50 for rental machines including a $1.50 vendor fee.

How long is my sticker valid?

For one year.  All registrations are valid from November 1 to October 31 of the following year. Idaho Code 67-7103

Do I have to register my snowmobile if I am a not a resident of Idaho?

Idaho requires all out-of-state snowmobilers to purchase a nonresident snowmobile user certificate. The certificate costs $32.50 and is available at authorized snowmobile registration vendors. It is good for a period of one year. Short term certificates are not available. Nonresidents may designate their certificate fees to the county snowmobile program of their primary use.

Where do I put the registration sticker on my snowmobile?

The registration stickers must be placed on the right and left side of the cowling of the snowmobile and be visible and legible at all times. Placing the registration stickers on places other than the right and left side of the cowling invalidates the registration. Idaho Code 67-7103

Where do my registration dollars go?

Snowmobile Registration Designation Map

Back into your sport!  Registration dollars collected for snowmobile registration go back into programs that benefit snowmobilers.  You can designate which Idaho county you want your registration dollars to go.  Each county with a snowmobile program is entitled to 85% of the registration fees designated for that county. The money may only be used for county snowmobile programs such as maintenance and operation of snowmobile trail groomers, signing of snowmobile trails, plowing parking lots, and maintaining warming shelters. Up to 15% of the state snowmobile account generated each year may be used by the department for administrative costs, such as the cost of the sticker and mailing renewal notices.

 

 

 

Avalanche Safety Training

Avalanche safety training is a critical tool for snowmobile riders in Idaho today, from the extreme sport enthusiast to the casual rider.   

Approximately half of all avalanche fatalities are snowmobile related. In 90 percent of the avalanche accidents the victim or someone in the victim’s party triggers the avalanche. Avalanche conditions are predictable and many accidents can be prevented. If you are planning to ride in avalanche terrain, be sure to check the local avalanche forecast before your trip. We encourage you to take an avalanche awareness course if you ride in avalanche country, and check the United States Forest Service avalanche center forecast website. 

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers free avalanche safety courses throughout the state of Idaho during the winter months. Take the time to attend an avalanche awareness course and get educated about avalanche safety.

Avalanche Equipment

Make sure you and the people you ride with carry and know how to use the following avalanche equipment:

  • Avalanche safety gear

  • Avalanche beacon 

  • Backcountry snow shovel 

  • Avalanche probe 

  • Backpack to keep gear on snowmobiler, not machine

 

 

Take a Free Avalanche Safety Course

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers free snowmobile-based avalanche awareness courses throughout the state. Avalanche awareness training provides snowmobile riders with the information needed to make informed decisions. For your personal safety and the safety of those you travel with, take one of the free awarenss courses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Snowmobiling in Idaho

How do I prepare to go snowmobiling?

The best thing you can do is take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche safety course from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. It's helpful to join a club to get to know other riders. Also, know your snowmobile. Take the time to read your owner's manuel.

What type of clothing should I wear when I snowmobile?

  • DOT and SNELL approved helmet 
  • Goggles or face shield 
  • Polypropylene base layer for wicking moisture (long sleeve shirt and pants)
  • Warm fleece insulating layer (jacket & pants) 
  • Waterproof/windproof/breathable outer layer (jacket and bibs)
  • Warm merino wool or wool socks that wick moisture
  • Waterproof/insulated winter pac boots or snowmobile specific boots
  • Waterproof/insulated gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat

What are the snowmobile safety basics?

  • Take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche course from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. 
  • Always keep to the right on snowmobile trails. 
  • Don't ride alone; two snowmobiles traveling together are much safer than one. 
  • Don't drink alcohol and ride. 
  • Be familiar with your snowmobile; try short trips and practice in open areas to become thoroughly familiar with its controls and operation before going on extended trips. 
  • Always wear adequate winter clothing and protective glasses, goggles or face shields.
  • Use sun screen to protect your skin from sunburn.

How do I prepare if I go snowmobiling in Idaho backcountry?

  • Take a free snowmobile safety and avalanche safety course from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • Be prepared for harsh weather.
  • Wear synthetic and waterproof/windproof clothing. 
  • Bring a GPS or cell phone and keep in close contact with people. 
  • Be prepared to spend a night out in the woods if necessary. Preparedness can mean the difference between being a little uncomfortable or becoming a statistic. 
  • Make it a point to assemble a survival kit and be sure to carry it with you every time you go out.
  • Always let someone know where you are headed. 

What is in a basic snowmobile survival kit?

  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container 
  • Several disposable lighters 
  • Cell phone 
  • Plastic whistle 
  • Map, compass, GPS 
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries 
  • 50 feet of 1/4-inch rope 
  • First aid kit 
  • Space blanket 
  • Candles 
  • High energy food 
  • Signal mirror 
  • Knife 
  • Metal cup 
  • Folding saw 
  • Extra drive belt, spark plugs and tool kit 
  • Tarpaulin or plastic windbreak

Why should I register my snowmobile?

Idaho snowmobile owners are legally obligated to register their snowmobiles. Snowmobile owners must register their snowmoniles on or before November 1 of each year.

How do I register a new or used snowmobile?

A snowmobile must be registered before it leaves the premises of a snowmobile dealer/retailer at the time of sale.  The purchaser of a used snowmobile, which has been previously registered, must transfer the registration within 15 days of the sale. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation or its vendors (click here for a list) will prepare a new registration with the purchaser's name and address. The transfer fee is $4.50. Applications for an Idaho title must be filed at the nearest county assessor's office. Idaho Code 67-7103.

What is the snowmobile code of ethics?

  • I will be a good sports enthusiast. I recognize that people judge all snowmobile owners by my actions. I will use my influence with other snowmobile owners to promote safe snowmobile conduct. 
  • I will not litter trails or camping areas. I will not pollute streams or lakes. 
  • I will not damage living trees, shrubs, or other natural features. I will go out only when there is sufficient snow so that I will not damage the land. 
  • I will respect other peopleís property and rights. 
  • I will lend a helping hand when I see someone in distress. 
  • I will make myself and my vehicle available to assist search and rescue parties. 
  • I will not interfere with or harass hikers, skiers, snowshoers, ice anglers or other winter sports enthusiasts. I will respect their rights to enjoy our recreation facilities. 
  • I will know and obey all federal, state, and local rules regulating the operation of snowmobiles in areas where I plan to ride. 
  • I will not harass wildlife. I will avoid areas posted for the protection of wildlife. I will not ride under the influence of alcohol.