Officials caution snowmobilers on off-limit areas

Press release

Based upon reports from rangers and visitors alike, the Inyo National Forest is reminding snowmobilers to respect off-limit areas of the forest that are closed to snowmobiles.

Forest Service rangers are patrolling closed areas for illegal snowmobile activity; focusing on locations where these incursions are problematic. These areas include designated Wilderness and Research Natural Areas, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Devils Postpile National Monument, McGee Mountain, Obsidian Dome cross-country ski trails, Shady Rest cross-country ski trails, and the area west of the G-trail from June Lake Junction south to the Glass Creek Hill.

This past weekend, based on public reports, several Violation Notices were issued to individuals who illegally rode snowmobiles into the John Muir Wilderness.

Pick up your free copy of the Eastern Sierra Winter Recreation Map at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (a waterproof version is available for purchase as well), obtain it online, or download to your mobile device using the Avenza map app ( These maps inform recreationists of motorized restricted areas.

The nation’s federally designated Wilderness areas prohibit motorized use; making them off limits to snowmobiles. The closures are there to protect the Wilderness experience, but snowmobile tracks and public reports indicate that numerous riders venture into these closed areas each season.  Riding in a Wilderness or a winter motorized closure is a Federal and State offense carrying fines up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail, in addition to possible seizure of the snowmobiles used in the commission of the crime.

It is the rider’s responsibility to know where these closed or restricted areas are located and their boundaries.  Major winter trailheads and launching points have maps showing these restricted areas.  If in doubt, check with the local Ranger Station or visitor center.

There are miles of groomed snow trails and play areas that are safe and legal to snowmobilers in the Mammoth and Mono Lake areas. There are approximately 75,000 acres of open expanse east of Hwy. 395 with a variety of terrain from wide-open meadows to forested areas for beginners and experts.  Please refer to for the latest grooming report.

The Inyo National Forest provides a wide spectrum of winter recreational activities. Visitors and residents can vastly improve these recreational opportunities, reduce conflict, and protect the forest resources by practicing common courtesy and respecting others’ experiences.

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The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.


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16 Responses to Officials caution snowmobilers on off-limit areas

  1. snakebite April 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    Ya low inyo, I’d also like to hear how these snowmobilers are destroying all the forest land. I mean they are called snowmobiles not landmobiles. They are riding around on twenty ft of snow . Also been getting firewood in the smokey bear flats and bald mt area many many years and I never noticed an excessive amout of liter around there, I mean littering is a universal problem . Its ridiculous to try and pin that on a specific group of people. So whats with all the complaining low inyo if sierra wave was giving out trophys for biggest complainer you’d win hands down. Haaaahaaa.a

  2. Trouble April 18, 2017 at 5:52 am #

    I’d like to hear what harm the snow mobles are doing to these lands? Or are the just pissing of the forestry for being there?

  3. Low Inyo April 15, 2017 at 6:07 am #

    Robert….and that way,the “snowmobilers” can have their “fun” looking for and chasing around the wildlife too,taking their “guy-guy” helmet-cam photos to show their friends….same as the ORV’ers do with chasing the cattle around on the fields….good macho fun…to show and laugh with their guy-friends.

    • Mono Person April 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

      I think you are painting snowmobilers with one broad brush that doesn’t seem very fair. I run, x-country ski and snowshoe, and I have NEVER had a problem with a snowmobiles or dirt bike. They have always been very polite.

      Maybe, they are just a-holes in South county….???

      • Robert April 16, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

        I really don’t ride in closed areas but I do avoid law enforcement when ever possible.
        LEO’s attempt to control abuse is a knee jerk. They people knowingly riding in closed area’s know when they can get away with it.

        I don’t even unload my sled anywhere I see those cs’ers. Same applies to my dirt bike.

        If you’re riding where anywhere they police you’re riding in the wrong area.. legal or not.

  4. Robert April 14, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    You can pretty much ride anywhere you want at night

    • Tinner April 16, 2017 at 11:30 am #

      Case in point.

  5. Tinner April 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm #

    Seems like half the snowmobiles honestly have no idea where the limits are, no excuse, but the other half couldn’t care less where the limits are and ride wherever the heck they want. Many if not all of the latter seem to be the same guys who are driving those big, tough, macho, lifted, tough-guy, monster trucks way too fast all around town. I’m pretty sure they need trucks like that to compensate for other areas in their life.

  6. Mono Person April 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    I want to know how many violations were really handed out? Several means….2, 10, 50?

    • Robert April 17, 2017 at 6:55 am #

      Yes the pubic has the right to know how many violations were wrote.

      Never-the-less, I have nothing but contempt for the USFS.

  7. Snowmobiler April 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    Or lets just cut the Forrest Service budget and fire the Rangers.

    • Low Inyo April 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

      …and just let the “snowmobilers” decimate and destroy the forest land….all for the sake of “guy-guy” fun and facebook photos and posting… to be showing their “guy-guy” friends that couldn’t make the trip…most snowmoliers, the same as most ORV’ers….wanting every inch of land for themselves and their “fun”,and the hell with anyone and anything else….

      • Right on April 16, 2017 at 8:17 am #

        You have got to be Kidding me.
        Get a a clue

      • Trouble April 17, 2017 at 5:56 am #

        Lower Inyo, I understand you feeling sorry for the melting ice, but exactly what harm are they really doing?

        • Low Inyo April 17, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

          ..Trouble…..go out to Smoky Bear Flat,take a look in the Spring and Summer long AFTER the snow is melted and gone….and you might want to bring some big trash far as the ORV crowd goes,take a drive south to Jawbone Canyon,or better yet,eastside Lancaster and Littlerock Dam….from back in the 80’s and 90’s…and check out the years ago abuse to those areas…

          • Trouble April 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

            Sorry Lower, there must be a lot of snow moble trash if you can see it all the way from Line Pine?


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