Snowmobilers asked to respect off-limit areas

INF news release

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

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

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 for beginners and experts. Please refer to for the latest grooming report.

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.

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.

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.

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.


13 Responses to Snowmobilers asked to respect off-limit areas

  1. T-Bone March 27, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    Snowmobiles are noisy and spook wildlife. During the winter, animals need to conserve their energy for obvious reasons, so running away from yahoos on their snow machines is severely taxing. This is the primary reason for the winter restrictions, not backcountry skiers.

  2. BobK March 18, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

    Tinner: you didn’t answer my question on McGee Mtn. In the summer 4 wheelers and pickups are allowed.,… And I don’t even snow mobile.

    • Hans March 25, 2019 at 12:41 pm #

      Most of McGee is legal for snowmobiling, and the info about where the wildernesss boundaries are is not very hard to find…

  3. BobK March 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm #

    So tell me why snowmobiling on Mc Gee Mtn. is A CRIME. What is it tearing up? Who else is using it this time of year? It is not a wilderness or wilderness study area. You make stupid rules and people start breaking good one, right or not. BobK.

    • Tinner March 15, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

      Very common self centered, entitled thinking that is seems to be growing in this country.

    • Trout junky March 16, 2019 at 9:11 am #

      Because the cross country skiers want to drive their has guzzling suburbans to the trail head and have the entire area for themselves.

      • Tinner March 17, 2019 at 6:15 pm #

        Trout junky, it’s not so much having the entire area for themselves as much as it is the peace and tranquility that many of us call our backyard, a major reason for them spending 5 – 8 hours driving up here after working 8 hours is the peace and tranquility. I don’t like them any more than anyone else but they are the reason most of us have a job and get to live here, but peace and tranquility means nothing if they are fearing for their safety or the safety of their dogs if douchebags are screaming by them on snowmobiles.

  4. Trout Junkie March 15, 2019 at 9:44 am #

    “Forest Service rangers are patrolling closed areas for illegal snowmobile activity;”

    Are they patrolling these closed areas on Snowmobiles ???

  5. Snowmobiling is not a crime! March 14, 2019 at 11:24 am #

    You gonna be OK Paco? I suppose crying online with insults is very adult-like eh? You’re a typical FOI liberal idiot. yawn..

    • erik simpson March 14, 2019 at 2:21 pm #

      Snowmobiling in a wilderness area, or an area closed to snowmobiles IS a crime. If you feel entitled, I hope you’ve got a spare $5000.

  6. Paco March 13, 2019 at 3:41 pm #

    Too much to ask that these clowns act like adults…

  7. Tinner March 13, 2019 at 3:21 pm #

    Pipe dream. Almost half of the snowmobilers don’t know and don’t care to know of any closures or off limit areas. They just don’t care or they feel that their snowmobile isn’t even touching the ground so the law is stupid.

    • Trout Junkie March 15, 2019 at 9:46 am #

      Yes.. You are correct. The snowmobile track Does not touch the ground.


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