snowmobile

A snowmobiler zooms along a mountain trail.

OLYMPIA – Sno-Park permits will go on sale Nov. 1.

The permits allow visitors to park in specially cleared, designated parking lots with access to areas around the state for cross country skiing, skijoring, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling, snow biking, dog sledding, snowshoeing, tubing, snow play and other winter recreation activities.

Last year, the state Legislature passed a bill to simplify rules regarding Sno-Park permits. As a result, the Discover Pass is no longer required to accompany a daily Sno-Park permit in Sno-Parks on Washington State Parks property.

The affected parks are Crystal Springs, Easton Reload, Fields Spring, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Pearrygin Lake and Mount Spokane.

Seasonal Sno-Park permit holders were already exempted from displaying the Discover Pass at state parks Sno-Parks.

In 2019, the Legislature also passed a bill designating snow bikes in the same class as snowmobiles.

Snow bikes use motorcycle frames and engines, but they have a ski in place of the front wheel and continuous track, much like a snowmobile, in place of the back wheel.

Snow bikes must be registered as snowmobiles, and their operators must follow snowmobile regulations, said a state parks announcement.

There are several types of Sno-Park permits:

-Daily - The permit is valid at any Sno-Park for one, two or three consecutive days as indicated on the permit. All Sno-Parks honor the one-day permit, and individuals who purchase a one-day permit are not required to purchase a special groomed sticker.

-Seasonal non-motorized - The permit is valid for the entire winter season at all non-motorized Sno-Parks used for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, fat-tire biking and so on. Some Sno-Parks require a special groomed sticker to be paired with a seasonal, non-motorized permit.

-Special groomed sticker – The sticker affixes to a seasonal Sno-Park permit and is required for use at special, higher-use Sno-Parks that require more frequent grooming.

The permit, in conjunction with the seasonal permit, is required at eight Sno-Parks: Cabin Creek, Chiwawa, Crystal Springs, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Mount Spokane and Nason Ridge. Snowmobile seasonal permit holders must purchase the permit when using these Sno-Parks for non-motorized activities.

-Seasonal snowmobile and snow bike - All snowmobiles and snow bikes in Washington state are required to be registered annually through the state Department of Licensing or a licensing agent. The fee includes one Sno-Park permit, which must be affixed to the towing vehicle.

Out-of-state visitors with snowmobiles need to purchase a motorized Sno-Park permit.

Sno-Park permits are sold in person and online from Nov. 1 through April 30 and must be displayed on the permit holder’s windshield.

Online sales are at parks.state.wa.us/winter. Vendors and their locations can be found at parks.state.wa.us/147/Sno-Park-Permit-vendors.

To discourage the spread of COVID-19, winter recreation staff members encourage winter recreationists to buy permits online, if possible, or to check with their preferred outdoor vendor before making a trip to the store.

Revenue from Sno-Park permit sales goes to the state winter recreation program and helps pay for trail grooming, snow removal from parking lots and roads, on-site sanitation, education and enforcement.

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