Laws and Regulations

Please note that this compilation should be used for general guidance only as the material needs to be reviewed for updates and changes.  Always check with the pertinent agency should you have specific questions regarding motorized access and use.




A. Executive Orders 11644 and 11989

All public lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretaries of the Interior (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service), Agriculture (National Forests) and Defense (military bases) are subject to Executive Order (“EO”) 11644 and 11989 which mandate regulations be established to govern the use of “off-road vehicles” which are defined as any motorized vehicle designed for or capable of cross-county travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, etc. The definition excludes registered motorboats, emergency, military and agency vehicles. The purpose of the policies and procedures to be adopted is to “ensure that the use of off-road vehicles…were to be controlled and directed so as to protect the resources…to promote the safety of all users…and to minimize conflicts among the various uses of those lands.” The EOs mandate the agencies to designate “specific areas and trails” which are open or closed to ORVs and further authorizes agency heads to close lands if such use will or is causing considerable adverse effects on the soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat or cultural or historic resources. Each agency, where authorized by law, was directed to prescribe appropriate penalties for violations and establish procedures for enforcement. Section 3(a)(3) deals specifically with noise by indicating that areas and trails for off-road vehicle use “shall be located to minimize conflicts” with other recreational uses and “to ensure compatibility… with existing conditions in populated (not defined) areas taking into account noise and other factors.” Each agency was authorized to adopt a policy that their public lands could be considered closed unless specifically designated open. Generally, NPS, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service follow this policy.

B. The Wilderness Act

Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act prohibits the use of motor vehicles in designated Wilderness. However, the provisions listed below in ANILCA appear to permit certain exceptions, in Alaska, to that prohibition.

C. Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA)

Title VIII of ANILCA permits subsistence users to use “snowmobiles, motorboats and other means of surface transportation traditionally employed” on public lands, including those designated as wilderness. Thus a determination needs to be made by the land manager before accommodating other modes of motorized transportation by subsistence users in a particular area.

Title XI requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to permit the use of “snowmachines… motorboats, airplanes…for traditional activities…” and for travel to and from villages and homesites on the federal public lands under each Secretary’s jurisdiction, again including those designated as “wilderness.” The US Forest Service gives a very broad reading to the term “traditional activities” and thus generally permits recreational snowmachining except when closed by Forest Order. On the other hand, the National Park Service, in connection with the original Denali Park, has tied “traditional activities” to consumptive uses which were occurring prior to the passage of ANILCA on Dec.2, 1980. These Title XI ANILCA provisions, known as the “special access provisions,” have been implemented for the Interior Department agencies, NPS, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service, at 43 C.F.R. 36.11. These regulations, in conjunction with each agency’s regulations, govern the use of snowmachines and ORVs on public lands in Alaska under the jurisdiction of NPS, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service.

D. ORV regulations

The compilation of law and regulations which follows is concerned only with snowmachines, personal watercraft and ORVs used for recreation; not vehicle use in connection with subsistence. Agency definitions of ORV may or may not include snowmachines and personal watercraft. In this compilation, the term ORV is used to refer to recreational vehicles, such as ATVs, 4-wheelers, etc. , unless otherwise indicated. As a separate matter, the reader should be aware that agency land management plans may contain additional restrictions on the use of recreational motorized vehicles on public lands. Finally, the point of this compilation is to show restrictions and closures; not what is open to recreational motorized uses.

1. National Park Service

(a) Snowmachines

(i) General Regulations: Snowmachines are prohibited except on designated routes and water surfaces (that are used by motorboats during non-winter months). Such routes and water surfaces must be promulgated as special regulations. No routes or water surfaces have been designated through special regulations for Alaska. Additionally, the general regulations prohibit snowmachines from creating excessive noise (more that 78db(A) at 50 feet), operating without proper lights or racing or in excess of 45 mph. The minimum age for operators (unless state law provides otherwise) is 16 unless supervised by someone 21 years or older; a child under 12 must be accompanied on the same machine by someone 21 or older. Snowmachines must meet state equipment and operational standards unless otherwise indicated. See36 C.F.R.2.18

(ii) Specific Regulations: As noted above, ANILCA permits snowmobiles to be used for traditional activities even in wilderness areas and for travel to and from villages and homesites unless prohibited by regulation. See36 C.F.R. 13.46; 43 C.F.R. 36.11.The phrase “traditional activities” has only been defined in relation to the Old Park portion of Denali National Park and Preserve. Regulations specifically ban recreational snowmachining in the Old Park. See 36 C.F.R. 13.63(h).

(b) Personal Watercraft (jetskis)

(i) General Regulations: Personal watercraft are not permitted to be used in any national park areas in Alaska. 36 C.F.R. 3.24.

(c) Off-road Vehicles

(i) General Regulations: ORV use is prohibited except on established roads and parking areas or on routes and areas designated through regulation. 36 CFR 4.10 , 43 CFR 36.11(g) .

(ii) Specific Regulations: While ORVs may be used to herd reindeer in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and an access route has been established across Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, no routes or areas have been designated through regulation for recreational use of ORVs in Alaska. 43 CFR 36.13(g).

2. Bureau of Land Management

(a) Snowmachines

General Information: The definition of off-road vehicle “…any motorized vehicle capable of, or designed for travel on or immediately over land, water, or other natural terrain, excluding:(1) Any non amphibious registered motorboat…” includes snowmachines, ORVS and personal watercraft. 43 CFR 8340.0-5(a). All land under the jurisdiction of BLM is designated as open, closed or limited, to motorized vehicles. Land is designated through the planning process; where plans are not in place, undesignated land is treated as “open” to motorized recreation. The vehicles and their operators must conform to state law, as to use, standards, registration, operation and inspection. Operators must have a valid state license or learner’s permit and vehicles must have brakes and lights in good working order and may not exceed EPA noise standards, etc. 43 CFR Subpart 8341 and 8343. Both snowmachines and ORVs must weigh less than 1500 lbs. to operate in areas open to them. Land managers have emergency ORV closure authority that temporarily closes or limits ORV use until adverse effects are eliminated and measures implemented to prevent recurrence. 43 CFR 8341.1

General Regulations: BLM has issued no interpretation of the ANILCA provision permitting snowmachines to be used for “traditional activities” and for travel to and from villages and homesites.

Specific Regulations: In the Anchorage District, the Campbell Tract is closed to snowmachines. In the Northern District the three Research Natural Areas in White Mountain National Recreation Area, Serpentine Slide, Limestone Jags and Mt. Prindle, are closed to snowmachining as are the Mt. Prindle RNA and Big Windy Hot Springs in the Steese National Conservation Area. There are no restrictions on snowmachines in the Tangle Lakes Archeological District from Oct. 16th through May 15th. Additionally, the Summit Trail and its 25 foot trail right-of-way in the WMNRA, the Ski Loop Trail and Table Top Mt. Trails (and the 50 foot trail right-of-way) are closed to all motorized vehicle use, as are the Pennell Mt. Trail and right-of-way in SNCA.

(b) Personal watercraft

(i) General Regulations: BLM’s definition of ORV (see above) includes personal watercraft. We are unaware of any waterways, including the Wild and Scenic river Corridors, which are under BLM’s jurisdiction, which BLM has designated as open or closed to personal watercraft in Alaska.

2) Specific Regulations: Personal watercraft are limited to 15 horsepower motors in the Nome Creek Valley within Beaver Creek National Wild and Scenic River and in the scenic corridor of the Delta Wild and Scenic River.

(c) Off-road Vehicles

(i) General Regulations: ORV use is permitted only on established roads, parking lots and/or designated routes or areas only. 43 CFR 36.11(g)

(ii) Specific Regulations: While not codified in regulations, BLM has closed the following areas year-round to ORV use: Campbell Tract in Anchorage; the three Research Natural Areas in White Mountains NRA (Mt. Prindle, Serpentine Slide and Limestone Jags RNAs) while Beaver Creek National Wild River corridor and the Primitive management area are closed May 1-Oct. 15. In the Steese NCA, the Mt. Prindle RNA and Big Windy Hot Springs RNA are closed to ORV use (year-round) as are the Birch Creek National Wild River Corridor and Primitive management area (May 1-Oct. 15 only closure). In the Tangle Lakes Archeological District area,during May 16th-Oct. 15th, ORVs are permitted only on the ten designated trails. For the rest of the year, there are no restrictions if adequate snow cover exists. ORVs are prohibited from using the trails listed in (A) above which are closed to snowmachines.

3.Fish and Wildlife Service

General Information: Wilderness areas in 10 of the 16 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska were designated in ANILCA: Alaska Maritime, Arctic, Becharof, Innoko, Izembek, Kenai, Koyukuk, Selawik, Togiak and Yukon Delta.

(a) Snowmachines

(i) General Regulations: While no permit is required to enter or travel on any public waters or road in the National Wildlife Refuge System, use of any motorized vehicle, including those used on air, water, ice, snow is prohibited except on designated routes of travel or in designated areas. 50 CFR 27.31. As a general matter, public recreation is allowed on refuges, but only after it has been determined that such use is practicable and not inconsistent with the objectives of the refuge. 50 CFR 26.31. Similar to both the National Park Service and BLM, state vehicle laws are in effect, operators must have valid driver’s licenses and vehicle plates, a speed limit of 25 mph, unless otherwise posted, is mandated, muffler cutouts are prohibited, harassment of animals is prohibited, etc. 50 CFR 27.31

(ii) Specific Regulations: For the Refuges in Alaska,snowmachines and off-road vehicles are individually defined. 50 CFR 36.2. Public recreational activities are authorized in an Alaska Refuge such as sightseeing, sport hunting and fishing, camping and other related activities, but no modes of transportation are specified. 50 CFR 36.31. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued no interpretation of the ANILCA provision authorizing snowmachine use for “traditional activities”, but generally allows recreational snowmachining in a refuge if it was occurring prior to Dec. 2, 1980. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is currently the only refuge in Alaska that has specific regulations governing recreational snowmachining. Conditions include: snowmachines are permitted between Dec. 1 and April 30 in areas with adequate snow cover determined by the Refuge Manager; all areas above timberline, except Caribou Hills, are closed; specific areas around and including the Swan Lake Canoe Route and the Swanson River Canoe Route and portages, as well as other areas, are closed to recreational snowmachining. 50 CFR 36. 39(i)(4). For specific areas closed, see the Refuge Manager.

(b) Personal Watercraft

(i) General Regulations: The definition of off-road vehicle for Alaska Refuges would appear to include jet skis. 50 CFR 36.2

(ii) Specific Regulations: The use of jet skis on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is authorized only by a special use permit under the regulation which states: ” the use of air cushion, air boat, or other motorized watercraft, except motorboats, is not allowed…” except as authorized by a special use permit. 50 CFR 36.39(i)(3)

(c) Off-road Vehicle

(i) General Regulations: ORV use is permitted only on established roads, parking lots and on designated routes or areas. 43 CFR 36.11(g) ORVs are defined in the regulations. 50 CFR 36.2.

(ii) Specific Regulations: ORVs, weighing 650 lbs. or less, may be used on three specific trails in the Alaska Peninsula/Becharof National Wildlife Refuge Complex. 50 CFR 36.39(c). On the Kenai NWR, ORV use, including operation on lake and river ice, is not authorized. 50 CFR 36.39 (i)(3)(ii).

4.US Forest Service

General Information: Alaska has two National Forests: Chugach and the Tongass National Forests. Fourteen wilderness areas have been designated in the Tongass National Forest. However, in the Chugach, only the Nellie Juan-College Fiord area has been designated as a wilderness Study Area; and the Forest Service is to manage it to preserve its potential to be designated wilderness. The ANILCA special access provision applies to the wilderness study area as well as to designated Wilderness and, under the Forest Services’ broad reading of the special access provision, recreational snowmachining is permitted.

As a general matter, the FS regulatory management system is based on “an open unless closed by an order” regime wherein various activities are prohibited if an order prohibits the activity.

A new Forest Management Plan for Chugach National Forest is due to be released in late fall, 2001. That Plan may change the specific closures currently in effect or add new closures.

(a) Snowmachines

(i) General Regulations: Motor vehicle is defined as “…any vehicle which is self propelled…” and vehicle is defined as “…any device in, upon, or by which any person…may be transported…” 36 CFR 261.2. These definitions would include, in addition to snowmachines, jet skis and ORVs. Vehicles are prohibited from operating off Forest Roads without a valid state license, adequate braking system , proper lights, in a manner to damage land, wildlife or vegetation,etc. 36 CFR 261.13. Vehicles may not be operated near campsites, developed recreation sites or over adjacent bodies of water in such a manner and at such times as would unreasonably disturb any person, without a permit. 36 CFR 261.10. Forest Order 97-2-13 states generally that snowmachines are allowed only from Dec. 1 through April 30, subject to public notice of partial closures or modification of the dates.

(ii) Specific Regulations: No specific regulations have been issued for the two National Forests in Alaska. 36 CFR 261.79. Specific Forest Orders closing areas to snowmachining in the Chugach National Forest include: 00-04-10-01 closes Bear Valley; 96-02-15 closes Portage Lake; 96-04-20 and 96-06-27 close Montague Island; 97-10-30 closes Manitoba Mountain Area year round and Mills Creek Road from 12/1 to 3/15; Attachment 97-11-06 closes Palmer Creek Road bridge; Attachment 97-11-05 closes Resurrection Pass and Devils Pass from 2/16 to 11/30; Attachment 97-11-07 closes West Juneau Creek Road from 2/16 to 11/30;97-10-10 closes the Turnagain Pass Area (east side) and the Johnson Pass Trail from the Johnson Pass Road to the bridge over Center Creek.

(b) Personal Watercraft

(i) General Regulations: There are no regulations regarding the use of personal watercraft. Forest Order 96-02-15, however, would appear to close Portage Lake to personal watercraft.

(c) ORVS

(i) General Regulations: See above. Note also that there is to be no use of motor vehicles in National Forest Wilderness. 36 CFR 293.6. The ANILCA special access provisions which the FS interprets to permit recreational snowmachining in Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas does not extend to ORVs.

(ii) Specific Regulations: All the Forest Orders and Attachments listed above which prohibit snowmachining in the Chugach National Forest also prohibit ORVs. Additionally Attachment 97-11-07 closes Palmer Creek road from 5/1 to 6/1.

5.Department of Transportation

Generally federal law (see, eg, 23 USC 217(h) (i)) prohibits motorized vehicles from trails and pedestrian walkways constructed with federal highway funds, except snowmachines are allowed “when snow conditions and State or local regulations permit”. Note athat the Recreational Trails Program specifically provides funds for motorized trails.


General Overview: The vast majority of state land is managed under the Department of Natural Resources through the Divisions of Mining, Land and Water, Parks and Outdoor Recreation and Forestry. Land within the state highway right-of-way is managed by the Dept. of Transportation and Public Facilities. The Department of Fish and Game manages the State Game Refuges, Critical Habitat Areas and Sanctuaries. State law at AS 38.04.200 states that the commissioner may not manage state land or water so that a “traditional means of access for traditional outdoor activity” is restricted or is prohibited Ã??????for the purpose of protecting aesthetic valuesÃ?????? unless the area is 640 acres or less, is for less than eight months in a three-year period, is for the protection of safety or public or private property, or is for the development of natural resources and alternative access is available or is authorized by the legislature. In addition to state law and regulations, Area and Management Plans may contain additional restrictions on the use of motorized recreational vehicles.

Specific Laws or regulations: All snowmachines must be registered with the number displayed on the machine. AS 28.39.040 (e) Snowmachines and ORVs must have appropriate lights, brakes, mufflers and emission-control systems in good working order and may not use a muffler cutout or bypass,etc. 13 AAC 04.400-.420 No person may drive any kind of vehicle that might make ruts or tracks or add to an accumulation of tracks to create sufficient roughness, so as to endanger aircraft using a temporary runway laid out on a frozen lake or stream. AS 2.20.050

Division of Mining , Land and Water

1.General Information: The Director,Division of Mining,Land and Water, manages all undesignated state lands and the following 16 legislatively-designated areas: the four Public Use Areas (Nelchina, Ernie Haugen, Hatcher Pass and Goldstream PUAs), the six Recreation Rivers, and three Recreational Mining Areas. The legislation requires the Commissioner to allow snowmachines and ATVs on Recreaton Rivers or within their corridors Ã??????if compatibleÃ??????. AS 41.23.410

A. Snowmachines

(i) General Regulations: Activities on state lands require the user to avoid excessive scarring or removal of ground vegetative cover, use existing roads and trails whenever possible and wheeled or tracked vehicle use is to minimize surface damage. 11 AAC 96.140

(ii) Specific Regulations: With the exception of the Hatcher Pass PUA, the legislation establishing the other PUAs requires the Commissioner to allow traditional access by motorized vehicles for recreation. AS 41.23.070(b), etc. For Hatcher Pass PUA the Commissioner is to designate routes for motorized access. AS 41.23.120(d)

Additionally, the Hatcher Pass Management Plan specifies that the Upper Little Susitna Valley, Reed Valleys and Lakes, and the area within the Independence Mine State Historic Park Addition, are closed to motorized use. There are no restrictions on snowmachine use on the Recreation Rivers or the Recreational Mining Areas.

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulations: None.

Specific Regulations: The Recreation Rivers Management Plan, adopted as a regulation at 11 AAC 09.005, bans personal watercraft except where the Susitna, Skwentna and Yentna Rivers overlap with the six Recreation Rivers.

C. Off-road Vehicles

General Regulations:See Snowmachines above.

Specific Regulations: The Recreation Rivers Management Plan prohibits ATV use in the corridors adjacent to the seasonally nonmotorized sections of the Little Susitna, Lake Creek and Talachulitna, imposed during the summer.

2.Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation

General Information: State law at AS 41.21.020 prohibits DNR (Div. of Parks) from closing or restricting traditional access to land or water managed as a park or State Recreation Area, except for an immediate threat to public safety, unless the closure or restriction is limited to less than 90 days in a year or is ratified by the legislature at its next session.

Specific Regulations: Unless specific regulations open the lands managed by the Division, vehicle use, including snowmachines, is restricted to roads and parking lots. 11 AAC 12.020(c)

A. Snowmachines

General Regulations: No person under 14 years of age may operate a snowmachine in a state park unless accompanied by and under the direct supervision of someone at least 21 years old. 11 AAC 12.110. Until the Director determines that snow depth is adequate, areas remain closed until posted open.

Note: pending regulations citing some additional closures may become final in late fall, 2001. These are shown in [ ].

Specific Regulations: Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park, Kachemak Bay, Afognak, Chilkat, Pt. Bridget and Shuyak Island State Parks are closed to snowmachine use. Caines Head and Captain Cook State Recreation Areas are closed to snowmachines. [ portions of Captain Cook State Recreation Area will be opened to snowmachines 11 AAC 20.625] The Kenai River Special Management Area is closed to snowmachines as are the Marine Parks. [Kenai Lake from 12/1 to 4/30 and Skilak Lake in accordance with federal regulations are to be opened. 11 AAC 20.857] Chugach State Park has seven [eight] areas open to snowmachines. 11AAC 20.040. [Ptarmigan Valley Trail 11 AAC 20.040(4)] Portions of the Chena River and Nancy Lakes State Recreation Areas are open to snowmachines. 11 AAC 20.480, 555. Snowmachines are permitted in Hatcher Pass East Management Area only when snow cover is sufficient and only in designated and marked areas. 11 AAC 20.775

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulations: None.

Specific Regulations: Denali State Park prohibits jetskis except on the Susitna River. 11 AAC 20.415(d). Within the Alaska Marine Parks, jetskis are prohibited on the upper bay of Shoup Bay State Marine Park. 11 AAC 20.760(b). No jetskis are allowed in Rocky Lake or Bonnie Lake State Recreation sites. In the waters of the Kenai River Special Management Area, jetskis are limited to a specified portion of Kenai Lake, from 10 pm to 10 am and either no wake or 5 mph or less if within 300 feet of shore. 11 AAC 20.867. Jetskis are banned from Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. 11 AAC 20.215(b). Jet skis are not authorized to be used in Eklutna Lake. 11 AAC 20.025. [Personal watercraft are banned on Red Shirt Lake 11 AAC 20.550(b), in Shuyak Island State Park, 11 AAC 20.805, in Afognak Island State Park. 11 AAC 20.1020]

C. Off-road Vehicles

General Regulations: The Division has no additional restrictions beyond those specified above requiring users to be at least 14 years of age.

Specific Regulations: With the exception of Eklutna Lakeside Trail and the logging roads in Bird Creek Valley, Chugach State Park is closed to ORVs. The Lakeside Trail is closed Thursday through Saturday. 11 AAC 20.015. ORVs are allowed in Lower Chatanika State Recreation Area only on designated trails and in areas posted open. 11 AAC 20.951

3.Division of Forestry

General Information: There are no regulations for the Tanana Valley State Forest and the Haines State Forest Resource Management Area which restrict snowmachines, personal watercraft or ORV use.

4.Department of Fish and Game

General Information: The Separtment of Fish and Game has management responsibilities in state game refuges, sanctuaries and critical habitat areas.

General Regulations: No person without a special permit may use wheeled or tracked equipment, off-road, in state game refuges, sanctuaries or fish and game critical habitat areas, unless the Commissioner has issued a general permit. 5 AAC 95.420(a)(7)

Specific Regulations:

A) Snowmachines

In Southcentral Alaska, general permits have been issued, essentially withut restriction, permitting snowmachine use in the following Critical Habitat Areas: Clam Gultch; Fox River Flats (limited to Fox River Flats Trail only); Kachemak Bay (portions of unvegetated tidelines); Willow Mt. (established marked trails only); Anchor River Fritz Creek (designated trails only except totally open 11-3/31 when sufficient snow cover). Of the State Game Refuges, snowmachines are permitted in; Goose Bay (closed 4/1-8/30 to off-road without special permit; 8/31-11/8 established trails within electic line ROW only, 11/9-3/31 all areas if adequate snow cover and frozen ground); Susitna Flats (within 1/8 mile of mean high tide or for 4/1-11/8, on approved roads only); Palmer Hay Flats (8/15-11/8 in “ORV” Corridor only; 11/9-3/31 all areas if adequate snow cover and frozen ground); Trading Bay (4/1-11-8 closed; 11/9-3/31 open if adequate snow cover and frozen ground).

B) Jetskis

Jetskis are prohibited in the Kachemak Bay and Fox River Flats Critical Habitat Areas. 5 AAC 95.310.


See Snowmachines above.

5.Department of Public Safety/ Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

General Information: DOTPF manages highways, highway rights of way, including bike paths along state highways, as well as operates and maintains the ferry system. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for writing and enforcing the rules of the road and the minimum equipment for vehicles.

A. Snowmachines

General Regulations: In addition to those cited above for the State of Alaska, a snowmachine may be driven on the highway right-of way (which is not a controlled access highway) at a minimum of 3 feet from the nearest edge of the road; at night may only drive on the right-hand side of the highway and in the same direction as the highway traffic; may only cross the highway at a right angle to the highway and after coming to a complete stop before crossing; and may not cross or travel on a sidewalk or a location intended for pedestrian or other non-motorized traffic. 13 AAC 02.455(a), (f) and (g). No person may drive a vehicle on a sidewalk, except as a municipality allows the riding of bicycles on sidewalks outside of a business district. 13 AAC 02.487

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulations: DOTPF has jurisdiction over harbor facilities including their use by jetskis. 17 AAC 80

C. Off-road Vehicles

General Regulations: The regulations listed above for snowmachines also apply to ORVs.


1. Anchorage

General Information: The definition of “motor vehicle” in Title 25 of the Anchorage Municipal Code includes jetskis, snowmachines and ATVs. 25 10.010 The regulation at 25.70.040 states that no one may operate a motor vehicle on municipal lands except in areas specifically designated for such use. Further, no motor vehicles may operate on public school grounds. 25.70.030. Snowmachines and ORVs may only operate in or upon a park or other municipal property if the area has been so designated. AMC 9.42.060.B. The only area so designated is the Jodhpur Motorcross Area where the sound level may not exceed 76db (A) at 50 feet.

A. Snowmachines

General Regulation: Chapter 9.42 of the Anchorage Municipal Code requires snowmachines and ORVs to be registered, to have adequate lights, brakes and standard mufflers without bypass of cutout or similar devices. No person may drive: without a current driver’s license or permit or must be accompanied by a licensed driver; without an approved helmet, or operate the engine between 10 PM and 7 AM unless it is in an area not a business or residential district and does not interfere with the sleep, work or reasonable right to peace or privacy of any person. AMC 9.42.050 and .040. Snowmachines and ORVs are not permitted to be operated within 500 feet of any established sliding area, skiing area or any other recreation area where such operation would endanger persons or property or conflict with the recreational use. AMC 9.42.020 A. 5. The regulation at 25.70.045 B prohibits snowmachines from operating on bodies of water within the MOA. Finally, if operated on private land, snowmachine noise may not exceed 76 db(A) at 50 feet across the boundary of the private property. AMC15.70.090

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulation: Under the umbrella definition of motor vehicle, jetski use is prohibited on the municipality’s major lakes and waterways. AMC 25.70.045

C. Off-road Vehicles

General Regulation: See regulations for snowmachines above.

2. Cordova

General Information: Only ordinance adopted appears to be that requiring snowmachine registration. 10.12.010

3.City of Fairbanks

General Information: The City of Fairbanks General Code incorporates by reference the requirements of snowmachines and ORVs cited in 13 AAC 02.480-.560. and references those at 13 AAC 02.430-.455. Of those regulations, 13 AAC 02.487 prohibits snowmachines and ORVs being on sidewalks unless the municipality permits bicycle riding on the sidewalks outside of the business district.


General Information: The Homer City Code adopts by reference all laws and regulations adopted by any agency of the state pertaining to motor vehicles, licensing, safety measures, rules of the road and all other rules. 7.04.01

A. Snowmachines

General Regulation: The City Code adopts all provisions of state law regulating the registration, operation and equipment of snowmachines. 7.20.010. Additionally, the provisions of 13 AAC and AS 44.62.180 apply. See above.

Specific Regulation: No person may operate a snowmachine on a sidewalk or street, except to cross, or at least 6 feet from the highway; can only operate in a park or on city-owned property if designated by the City Manager and approved by the City Council; must hear a helmet and the machine must be registered and cannot operate within 100 feet of skiing area or any location where snowmachine operation would conflict with the use of the area for its intended purpose. 7.20.030. Additionally, a driver must have a current driver’s license or by accompanied by a licensed person if operating on city-owned land. 7.20.050

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulation: The City has not adopted any regulations.


General Regulation: The City has not adopted any regulations.

5.Juneau City and Borough

A. Snowmachine

General Regulation: The regulations adopted apply only where a snowmachine is operated upon or along a state highway or as allowed by ordinance along a municipal street. In such cases, traffic regulations apply; must operate at least 3 feet away from the roadway; in a single file; only if authorized by assembly; and must have specific equipment required by state regulation and law as well as that specified. 72.02.430-460

B. Personal Watercraft

General Regulation: The definition of Boats includes “…all watercraft of every kind and description…The essential element of a boat is that its purpose and use is navigation as a means of transportation.” 85.05.010. Insofar as this definition appears to include jetskis, the following acts would be prohibited: operating in excess of 5 nautical mph or any speed with creates a wake in excess of 6″ within the harbor, or in Tee Harbor as posted or in Gastineau Channel within specified limits. 85.25.090

6.Kenai Peninsula Borough

General Information: The Kenai Peninsula Borough has adopted no ordinances regarding the use of snowmachines, personal watercraft or ORVs.


A. Snowmachines

General Regulation: The ordinance states: “Snow vehicles, as defined by state regulation, shall be transported or operated on public rights of way and public or private property only during such times and in such manner as is set forth in snow vehicles regulations…approved by the city council but in no event shall they be operated, equipped, licensed or registered other than in accord with state statutes and regulations”. 10.04.040. No additional regulations have been adopted.

B. Personal Watercraft

The City Council has adopted no ordinances regarding the use of personal watercraft.


General Regulation: The ordinance adopted for off-highway vehicles is identical to that adopted above for snowmachines. 10.04.045. No additional regulations have been adopted.

8.Tenakee Springs

General Regulations: The City Council has adopted an ordinance prohibiting personal watercraft use in the waters adjacent to the city limits.


A. Snowmachines

General Regulation: The City Council has adopted all provisions of AAC 13 and AS 5.30.010 et seq by reference and where applicable. 10.16(A). Additionally at (B), the ordinance specifies terms of operation: not within 100 feet of schools or in city-designated ski or skating areas or rinks; after 11 pm (12pm on Friday and Sat.) and before 6 am; only at prudent speeds; must be registered; may be operated on streets and alleys, in a single line and can’t pass and must yield to all other motor vehicles. 10.16 (B). Other provisions of the ordinance require proper lights, brakes, mufflers and that operators must have driver’s license and must wear a helmet. 10.16.(C), (E), (H). Snowmachines may be operated on the streets only for direct routes from one place to another; not for recreation. 10.16 (J)

B. Personal Watercraft

The City Council has adopted no regulations regarding personal watercraft.

C. Off-road Vehicles

The City Council has adopted no regulations regarding ORVs.


A. Snowmachine

General Regulation: The definition adopted for off-road vehicle “… means any vehicle not authorized for travel or operation on a public roadway according to state law or regulations” would appear to include snowmachines as well as ORVs. 10.12.010 Specific Regulation: The operation of such vehicles is: only on city rights of way; not on sidewalk or roadway, not to disturb the peace and quiet of another; not on railroad right of way; must be 16, have license or be accompanied by parent or responsible guardian; must wear helmet which meets state standards; must have headlights, brakes and rear light and can’t exceed 5 mph in parking lot or near pedestrian traffic or 10 mph in residential neighborhood or business area. 10.12..020-080

B. Personal Watercraft

The City Council has adopted no regulations regarding personal watercraft.

C. Off-road Vehicles

General Regulations: See Snowmachine information above.

Specific Regulations: See Snowmachine information above.



Oct. 2001