Tour operators in Svalbard are allowed to drive snowmobile in most of "Management Area 10". The exceptions are some areas reserved for non-motorized traffic and a delimited area on the east coast of Spitsbergen (see map).
On Central Spitsbergen, two areas have been reserved for wildlife and un-motorized traffic.
The small snowmobile free area
In this area, motorized traffic is prohibited all year round.
This area is close to Longyearbyen, and it offers fine hiking. There are ample opportunities for skiing (cross-country, slalom and Telemark). Popular access points are Nybyen-Larsbreen, Vannledningsdalen, Gruvedalen and Endalen. From the summits of Trollsteinen and Lars Hierthafjell the view is worth the strain of getting there, weather permitting. They can be reached on foot when the snow is hard.
The large snowmobile free area
The area is prohibited for snowmobiles from 1 March and only residents can drive here before 1 March. However, the route between Kjellstrømdalen and Agardhdalen is open to snowmobile traffic. There is also a service route between Svea and Longyearbyen through Bolterdalen, but this is only open for service traffic in periods of avalanche danger in Todalen.
This area, which stretches from Adventdalen to the east coast of Spitsbergen, offers wide valleys, glaciers and mountains. Skiers can go for long or short trips, with or without dog sledges. Breinosa (the "Mine 7" mountain) and Foxfonna, both of which are near Longyearbyen, are popular sites for skiers.
Provisions concerning the driver
The same demands are made to snowmobile drivers in Svalbard as on the mainland. General traffic regulations and most of the articles in the "Road traffic act" apply. If you have a valid driving license for snowmobiles, you can drive a snowmobile from the year you turn 16. A driving licence for cars also applies for snowmobiles. The speed limit in the field is 80 km/h, and it is mandatory to use a helmet.
Driving in Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen is a community of families with many pedestrians. Children play all over the settlement, so please be very careful when driving. Do not forget that for snowmobiles, the duty to yield right of way applies to all traffic (motorized, bikes and pedestrains), from both directions. All snowmobile drivers are urged to use the River Bed Route so that the town centre may be spared for as much snowmobile traffic as possible. In the river bed, the speed limit is 50 km/h, while it is 30 km/h everywhere else in Longyearbyen, both on and off the roads.
Driving in Barentsburg
The speed limit in Barentsburg is 30km/h. There are no snowmobile paths in the settlement, and snowmobile drivers drive on the road. Be very careful and pay attention to pedestrians and cars.
The Road Traffic Act
In the "Road traffic Act" you will find provisions relating to snowmobile driving. Other regulations stipulate that unnecessary disturbance of game, or recklessness, is punishable. Driving a snowmobile may look easy, but you will find there are pitfalls. You should read about safe snowmobile driving in the folder "Safety in Svalbard".