Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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Wildlife Viewing Permits Overview
(See the Application page to apply for these permits)
- Guiding Viewing Access Permits — Formerly known as "Regular" permits, these are drawn in a lottery in which all applicants have an equal opportunity of being selected. Applicants may select a first and second choice for the 4-day time block to visit the McNeil River Sanctuary during the period of June 7-August 25. A total of 185 individual permits, each valid for a 4-day period are available through this lottery. Applications must be submitted by March 1 and are available starting in April of the previous year.
- Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits — Formerly known as "Standby" permits, these are drawn in the same lottery as the Guided Viewing Access Permits. Visitors holding Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits are allowed to stay in the sanctuary campground, visit the beach seaward of the campground and view bears in the campground/beach area. These permit holders are eligible to fill vacancies that occur when visitors holding Guided Viewing Access Permits fail to use their permit(s). A total of 57 Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits, each valid for a 4-day period, are issued each year.