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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


McNeil River
Wildlife Viewing Permits Overview

Viewing Permits

(See the Application page to apply for these permits)

  1. Guided Viewing Access Permits — Guided Viewing Permits allow the winner to visit the sanctuary, camp within campground and attend the guided bear viewing sessions each day of their 4-day permit during the specified time period. Applicants may enter up to four Guided time block choices 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 of the viewing year and are available starting March 2 of the year prior to viewing.
  2. Camp-Standby 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 from the campground/beach area. These permit holders are eligible to fill vacancies in the guided bear viewing sessions; that occur when visitors holding Guided Viewing Access Permits do not use their permit(s). Camp-Standby winners are drawn in the same lottery as the Guided Viewing Access Permits. Applicants may enter up to four Standby time block choices. A total of 57 Camp-Standby Viewing Access Permits, each valid for a 4-day period, are issued each year.