McNeil River Access
McNeil River State Game Sanctuary offers a unique remote brown bear viewing experience. Access is by permit only through a lottery system. Permits are distributed by the State of Alaska. You can access their website and get information on how to obtain a permit here.
We fly permit holders to McNeil River on a charter basis. We have seats for four or five passengers, but our load is weight limited. Total weight of passengers and gear must be 750 pounds or less. Charter price runs approximately $1100 each way.
Flights to McNeil River are tide dependent. We can only access the landing site at high tide, so most days there is only one departure time slot available.
The high tide is at a different time every day, so we will check what times are available coinciding with your permit dates. It is allowed for you to travel to McNeil the day before your permit begins and leave the day after your permit ends.
Please arrive at the Steller Air Service dock with your gear ready to go at least 45 minutes prior to your scheduled departure, allowing us adequate time to weigh all the gear and get the plane loaded for an on-time departure. Again, the total weight limit is 750 pounds: people and gear included.
As with all aircraft travel in remote Alaska, flights to McNeil are very weather-dependent. Please allow flexibility in your schedule in case weather delays your travel. This means that it is not advisable to schedule your travel to and from Homer on the same day as your travel to and from McNeil. Please allow extra time in your schedule.