Float Plane Vs. Water Taxi Pros and Cons:
You can choose whichever mode of transportation best suits your needs. Both the Water Taxi and the Float Plane are options available for your travel into Katmai National Park and Brooks Falls. Here are a few cons to using the Float Plane over the Water Taxi.
Cost / You will pay more to take a float plane to Brooks Camp / Brooks Falls.
Weather / Float Planes are very restrictive with fog, wind etc. Often flights are delayed and cancelled due to weather that will not affect the water taxi schedule. The water taxi is not generally inhibited by fog! Although the Water Taxi experiences fewer delays and cancelations, it is not invincible to extreme adverse weather conditions! **We will delay or cancel any trip if the conditions deem unsafe for our passengers and crew. Travel insurance is a smart purchase when traveling in remote areas of Alaska!
Access / Float Planes are very difficult to access for handicapped and elderly guests, and those with mobility issues.
Comfort / Float Planes are very small and have tight quarters. Guests often are shoulder to shoulder. Katmai Water Taxi is a large enclosed transport with climate controlled comfortable, spacious seating.
Bear Jams / At Brooks the bear’s are in control. If a bear is asleep on a trail or near the bridge you will be required to wait. Sometimes a bear jam can last for hours and if you miss your flight which is common, you may find yourself without lodging availability in King Salmon. Katmai Water Taxi can pick you up on the far side of the bridge which eliminates most of the bear jams that cause flights to be missed. The float planes can only pick up on the beach which is on the far side of the bridge or sometimes if the wind is wrong you will have to hike to Brooks Lake for pick up.
*Bear jams in the past were a very common occurrence! However, due to the newly constructed walk ways at Brooks Camp, bear jams have been minimized, from commonly happening, to rare occurrences!
Limited Departure and Pick Up / The Float Plane’s generally only run until 7PM and are in high demand for anglers to fly into remote locations. Katmai Water Taxi is dedicated for the transportation of guests from Lake Camp to Brooks Camp with far more departure and pick up options. *Extended departure and return times are subject to change throughout the season. Most affected times are the earliest departures and latest returns due to light conditions.
Weight and Freight / Float Planes have a very limited weight and balance capabilities. Often bags must be left behind for follow up freight runs, and guests are limited to a back pack. Katmai Water Taxi has a great deal more capability for taking bags, and freight. Your luggage and gear will travel with you!