The McNeil River Sanctuary is located in the remote wilderness on the Alaska Peninsula along the Aleutian Mountains just north of Katmai National Park & Preserve. McNeil River Sanctuary contains the highest concentration of brown bears (grizzlies) in the world during the peak season of the Chum Salmon run in early July through mid-August. As many as 80 bears congregate at the river. The area was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1967 and enlarged to a preserve in 1993. The sanctuary allows only 10 visitors per day for a four-day period with permits scarce and at a premium during the peak season.
I arrived at the McNeil Sanctuary in late July by seaplane. The area is truly remote where access is permitted by seaplane or boat and is without road access. The closest town is Homer on the Kenai peninsula, 100 air miles across Cook Inlet. As the flight approached the lagoon at McNeil River, I could spot a number of bears from the air.
Bear activity was everywhere! As large numbers of salmon continuously came up the river, bears energetically fish.
During an intense 4 days at McNeil Falls, I shot several thousand photos... it took me a month to go through all of them, made some selections, deleted a bunch, and finally the post processing began. It'll take at least a few months to complete the entire work... I will slowly update my blog with new bear images.