McNeil River, Kamishak Bay

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The McNeil River starts from glaciers and alpine lakes in the Aleutian Range of the Alaska Peninsula and flows generally northeast for 35 miles (56 km) to McNeil Cove in Kamishak Bay on the west shore of Cook Inlet, Alaska. The river is about 250 miles (402 km) southwest of the city of Anchorage and accessible only by boat or airplane.

The river lies entirely within the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary created in 1967 by the State of Alaska to protect brown bears from hunting. McNeil Falls is famous for the brown bears that gather during the summer to catch salmon migrating up the river to spawn. As many as 100 bears have been seen at the falls in a single day with frequent sightings of 60 or more at one time. 

Visitation is limited and permits are awarded to applicants through an annual lottery. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of McNeil River and Kamishak Bay.

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