6 Channel Islands National Park
By Jody Vandergriff @chiefseeker
Close in proximity to Southern California yet completely isolated from the mainland, the Channel Islands National Park offers wildlife sightings at every turn, a nature enthusiasts dream.
Channel Islands National Park Map
Channel Islands National Park Places
- Channel Islands National Park
- Anacapa Island
Anacapa Island is the closest of the Channel Islands National Park to the mainland. A short, 1 hour ferry ride will get you there. According to the National Park Service, Western Gulls nest on the island from April to August and can create quite a ruckus. You’ve been warned. Nonetheless, this island has some of the best weather and offers Such activities as primitive camping, fishing, fantastic wildlife spotting, diving and kayaking. Although the island only offers about 2 miles of trails, it is some of the best views around.
- Santa Cruz Island
The largest and most popular of the Channel Islands National Park, Santa Cruz Island is easily accessible via ferry, plane or tour operator. It is also the island with the best weather conditions so if you aren’t quite ready to battle high cross winds whipping sand across your face, this may be the island for you. Popular activities include kayaking, diving, wildlife viewing (the endemic scrub jay is found no where else in the world!), camping and a variety of trails for exploring on foot.
- Santa Rosa Island
The second largest island in Channel Islands National Park, Santa Rosa is a popular island and easily accessible by ferry. However, weather conditions can be challenging with the island often experiencing extremely high winds. Popular activities include: primitive camping, sandy beaches (although water sports should be left to the experts due to high winds), fishing and plenty of trails for all levels of fitness.
- San Miguel Island
This island is quite possibly the harshest to visit but perhaps one of the most beautiful. There can be extremely strong winds year round and access to the island is by permit only. Popular activities include camping, fishing, exceptional wildlife viewing and an awe inspiring 16 mile round trip hike.
- Santa Barbara Island
The furthest of the Channel Islands National Park, this island is the most challenging to get to. Island Packers offers a ferry during the months of April - October and travel time is approximately 3 hours. Popular activities include camping, fishing, wildlife viewing (some of the best!), exploring 5 miles of trails, diving and kayaking.