Channel Islands National Park

Five islands off the coast of Southern California make up the Channel Islands National Park. The islands are beautiful landscapes of undisturbed southern Pacific Coast. The park has low visitation because the islands are not accessible by car, and therefore provide a private and pristine experience for the visitor. Visitors can hike miles of island trails, kayak the gorgeous coastline of the islands, and snorkel and swim in the underwater kelp forests. The park offers whale-watching trips and boat tours, and visitors are welcome to camp on the islands.

The islands boast remarkable geographic and biological diversity. The islands feature mountain ranges, sea caves, canyons, coastline cliffs, and beaches. The isolation of the islands has allowed evolution to flourish independent of the mainland, and the islands have many endemic species, like the island fox. Ancient endemic species include the pygmy mammoth!

There are thousands of sea birds that live on the islands—Anacapa Island hosts the largest breeding colony of Western sea gulls in the world! Six species of sea lions and seals bask on the rocky island coves. On San Miguel Island you can sometimes see over 30,000 of these animals on an island point. Gray whales, killer whales, and blue whales, the largest animals in the world, swim the waters.

There is rich cultural diversity to be seen too! Thousands of years ago, the Chumash Native Americans lived on these gorgeous islands, and the islands now have hundreds of archaeological sites to explore. Some of the sites date back almost 12,000 years!

The islands provide a rare and beautiful experience for park visitors, and with geographic, biological, and cultural diversity to explore and an array of outdoor activities, you will certainly not be short on things to do!

—Caroline Griffith









March 7, 2014

i have never visit it but from the view of it look so beautiful and wonderful as it you were in haven. i would love to go there is so wow i cant explain it. i hope they keep protecting this park its Beauty cant be lost!


February 7, 2013

I worked at the information desk, located in Ventura, CA. in the 8o's. I managed to visit all 5 islands and the diversity is so interesting. If you are interested in camping be sure and visit the info center as they have a great film on the islands as well as how to get there.


February 7, 2013

I have had Channel Islands on my national park "bucket list" for years. My daughter is old enough now that I think we could handle a kayak/backpacking trip and island camping. I would love to hear about others' experiences at this unique park, and please share any tips or insights!


November 10, 2011

We've visited 10 national parks since we began our family quest to see all 58 in 2005. We'll be adding 4 more to our list this summer. Loved them ALL and we'll keep supporting NPCA as long as we're able to.


November 10, 2011

Been to Santa Cruz Island. Loved it. So peaceful and quiet. A lot of history there too, from the Chinese,Spaniards, and the English. Dating back to the early 1500s. Good fishing too. But make sure you are on time to catch the boat home. It can be chilly at night. Have a good trip

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