Channel Islands National Park

The national parks that encompass North America are truly beautiful and many seem to transport you to another world. One such national park is just off the California coast called Channel Islands National Park.

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Channel Islands National Park

A World Away, Yet Right Off the Coast

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The area where the Channel Islands National Park sits was originally discovered by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo in 1542, but did not actually become a national park until 1938. The park encompasses 249,561 acres spread across 5 different islands. Channel Islands National Park boasts over 300,000 visitors every year who are privileged to see such a beautiful island location and enjoy some remarkable activities throughout their visit.

When to go

January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December


Kayaking – Boating – Beach – Wildlife – Family – Day Trip – Swimming – Hiking – Bird-Watching

Anacapa Island

If your idea of the perfect vacation is the chance to get away from everything, then a visit to Anacapa Island may be just the ticket. This island consists only of one simple visitors center and 15 campsites that can be rented for $12 per night. If you choose to camp on Anacapa Island within Channel Islands National Park you will have to bring the essentials with you. There are no available supplies on the island so poor planning can lead to some trouble. A trip here however is quite remarkable and Anacapa Island has been coined one of the most beautiful spots within the park. In addition to the amazing snorkeling and diving excursions, there are many exotic type birds to be seen as well as some remarkable fishing spots throughout the southern portion of the island. Fishing is only prohibited on the north side of the island.

Santa Cruz Island

An excursion to Anacapa Island may only be recommended for those who are ready to really rough it. If you would like a few more amenities with your trip, you can choose the little more inhabited Santa Cruz Island. This island is one of the Channel Island National Park areas that has fresh drinking water for its guests. The island also has a number of picnic tables throughout to make having a meal a beautiful experience. This is one of the best hiking spots within the park, but if you choose to fish, you should note that the island is partially within the borders of a marine preserve and therefore fishing is prohibited in those areas.

San Miguel Island

This particular part of Channel Island National Park is one of the few places within the United states that was actually a bomb detonation range. Permits are required to go to San Miguel Island, but visitors should keep in mind that there may still be active bombs on the island and therefore have to sign wavers before embarking. Camping is permitted, but you will have to bring your own water as there are no fresh water cisterns available and the winds can average 60 miles per hour at times, so bring your own shelter to escape the wind as well.

Santa Barbara Island

Sometimes in our vacation excursions we may be looking for a bit of a challenge. Santa Barbara Island is the challenging spot in Channel Islands National Park. Although the steep cliffs and dramatic landscapes may draw you in, actually getting to the island may be a bit of a challenge due to the limited travel schedule of the boats that take visitors to and from the islands themselves. Should you make your way to Santa Barbara Island however you will be greatly rewarded with views of the protected and stunning sea creatures within the marine preserve in the area. You are also welcomed to camp on Santa Barbara Island if you be sure to bring all the supplies you need. There is no fresh water anywhere on the island.

Santa Rosa Island

One of the gems of Channel Islands National Park is found with Santa Rosa Island. Although the winds on this island can reach upwards 40 miles per hour and even higher at certain times throughout the year, visitors flock to this location for the chance to hike the beautiful landscapes as well as some premium surfing on the north end of the island. Exploring the underwater canyons and camping are also favorite activities of guests. Santa Rosa Island is the hotspot of the Channel Islands National Park and one that truly should not be missed.

Things to Know

Within the national park system, there are some parks that charge an entrance fee. Some of the entrance fee is donated to some of the other parks to ensure that they do not have to charge an entrance fee in order to maintain the park. Channel National Park is one of the free entrance parks. Boats take visitors to and from the park, so keep their schedule in mind when choosing which island to visit and when. There is camping available on all islands with a $15 per night camping fee.

[rating itemreviewed=”Channel Islands National Park” rating=”8″ reviewer=”Adventure Review – National Parks” dtreviewed=”27 December 2016″ best=”10″ worst=”0″]Among those national monuments turned national parks was the forever grand Lake Clark National Park. Since that time, it has become one of Alaska’s top destination and people are returning again and again to this park for its natural beauty and uncommon attractions.[/rating]

Download a Channel Islands National Park Map

Planning a trip to Channel Islands National Park? Be sure to download the official Channel Islands National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Channel Islands National Park. This free Channel Islands National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.

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Official Channel Islands National Park – Click on the Map to download 

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