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National Parks ·  Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is well worth the extra effort – a boat ride from Santa Barbara or Ventura – to see these isolated peaks. The Channel Islands were originally inhabited by two Native American tribes until they were forced to the mainland for conversion. Seals and otters attracted fur traders followed by ranchers before the fragile ecosystems were protected from development. Now the rugged Channel Islands host day visitors (on land and offshore) and campers with permits.
If you plan a trip to the Channel Islands National Park, make reservations in advance and bring water and a picnic lunch for day visits.

Print this map to plan your travel to Channel Islands National Park. For more detailed trip planning information, go to the Top Destinations section and select the Santa Barbara Coast pages.


Channel Islands National Park Map

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Channel Islands National Park
Ventura, California 93001
Established March 5, 1980
249,353 acres (half the acreage is underwater). Open all year. Camping fee.
(805) 658-5730  www.nps.gov/chis

HIGHLIGHTS: Visible from the coast of California near Santa Barbara, five mountainous Channel Islands offer homes to numerous marine and mammal species. These islands harbor the largest seal and sea lion breeding colony in the US along with about 50 endemic species of plants and animals. Arch Rock, hollowed out by wind and sea, stands 40' above the ocean near Anacapa Island.

ACTIVITIES: Backcountry camping (permit required), hiking, camping, swimming, boating, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and hunting.

WILDLIFE: SantaCruz gopher snake, island spotted skunk, island fox (smallest in North America), Santa Cruz scrub jay, brown towhee and orange-crowned warbler.

PLANT LIFE: Coreopsis, ironwood, and torrey pine.

MARINE LIFE: Storm petrels, Xantus’ murrelet, garibaldi, seal, sea lion, elephant seal, orca, blue whale, gooseneck barnacle, and kelp.

TRAVEL TIPS: Access to the Channel Islands is available from park concessionaires located next to the Visitor Center in Ventura or at the Santa Barbara harbor. The trip to Anacapa Island is 1 1/2 hours each way. Private boat landings are available for certain islands at specific places. Because the nights are cool, bring warm clothing.

DIRECTIONS: From Los Angeles take 101 north; at the Victoria exit in Ventura follow the Channel Island signs for the Visitor Center. Nearest airports: Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.


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Plan ahead if you wish to camp overnight on one of the islands

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