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Channel Islands National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

178 mi 287 km of trail 2 Recommended Routes

Gems 1 Gem Easy Trails 26 Trails Intermediate Trails 33 Trails Hard Trails 15 Trails

Channel Islands National Park is composed of five extraordinary islands, each with a unique pelagic setting. By traveling to these one-of-a-kind environments, visitors have the opportunity to experience the California coast as it existed prior to human settlement. Thousands of years of isolation produced unique flora and fauna, and early human interaction with the islands left behind archeological resources unlike any in the world. A truly remote and pristine location, a visit to Channel Islands National Park is truly an escape from modernity.

More information about Channel Islands National Park can be found by visiting www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
There are no visitor centers located within the park, though there are two locations that operate on the mainland. Both locations are closed Thanksgiving Day and December 25.
  • Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center (Ventura): Open 8:30 am to 5 pm daily.
  • Outdoors Visitor Center (Santa Barbara): Open 11 am to 5 pm daily.

Visiting Tips

Channel Islands National Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and December 25. While the park is located in a typically moderate Mediterranean climate, visitors should be prepared for rapid changes in weather. High winds, sea spray, rough seas, and fog are all common in the park. Fall is the most popular time to plan a visit, as the likelihood of calm water, warm weather and slow winds occurs between August and September.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entrance fee to visit Channel Islands National Park.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
Year-round camping is available on each of the five islands of Channel Islands National Park. Each island boasts a Park Service managed campground, where amenities include picnic tables and pit toilets. Potable water is only available at the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island campgrounds. Be aware that transportation to the islands often fills before campgrounds. Camping reservations can be made online at www.recreation.gov.

There are limited backcountry sites available on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands and a backcountry permit is required.

Lodging:
Lodging is unavailable within the park and there are a variety of lodging options available in the nearby towns of Ventura, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara, California.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants or stores in Channel Islands National Park. Visitors will need to bring all of their own food with them, and most will need to bring their own water as well. Potable water is only available at Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Campgrounds.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Shuttles:
While the mainland visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara are readily accessible by car or public transportation, due to the remote location of Channel Islands National Park, it is necessary to find private transportation to and from the islands. There are a variety of options available to visitors, including private and public boat transportation as well as public airplane transportation. For more information about transportation to the islands, click here.

There are two park concessionaires, Island Packers and Channel Islands Aviation who can provide specific information about public transportation. Regulations and guidelines for private boats can be found here.

Other Activities

There are a variety of ways to enjoy the pristine islands that make up Channel Islands National Park. Visitors enjoy various types of aquatic activities such as diving, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking. In addition, there are many terrestrial activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, picnicking, and wildflower viewing. If you're looking to blend both the ocean and land, tide pooling, fishing, and aquatic wildlife viewing are also accessible. No matter what you choose, a visit to Channel Islands National Park will help you leave the clamor of everyday life behind. Visit Channel Island's website for more information on the park's variety of activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Channel Islands National Park - 1

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gem Favorite Inspiration point at Anacapa Island!

Inspiration Point

(3) Anacapa…, CA

Recommended Routes in Channel Islands National Park - 2

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Favorite Just hanging out, hoping for a morsel to eat.
Intermediate

Potato Harbor Loop

5.0 mi 8.0 km 511' Up 155.78 m Up 510' Down 155.6 m Down

Santa C…, CA
Favorite Just hanging out, hoping for a morsel to eat.
Difficult

Santa Cruz Traverse

13.4 mi 21.6 km 2,573' Up 784.37 m Up 2,568' Down 782.81 m Down

Anacapa…, CA

Trails in Channel Islands National Park - 72

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0.7 mi 1.1 km #1Inspiration Point
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
3.9 mi 6.3 km #2Carrington Point Road
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
0.9 mi 1.5 km #3North Bluff Trail
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
1.5 mi 2.4 km #4Lobo Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
1.5 mi 2.5 km #5Potato Harbor Road
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
0.4 mi 0.7 km #6Cathedral Cove
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
2.0 mi 3.2 km #7Cherry Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
0.3 mi 0.6 km #8Pinniped Point
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
1.4 mi 2.2 km #9Montanon Trail
Intermediate
Summerland, CA
Intermediate
Summerland, CA
2.5 mi 4.0 km #10Twin Peaks/Soledad Canyon Road
Easy/Intermediate
Solvang, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Solvang, CA
1.8 mi 2.9 km #11Torrey Pine Road
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
4.2 mi 6.7 km #12Smith Highway
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
0.8 mi 1.2 km #13Carrington Point Road Connector
Easy/Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
1.3 mi 2.1 km #14Cavern Point Loop Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Anacapa Island, CA
3.9 mi 6.3 km #15Smugglers Road
Intermediate
Santa Cruz Island, CA
Intermediate
Santa Cruz Island, CA
6.7 mi 10.8 km #16Coastal Road
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
1.0 mi 1.6 km #17Torrey Pines Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Isla Vista, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
Isla Vista, CA
17.2 mi 27.7 km #18Smith Highway
Easy/Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Isla Vista, CA
0.3 mi 0.5 km #19Oil Well
Easy/Intermediate
Toro Canyon, CA
Easy/Intermediate
Toro Canyon, CA
0.9 mi 1.4 km #20Airstrip Road
Easy
Isla Vista, CA
Easy
Isla Vista, CA

Photos of Channel Islands National Park - 86

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Anacapa Island sunrise. with permission from Elena Omelchenko
Sep 2, 2016 near Anacapa…, CA
Cathedral Cove viewpoint.
Sep 30, 2015 near Channel…, CA
Sea Lions on Carrington Point
Jun 25, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
Wild flowers on the way to carrington point .
Jun 25, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
High Mount
Jan 1, 2018 near Anacapa…, CA
The moors of the island
Jan 1, 2018 near Anacapa…, CA
Just hanging out, hoping for a morsel to eat.
Dec 13, 2016 near Anacapa…, CA
Santa Rosa Isl: Bechers Bay from Cherry Canyon Tr. Airstrip and Coastal Road in foreground. Pier mid left, across from boat.
Sep 7, 2016 near Isla Vista, CA