• Scenic View from Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island ©timhaufphotography.com

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

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  • San Miguel Island Closure

    In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »

  • Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage

    Santa Barbara Island is closed to public access due to damage from the recent storms to the pier landing ladder. The closure will be in place until a new ladder can be fabricated and installed. The closure is expected to last over a month. More »

  • Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island

    Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans. More »

History & Culture

Tim Hauf
 

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Surfacing over the horizon from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, the coastal mountains of California's Channel Islands offer an extraordinary gateway to the past, spanning more than 12,000 years of human history.

The Channel Islands have attracted many explorers, scientists and historians during the past few centuries. Today, island visitors can explore the world of the native Chumash, walk the shores where European explorers landed, discover new tales from California's ranching history, and witness the remains of off-shore shipwrecks.

The northern Channel Islands were home to many native Chumash communities who are believed to have inhabited the islands for thousands of years. When Europeans first reached the islands in the 16th century, they discovered a rich culture dependent upon the resources of the land and the sea for sustenance and survival. By the nineteenth century, the islands were fulfilling different purposes: vast sheep and cattle ranches occupied Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel islands and the channel waters were aggressively harvested for fish and marine mammals. The remains of ancient Chumash villages are intermingled with historic ranch complexes and later military structures, testifying to the diverse heritage of human experience on these offshore islands.

Each of the five Channel Islands has a unique history. Channel Islands National Park invites you to learn more about the people, places, and stories associated with each of these islands and to experience the fascinating heritage of coastal southern California!

Did You Know?

Archeological site                                    timahaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are home to the most well-preserved archeological sites on the Pacific coast, with more than 10,000 years of continuous human occupation recorded.