• 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 »

Things To Do: Anacapa Island

Kayaking near Arch Rock, Anacapa Island
 

Anacapa Island is the perfect place for a half-day, one-day, or short overnight camping trip. If you have time to visit just one island, this may be the place. As with all the Channel Islands, visiting Anacapa Island is an exercise in preparation and self-reliance. Since there are no services on the islands, there are no remedies for poor planning once you have arrived.

Boat Transportation
Island Packers offers trips year round. Travel time is about one hour.Almost all trips are to East Anacapa Island. A limited number of trips are offered throughout the year to Frenchys Cove on West Anacapa Island. Visitors must climb from the boat up a steel-rung ladder to a dock. Once ashore, visitors must climb 157 stairs to the top of the island. Non-landing trips are also available. More...

Goods and Services
There are no goods, services, oraccommodations (lodging) available on the island. Visitors must bring all their own food and supplies. Public phones are not available.

Water
There is no water available on the island. Visitors must bring all their water with them.

Picnicking
Picnic tables are available at thevisitor center.

Visitor Center
A small visitor center is located inone of the historic Coast Guard buildings. Features include displays on the natural and cultural resources of the island and the original lead-crystal Fresnel lens from the Anacapa Lighthouse.

Interpretive Programs
Rangers and naturalists offer guided hikes throughout the year. Hikes generally begin 30 minutes after Island Packers boats arrive on the island. In addition, a self-guided trail booklet is available. During the spring and summer, Channel Islands Live programs are offered where park rangers with special microphone-equipped dive masks and underwater video cameras descend into towering kelp forests and interact with you on this virtual underwater hike. More...

Hiking
Although hiking options are limited with only two miles of trails, the scenery is unmatched. Except for the staircase to the top of the island, the figure eight-shaped trail system is relatively flat and easy while meandering over gentle slopes to dramatic overlooks, magnificent coastal views, and the last permanent lighthouse built on the West Coast. Hikers must stay on trails to protect fragile vegetation and nesting seabirds and for visitor safety. Middle Anacapa is open to ranger-led tours only. Contact the visitor center for more information. West Anacapa is not open to hiking. It is set aside for the island wildlife except for Frenchys Cove on West Anacapa that can be reached only by boat. More...

Camping
Primitive camping is available (seven sites; $15 per night per site; reservations required). Picnic table, food storage box, and pit toilet are provided. No water is available. Distance from landing to campground is one-half mile and includes a 157-stair climb. More...

Watersports
Ideal place for swimming, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking, but there are no lifeguards on the island. Since Anacapa is a cliff island, access to the water is only at the Landing Cove on East Anacapa via a dock. There are no other accessible beaches unless you have a watercraft. Excellent watersports can be experienced at the Landing Cove. The underwater visibility is usually very good and the water is teeming with life since it is located within a marine reserve. Kayaking east towards Arch Rock or west towards Cathedral Cove provides great wildlife viewing, sea caves, and arches. More...

Fishing
No fishing is allowed within the marine reserve that is located on the north side of Anacapa Island, including in the the Landing Cove. Also, no fishing is allowed (except for commercial and recreational lobster and pelagic finfish) in the marine conservation area on the north side of West Anacapa Island. Fishing is allowed outside these marine protected areas. To fish in Channel Islands National Park,m possession of a valid California state fishing license with an ocean enhancement stamp is required and all California Department of Fish and Game regulations apply. More...

Wildlife/Wildflower
Viewing There is excellent wildlife viewing onAnacapa. A variety of seabirds can be seen throughout the year, including brown pelicans, cormorants, pigeon guillemots, and western gulls (gull nesting and chicks can be observed from the end of April through July). Seals and sea lions may also be viewed from Pinniped Point, Cathedral Cove, and the boat. During a normal year of rainfall, wildflowers are best viewed in late winter and spring. The brilliant yellow coreopsis flowers usually peak between late January and March. In addition, some plants like gumplant, buckwheat, poppies, and verbena continue to bloom during the summer. The only accessible site on Anacapa Island for tidepooling is at Frenchys Cove on West Anacapa Island. A limited number of trips are offered throughout the year by Island Packers.There is no access to Frenchys Cove or any other tidepools from East Anacapa. More...

Did You Know?

1994 pygmy mammoth excavation, Santa Rosa Island

The world's most complete pygmy mammoth specimen was discovered on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. These miniature mammoths, only four to six feet tall, once roamed island grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene.