• 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 »

Backcountry Camping

Tim Hauf

Backcountry camping is available year-round at the Del Norte campsite near Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island. Also, during certain times of year, backcountry beach camping is allowed on Santa Rosa Island. The National Park Service opened these islands to limited backcountry camping in recognition of their rare wilderness values. As you explore these wild areas by kayak or on foot, please take the responsibility to help us protect and preserve these delicate natural resources for future generations.

WARNING: While backcountry camping is an incredible experience, it is not for the inexperienced backpacker or kayaker. Due to difficult weather, rugged terrain, and off-trail hiking, backcountry camping is an arduous endeavor and should be undertaken only by experienced, well-conditioned backpackers and kayakers.

Santa Cruz Island
Del Norte is currently the only backcountry campground on Santa Cruz Island. It is nestled in a shaded oak grove, about 700 feet above sea level, and provides scenic views of the island's pristine coastline. The hike to the site is 3.5 miles from Prisoners Harbor and 12 miles from Scorpion Anchorage. The campground has four primitive campsites (4 persons per site) and users must camp within these designated sites. A picnic table, animal-proof container, and pit-style toilet are provided (campers must bring their own toilet paper). Water is not available.

Santa Rosa Island
Backcountry camping on Santa Rosa Island is currently limited to certain beaches between August 15th and December 31st. Hiking is along the beach and rugged, unsigned dirt roads or unmaintained animal paths. The closest beach for camping is 9 miles from the boat/plane drop-off location. Water is available year-round in some of the island's canyons.

Did You Know?

Island night lizard                                     C. Drost

The only reptile found on Santa Barbara Island is the endemic and threatened island night lizard. These lizards can live up to 20 years or more, but once established in a territory generally remain within a 3-meter radius their entire life.