Places To Go

Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their surrounding one mile of ocean. Each of the islands is a fascinating world unto itself. They are miniature versions of the California that many visitors may have thought was lost long ago.

Whether visiting for a day or a week there are numerous places to go within the park. However, since the park encompasses five islands and their surrounding one mile of the ocean, the decision of where to go can be challenging. So compiled below is a list of park highlights that we feel should not be missed.

Please click on the links to the below and Things To Do and Activities for more information.

Three islets surrounded by blue water and fog. ©Tim Hauf,
Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island

Even on a foggy day, this is one of the best views in the park. Island Packers runs trips to Anacapa Island throughout the year.

HIkers on coastal bluff overlooking ocean at sunset. ©Tim Hauf,
Cavern Point, Santa Cruz Island

A Cavern Point hike includes great views and a tour of the visitor center in the historic ranch house. Island Packers runs daily trips.

Torrey pine tree overlooking brown bluff and blue ocean. ©Tim Hauf,
Torrey Pines, Santa Rosa Island

View one of the rarest trees in the world. Channel Islands Aviation flies year round while Island Packers runs trips spring through fall.

White sand beach with pinnpeds. ©Tim Hauf,
Point Bennett, San Miguel Island

Just a 4-hour boat ride (summer through fall) and a 16-mile round-trip hike to view 30,000 pinnipeds and up to five different species.

Overlooking blue water, pier, and boats from coastal bluff. ©Tim Hauf,
Prisoners, Santa Cruz Island

See the island scrub-jay, a restored wetland, historic buildings, and hike the rugged coastline. Island Packers runs trips year round.

Blue tent in campground with trees. © Kathy de-Wet Oleson
Camping, Santa Cruz Island

Scorpion Canyon Campground is the most convenient park campground and provides the most recreational opportunities.

Kayakers in blue water next to steep cliff. ©Tim Hauf,
Sea Caves, Santa Cruz Island

Kayak the rugged coast and sea caves by at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island.

Diver in kelp forest. ©Brett Seymour, National Park Service
Kelp Forest, Anacapa Island

Cool off after a hike with a snorkel or dive in the kelp forests at the Landing Cove on Anacapa Island.

Humpback whale at surface in blue water. ©Tim Hauf,
Whale Watching

Over 30 different marine mammal species can be found in the park. For best viewing take a trip with Island Packers.

Last updated: September 17, 2019

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