Channel Islands National Park provides a delightful break from the congestion and clamor of urban life. The islands are ideal for quiet, uninterrupted time with family and friends-wonderful places to hike, camp, snorkel, kayak, birdwatch, take photographs, sketch, or just relax to the soothing sounds of the natural world.
However, since the park encompasses five islands and their surrounding one mile of the ocean, the decision of where to go and what to do can be challenging. So compiled below is a list of activities and park highlights that we feel should not be missed.
The visitor center in Ventura features a bookstore, exhibits, native plant garden, and park movie. Free. Open 8:30 am - 5:00 pm daily.
Channel Islands Live
Take a virtual visit to the Channel Islands through live broadcasts and webcams that highlight the park's natural and cultural resources.
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.
Snorkeling | Diving | Kayaking
Cool off after a hike with a snorkel, dive, or kayak in the Landing Cove on Anacapa Island or at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island.
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.
Camping, Santa Cruz Island
Scorpion Ranch Campground is the most convenient park campground and provides the most recreational opportunities.
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.
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.
Over 30 different marine mammal species can be found in the park. For best viewing take a trip with Island Packers.
If time is a limiting factor in your visit, consider the following suggestions:
Last updated: May 26, 2016