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Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

Suggested Reading


Explorers and Settlers
Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

(formerly National Monument)

Location: Anacapa Island, 10 miles from the mainland, southwest of Port Hueneme; Santa Barbara Island, 38 miles from the mainland, southwest of Los Angeles; address, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001.

The eight Channel Islands, from south to north, are San Clemente, Santa Catalina, San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel. Channel Islands National Park includes the centrally located pair, Santa Barbara (650 acres) and Anacapa (700 acres). The prime aim of the National Park Service in these islands is to preserve and protect biological and geological phenomena for the benefit of the public. The islands, however, were among the first places visited and identified by the early Spanish explorers of the California coast. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, California's discoverer, died in 1543 on the island farthest northwest, San Miguel.

Smuggler's Cove
Channel Islands National Park.

Santa Barbara and Anacapa Islands are undeveloped, having no permanent structures or accommodations of any kind. During summer months and on weekends throughout the year, boat service is available to Anacapa from Port Hueneme, Calif. A ranger is stationed on Anacapa during the summer. Boat service is not available to Santa Barbara, which has no ranger assigned. Both islands retain their pristine appearance, looking now just as they did when first seen by the Spanish more than 400 years ago.

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005