Point Bennett Hike

white sand beach with seals and sea lions laying close to each other
Point Bennett

Tim Hauf,

Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

Hiking to Point Bennet to observe the huge colonies of seals and sea lions is one of the most engaging visitor activities within the park.

Due to unexploded ordnance, visitors must be accompanied by a ranger to this location. Entering this area without a ranger is a violation of federal law.

Distance: 16 miles (round trip from Cuyler Harbor)
Difficulty: Strenuous

San Miguel Island is owned by the US Navy and is open only when National Park Service personnel are on the island. A permit (including liability waiver) is required to visit the island. These forms are available at Island Packers and Channel Islands Aviation.

Private boaters can obtain the forms at a self-registration station at the Nidever Canyon trail head entry on San Miguel Island. It is the responsibility of private boaters to contact the park to ensure the island is open before coming ashore.

Visitors are required to stay on the designated island trail system. No off-trail hiking is permitted. The island was a former bombing range and there are possible unexploded ordnance.

In addition, visitors must be accompanied by a ranger beyond the ranger station. When not accompanied by a ranger, visitors may explore Cuyler Harbor beach, Nidever Canyon, the Cabrillo Monument, and the Lester Ranch site.

Channel Islands National Park

Last updated: May 6, 2021