Most boat trips depart from Ventura Harbor (home to the national park’s visitors center) via operator Island Packers, and the majority go to the two closest islands , Santa Cruz and Anacapa. You can also reach the islands from Santa Barbara, by way of a Santa Barbara Sailing yacht, helmed by a U.S. Coast Guard captain.
Channel Islands, also called Santa Barbara Islands, island chain extending some 150 miles ( 240 km ) along, and about 12– 70 miles (20– 115 km ) off, the Pacific coast of southern California. The islands form two groups.
There are NO services or lodging on the islands . Visitors must bring all their own food and water (potable water is available in the Scorpion Canyon campground on Santa Cruz Island and the Water Canyon campground on Santa Rosa Island). A limited amount of food and drink is available on the concessionaire boats.
Most people travel to the islands by boat from Ventura. Although there are no park fees, getting there is expensive — anywhere from $56 to $160 per person, the higher price being for a trip by air to Santa Rosa.
Today, with the exception of the Islands , Chumash people live in these territories and areas far beyond. Tongva/Gabrieleno people lived primarily on the Southern Channel Islands (Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands ) and the area in and around Los Angeles.
Summer and fall are considered peak seasons for snorkeling, diving, kayaking and swimming as ocean temperatures may reach 70 degrees, and you’ll find ocean visibility as deep as 100 feet. Most people visit the park starting from June through late September.
The Channel Islands fall into two separate self-governing bailiwicks, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey . Both are British Crown dependencies, and neither is a part of the United Kingdom.
A Guide to Channel Islands National Park, California. One of the Channel Islands , San Miguel is the only known place in the world where four different species of seals and sea lions breed.
The best Channel Island to visit depends on how long you have & what you want to do/see. If you only have 1 day available then I’d recommend visiting Santa Cruz Island or Anacapa Island .
Channel Islands (California)
|Area||350.89 sq mi (908.8 km2)|
|Highest elevation||2,429 ft (740.4 m)|
|Highest point||Devils Peak, Santa Cruz Island|
The park is open all year. However, the visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara are closed Thanksgiving and December 25th.
There is no direct connection from Los Angeles to Channel Islands National Park. However, you can take the train to Ventura Amtrak, take the drive to Ventura Harbor, take the ferry to Santa Cruz Island , then take the travel to Channel Islands National Park.
Island Packers Cruises is the Official Boat Concessionaire for the Channel Islands National Park. We offer year round transportation to the “local islands ” Santa Cruz and Anacapa. We offer trips to the “outer islands ”, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara from March through November on a limited schedule.