Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Travel Photo #12: Channel Islands

Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources.

The Arch near Anacapa Island.  Summer 2012.

Channel Islands National Park Overview
Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.
Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, the park encompasses five of the eight California Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources.
The park bridges two biogeographical provinces and in a remarkably small place, harbors the biologic diversity of nearly 2,500 miles of the North American coast.  The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 plant and animal species, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world.

Like the Galapagos Islands of South America, isolation has allowed evolution to proceed independently on the islands. Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the blue whale, the largest animal to live on Earth.  Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 13,000 years of human habitation.

The protection of these fragile island resources was ensured when Congress, in the act that created Channel Islands National Park in 1980, established a long-term ecological monitoring program to gather information on the current health of resources and predict future conditions.

Top Attractions at Channel Islands
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.

Channel Islands Live
If you can't visit the islands, then take a virtual visit to the Channel Islands through live, interactive broadcasts and webcams (including the popular Bald Eagle Webcam) that highlight the remarkable natural and cultural resources of the islands and their surrounding waters.

Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island
Even on a foggy day, this is one of the best views in the park and appropriately named. Island Packers runs full-day and half-day trips to Anacapa Island throughout the year.

Snorking, Diving, Boating and Kayaking
After an island hike, there is no better way to cool off then to snorkel, dive, or kayak in the Landing Cove on Anacapa Island or at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island.  We took the ferry boat to Anacapa Island and were chased by the dolphins. That was absolutely awesome.  The water can be clear and calm anytime of year, but don't forget your wetsuit.  

How To Get There
While the mainland visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara are readily accessible by car or public transportation, the islands are only accessible by park concessionaire boats and planes or private boats. 
The visitor center is located in the Ventura Harbor in Ventura, California. Ventura is located 70 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara.
Flight, train, and bus service are all available to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. 

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be anymore time to do the things that you’ve always wanted.  Do it now!” –Paulo Coelho


  1. Candice9/22/2014

    I would love to visit the Channel Islands, looks calming and relaxing. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. Highly recommended. (: Go get chased by the dolphins!

  2. I went to a fishing trip out there a few months back. It was an overnight trip and it was amazing! The weather and sights were just fantastic.

    Good job adding this to your site, it is a must see for anyone visiting the L.A/Ventura area. The boat trips are fun too. Usually with Dolphins, sea lions, and other sea life following the boat.

    1. It was an amazing experience. The islands have nothing but nature.

  3. I am planning to go there next summer. So happy to have encountered this article because now I am very glad to be going.

    1. Have a wonderful time in Channel Islands!

  4. I live in the northern part of Ventura. Going to the Channel Islands is pretty much the thing to do in the spring/summer. Such a great place.

  5. Ventura is an awesome area. Love the weather, and the beach..

  6. It looks so beautiful! I wish I could travel to a place like this, but I just don't have the lifestyle that permits it, but, when I retire I'll make sure to check this beautiful place out as soon as I can. I can't wait!

    1. Don't wait till you retire! I spend most of my awake time working. I don't think I travel enough. It seem like I travel a lot, but I only travel on holidays and on my PTO.
      Good things come to those who Do Not wait, when it comes to travel.