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Channel Islands National Park

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178 mi 287 km of trail 1 Featured Hike

Easy Trails 39 Trails Intermediate Trails 27 Trails Hard Trails 7 Trails

Channel Islands National Park is composed of five extraordinary islands, each with a unique pelagic setting. By traveling to these one-of-a-kind environments, visitors have the opportunity to experience the California coast as it existed prior to human settlement. Thousands of years of isolation produced unique flora and fauna, and early human interaction with the islands left behind archeological resources unlike any in the world. A truly remote and pristine location, a visit to Channel Islands National Park is truly an escape from modernity.

More information about Channel Islands National Park can be found by visiting www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
There are no visitor centers located within the park although there are two locations that operate on the mainland. Both locations are closed Thanksgiving Day and December 25.
  • Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center (Ventura): Open 8:30 am to 5 pm daily.
  • Outdoors Visitor Center (Santa Barbara): Open 11 am to 5 pm daily.

Visiting Tips

Channel Islands National Park is open 24 hours a day, year-round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and December 25. While the park is located in a typically moderate Mediterranean climate, visitors should be prepared for rapid changes in weather. High winds, sea spray, rough seas, and fog are all common in the park. Fall is the most popular time to plan a visit, as the likelihood of calm water, warm weather and slow winds occurs between August and September.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entrance fee to visit Channel Islands National Park.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
Year-round camping is available on each of the five islands of Channel Islands National Park. Each island boasts a Park Service managed campground, where amenities include picnic tables and pit toilets. Fees for all campgrounds are $15 per site, per night. Potable water is only available at the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island campgrounds. Be aware that transportation to the islands often fills before campgrounds. Camping reservations can be made online at www.recreation.gov.

There are limited backcountry sites available on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands and a backcountry permit is required.

Lodging:
Lodging is unavailable within the park and there are a variety of lodging options available in the nearby towns of Ventura, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara, California.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants or stores in Channel Islands National Park. Visitors will need to bring all of their own food with them, and most will need to bring their own water as well. Potable water is only available at Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Campgrounds.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
Channel Islands offers a variety of ranger-led tours, talks, and hikes that vary by season. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

Shuttles:
While the mainland visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara are readily accessible by car or public transportation, due to the remote location of Channel Islands National Park, it is necessary to find private transportation to and from the islands. There are a variety of options available to visitors, including private and public boat transportation as well as public airplane transportation. For more information about transportation to the islands, click here.

There are two park concessionaires, Island Packers and Channel Islands Aviation who can provide specific information about public transportation. Regulations and guidelines for private boats can be found here.

Other Activities

There are a variety of ways to enjoy the pristine islands that make up Channel Islands National Park. Visitors enjoy various types of aquatic activities such as diving, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking. In addition, there are many terrestrial activities such as hiking, camping, bird watching, picnicking, and wildflower viewing. If you're looking to blend both the ocean and land, tide pooling, fishing, and aquatic wildlife viewing are also accessible. No matter what you choose, a visit to Channel Islands National Park will help you leave the clamor of everyday life behind. Visit Channel Island's website for more information on the park's variety of activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Featured Hikes in Channel Islands National Park - 1

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Trails in Channel Islands National Park - 72

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0.7 mi 1.1 km
#1 Inspiration Point
Anacapa Island, CA
0.7 mi 1.1 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
Update
Anacapa Island, CA
1.3 mi 2.1 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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0.9 mi 1.5 km
#3 North Bluff Trail
Anacapa Island, CA
0.9 mi 1.5 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km
#4 Cathedral Cove
Anacapa Island, CA
0.4 mi 0.7 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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0.3 mi 0.6 km
#5 Pinniped Point
Anacapa Island, CA
0.3 mi 0.6 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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Isla Vista, CA
2.0 mi 3.2 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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3.9 mi 6.3 km
#7 Smugglers Road
Santa Cruz Island, CA
3.9 mi 6.3 km Santa Cruz Island, CA
Unknown
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1.5 mi 2.4 km
#8 Lobo Canyon Trail
Isla Vista, CA
1.5 mi 2.4 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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Solvang, CA
2.5 mi 4.0 km Solvang, CA
Unknown
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1.4 mi 2.2 km
#10 Montanon Trail
Summerland, CA
1.4 mi 2.2 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
Update
Isla Vista, CA
3.9 mi 6.3 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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1.8 mi 2.9 km
#12 Torrey Pine Road
Isla Vista, CA
1.8 mi 2.9 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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4.2 mi 6.7 km
#13 Smith Highway
Isla Vista, CA
4.2 mi 6.7 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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Isla Vista, CA
0.8 mi 1.2 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
Update
Anacapa Island, CA
1.5 mi 2.5 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
Update
Isla Vista, CA
1.0 mi 1.6 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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17.2 mi 27.7 km
#17 Smith Highway
Isla Vista, CA
17.2 mi 27.7 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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0.9 mi 1.4 km
#18 Airstrip Road
Isla Vista, CA
0.9 mi 1.4 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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6.7 mi 10.8 km
#19 Coastal Road
Isla Vista, CA
6.7 mi 10.8 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
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0.4 mi 0.6 km
#20 Airstrip Road
Isla Vista, CA
0.4 mi 0.6 km Isla Vista, CA
Unknown
Update

Photos of Channel Islands National Park - 74

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