An All Day Adventure to Channel Islands National Park
If you head out to the Channel Islands National Park, plan on an all day adventure. The Channel Islands National Park is made up of five of the eight islands near Los Angeles. The park is the home of over 2,000 plants and animals. Over one hundred species are found only in the island chain and only four mammals are endemic to the islands. Half of the nearly 250,000 acres that make up the park are under the ocean. Visitors are attracted to the islands throughout the year, although visitors in the winter and spring may have an opportunity to view migrating gray whales.
The first place to visit is the island of Anacapa. This island is the closest one to the mainland, but still sits over an hour out by boat ride. Once on the island, you see dramatic, steep cliffs, and watch hundreds of sea birds and marine mammals. Enjoy time at Anacapa by experiencing snorkeling, kayaking and diving in the rich kelp beds. The island of Santa Rosa is a great place to explore the numerous canyons and beaches located on various part of the island. San Miguel, the furthest island out from the mainland offers a wilderness experience that is truly unique to this area. Often fog covered or windy, this island offers many wonderful opportunities for scenic sites.
The Channel Islands National Park does not allow biking, but there are many other experiences you can enjoy. A wonderful way to enjoy and experience the marine environment is by kayaking the park. You'll paddle the same route as some of te first visitors to the island.
Visitors can camp on the San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Island if reservations are made in advance. Santa Rosa Island is the only island that water is available in the campground.
The islands do not have any restaurants or stores, so all food and water must be brought with you on your visit.
On the mainland, the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center has a lot of interesting things to see. Visitors can walk through the museum, a living tide pool exhibit and a see a three-dimensional model of the park islands.
Take time and enjoy a picnic while overlooking the Ventura Harbor, or stroll through the bookstore and an outdoor native plant garden. A 25-minute movie is offered throughout the day in the auditorium for visitors to enjoy. On weekends the park rangers offer free interpretive programs for visitors on the cultural and natural resources of the park.
Although the climate is usually mild with very little temperature variation, guests should plan for times of high winds, fog and sea spray. Planning ahead and wearing clothing in layers with good sturdy hiking shoes will make the trip to the islands more enjoyable for visitors.
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