Channel Islands
National Park

Channel Islands National Park: Exploring The Ultimate California Adventure

Channel Islands National Park is an experience beyond compare. As one of the smallest National Parks in the continental United States, Channel Islands National Park consists of five islands located off the coast of Southern California.


How do you get into Channels Islands National Park from Santa Barbara, CA and Los Angeles, CA?


By boat! The only ways to visit the Channel Islands are by boat or by seaplane. Visitors will find the most options at Ventura Harbor, just a short drive from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Chances are, if you live near the coast of Southern California you’ve heard of Channel Islands National Park — but have you traveled there yet?


You can plan your trip to Channel Islands National Park today. We’ve collected some helpful sites to make preparing and traveling easy.


Because the park is so far from the mainland, and has no roads connecting it to other landmasses, visitors can only reach it by boat or plane. However, visitors are rewarded with an unparalleled experience exploring these unique islands.


The Channel Islands are a chain of eight islands that include Anacapa Island, Santa Barbara Island, San Miguel Island, Santa Rosa Island and Santa Cruz Islands, as well as a few smaller rocky outcroppings. The total acreage of all eight islands combined is only 89 square miles. Visitors can access Anacapa, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands by ferry from Ventura or Oxnard on the mainland. However, they must travel to San Miguel, Santa Barbara and tiny Southeast Farallon Island via commercial air service or chartered boats.


The Channel Islands National Park was established in 1980 and encompassed about 55% of each island for about 50 miles worth of coastline. Visitors can hike across most of the islands to enjoy their natural beauty and observe wildlife such as foxes and coyotes while they are there.


Channel Islands National Park is not only a wonderful place to visit, but also a great reminder of why our National Parks are so important. So hopefully this primer will help you make the most of your next trip to California’s Channel Islands and encourage you to explore parks near and far too.