Travel to Channel Islands
Channel Islands National Park provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities and a delightful break from the congestion and clamor of urban life. However, since the park encompasses five islands and their surrounding one mile of the ocean, the decision of where to go, what to do, and how to do it can be challenging. So compiled within this "Planning Your Visit" section is detailed information to help you make sense of it all. Click on the links below or in the navigation to start planning a great trip to the park.Basic Information
Welcome from the Superintendent
The park staff and I wish to welcome you to Channel Islands National Park, one of North America's magnificent treasures. 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. This information provides park and natural resource managers with useful products for recreation planning, conservation and restoration programs, and early identification of critical issues.