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Day Trip: Channel Islands National Park

View overlooking Channel Islands National Park

Located off California’s central coast, Channel Islands National Park spans across five islands rich with pristine views and wildlife. Great for those who want to escape civilization for a day and be surrounded by nature, it’s highly recommended to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Each island offers its own unique views and wildlife. And with a variety of hiking trails at varying levels of difficulty, options exist for every hiker. The most iconic view of Channel Islands National Park can be found on the Inspiration Point trail on Anacapa Island.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider booking a tour or activity with one of the many authorized companies that offer everything from snorkeling and kayaking adventures, to excursions into sea caves, to whale watching tours.

Whether you’re a casual explorer or an active adventurist, there are so many ways to experience Channel Islands National Park that no two visits will be the same!

6 Tips for Your Trip to Channel Islands National Park:

  1. Choose an island to visit. Each of the islands have their own unique features and experiences. Knowing what activity you’d like to do will help in selecting the right island for you.
  2. Book in advance. While the mainland visitor center is accessible by car, the islands are only accessible by boat through Island Packers and plane via Channel Islands Aviation so be sure to book your seats in advance!
  3. Pack accordingly. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and other necessities as there are no shops on the islands. Perhaps use the kitchen in your unit to pack a picnic to enjoy in one of the picnic areas. Not sure what to wear? The weather conditions can change rapidly so it’s suggested to dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes.
  4. Safety first. Due to the rugged terrain in certain areas, it’s important to watch your step. Make sure to stay on hiking trails and avoid cliff edges.
  5. Limit your impact. While enjoying the park, guests are encouraged to do their part in helping care for the land and its wildlife. The National Park Service offers tips on how to help limit your environmental and wildlife impact during your visit.
  6. Share, share, share! Internet on the islands can be sparse so when you’re back in your home away from home, share your favorite pics with family and friends!
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