Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.
The Channel Islands are located off the coast of Southern California. The boat departing for the islands leaves from Ventura or Oxnard. On the boat trip over to any of the islands there is a good chance you will see dolphins, who like to follow the boat, and you might see a whale or two. I have been to two of the four islands; Anacapa and Santa Cruz. The best time to visit the islands is in the springtime (March or April) after the flowers have bloomed from the winter rains. You can hike the islands and then find a nice place to sit down and have lunch. Anacapa is the smallest of the four islands and can be hiked from one end to the other in 50 minutes. Santa Cruz is much larger and cannot be hiked from one end to the other in one day. You can, however, get a pass to camp out overnight on Santa Cruz. Once the last boat leaves back to the mainland you are on your own. Santa Cruz has a sand shoreline you can hang out on. You can also scuba dive, kayak, and snorkel on Santa Cruz not on Anacapa.
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