Channel IslandsCalifornia 

5 Ecologically Rich Islands Off Southern California.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park protects five islands off the Southern California coast at Ventura and Santa Barbara. Visitors enjoy whale watching in the surrounding ocean or exploring the undeveloped islands.


The human history of the Channel Islands spans more than 12,000 years, beginning with the Chumash, who lived there for thousands of years. The first Europeans first arrived in the 16th century, and discovered a rich culture which depended on the land and sea for all that was needed. The islands came under Mexican rule in 1821, and sheep and cattle ranches occupied several islands, and the waters were harvested for fish. The islands became part of California when it gained statehood in 1850. The US Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard all established posts on the Channel Islands during the 20ths century. Light towers were constructed in the 1910s, and the islands were managed by the military until they were transferred to the National Park Service.

The first two islands established as National Monuments in 1938 were Anacapa and Santa Barbara. Legislation in 1980 established the National Park and added the three remaining Northern Channel island. The remains of the ancient Chumash villages are mixed with historic ranches and military structures. Each of the five islands has a unique history.

Entrance fees

There is no entry fee to enter the Channel Islands, however transportation options, such as boats or tours, may require fees.

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Santa Barbara Island Campground
10 Sites


Scorpion Canyon Campground on Santa Cruz Island
31 Sites


Water Canyon Campground on Santa Rosa Island
15 Sites


San Miguel Island Campground
9 Sites


Anacapa Island Campground
7 Sites


Santa Cruz Del Norte Backcountry
4 NonSpecific Sites


Some Hotels and Other Lodging Options:

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