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Channel Islands

93 mi W of Los Angeles, CA




249,561 acres


323,245 in 2022


Channel Islands National Park, located off the coast of Southern California, comprises five rugged and ecologically diverse islands: Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara. These islands are home to unique flora and fauna, including endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. The park offers opportunities for hiking, camping, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in pristine coastal environments and explore ancient Chumash cultural sites. With its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and cultural significance, Channel Islands National Park provides a remarkable escape into nature's beauty and history just a short distance from the bustling mainland.


Channel Islands National Park boasts a diverse array of wildlife, both on land and in the surrounding waters. Visitors can encounter a variety of species, including the endemic island foxes, Channel Islands spotted skunks, and island deer mice. Marine life is abundant, with the opportunity to spot dolphins, seals, sea lions, and even the occasional whale. The park is also a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous seabirds such as brown pelicans, western gulls, and the iconic California brown pelicans soaring overhead. With its rich biodiversity and unique habitats, Channel Islands National Park offers an unforgettable wildlife experience for nature enthusiasts.

Sounds of the Park

Things to Do

Visitors to Channel Islands National Park can enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, boating, snorkeling, surfing, whale watching, and more. Be sure to check the park website in advance to be aware of any closures that might occur.

When to Visit

Channel Islands National Park has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and mild to warm, dry summers. Temperatures are consistently around the 65 degrees Fahrenheit range year round. The dry season, from April to October, is an ideal time to visit, especially towards the beginning and the end when crowds are lower.

Ties to Stephen Mather

The National Park Service considered establishing a national park in the Channel Islands as early as the 1920s, but Stephen Mather, who was director of the National Park Service at the time, thought a state park would be more fitting. Channel Islands National Monument was established in 1938, and it was redesignated as a national park in 1980.

stm plaque.jpg

Fun Fact

All eight of the Channel Islands became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1976.

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