Channel Islands National Park
Comprised of five in a chain of eight southern California islands near Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is home to a wide variety of nationally and internationally significant natural and cultural resources. Over 2,000 species of plants and animals can be found within the park. Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal to live on earth. Archeological and cultural resources span a period of more than 10,000 years. The park consists of 249,354 acres, half of which are under the ocean, and include the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. Even though the islands seem tantalizingly close to the densely populated, southern California coast, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped, making them an exciting place for visitors to explore. The islands are ideal for quiet, uninterrupted time with family and friends--wonderful places to hike, camp, snorkel, kayak, birdwatch, take photographs, sketch, or just relax to the soothing sounds of the natural world.
Two visitor centers make a great start to your visit. The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park is located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001. They can be contacted at (805) 658-5730. While at this visitor center you can shop at the bookstore, as well as view a marine aquatic life exhibit, which features the unique character of each park island.
The Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center, located at 113 Harbor Way 4th Floor Santa Barbara, CA 93001 can be contacted at (805) 884-1475. This visitor center not only has one of the best views of Santa Barbara, but also offers visitors exhibits and information about Channel Islands National Park, Los Padres National Forest, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the City of Santa Barbara.
Seasonality / Weather
Weather conditions can vary greatly on this island, because of high winds, fog, rough seas, and sea spray. Dress in layers, with short and long pants, fleece jacket or sweatshirt, windbreaker, hat, sunscreen and waterproof outer clothing. In addition, visitors should wear sturdy hiking shoes with non-slip soles.
Ventura is located 70 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara.
From the 101 Freeway northbound, take the Victoria Avenue exit. At the end of the freeway exit, turn left on Victoria. Turn right onto Olivas Park Drive to Harbor Boulevard, where Olivas Park Drive runs straight into Spinnaker Drive. The visitor center is located at the very end of Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. Free parking is available at the beach parking lot.
From the 101 Freeway southbound, take the Seaward Avenue exit. At the end of the freeway exit, turn left onto Harbor Boulevard, then proceed on Harbor to Spinnaker Drive. Turn right onto Spinnaker Drive. The visitor center is located at the very end of Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. Free parking is available at the beach parking lot.
Only train, bus, and private car transportation are available from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to Ventura.