Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve
Salt River Bay is a living museum on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites and ruins are found in a dynamic, tropical ecosystem that supports threatened and endangered species. In 1992 Congress created Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve as part of the National Park System. The National Park Service and Government of the United States Virgin Islands jointly manage this 1,015-acre park. The area's blend of sea and land holds some of the largest remaining mangrove forests in the Virgin Islands, as well as coral reefs and a submarine canyon.
Salt River Bay's natural history, its vitally important ecosystem of mangroves, estuary, coral reefs, and submarine canyon, has witnessed thousands of years of human endeavor. Every major period of human habitation in the Virgin Islands is represented: several South American Indian cultures, the 1493 encounter with Columbus, Spanish extermination of the Caribs, attempts at colonization by a succession of European nations, and enslaved West Africans and their descendants. More than a dozen major archeological investigations since 1880, together with historical research, reveal this remarkable story. Few places engage the imagination so completely, drawing visitors into the spirit of the place and its beauty and sanctity. You can help ensure that this park and its unique stories will always be here to inspire people about shared heritage.
Seasonality / Weather
The Visitor Center at Salt River Bay is open November through June. The hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. When the Visitor Center is closed, information may be obtained at the National Park Service visitor contact station at Fort Christianvaern, Christiansted National Historic Site. The hours are 8:00 am to 4:45 pm Monday through Friday and 9:00 am to 4:45 pm on weekends and holidays.
The park is five miles from Christiansted National Historic Site and can be reached by car via Rt. 75 from Christiansted, connecting to Route 80. Cars may be rented at the airport and various other island locations. Ask your lodging hosts for information about guided land tours.