This small slice of old California makes for a unique day trip. This park’s isolated location makes it one of the least visited National Parks. You’ll be one of the very few people to see these Read more...
This small slice of old California makes for a unique day trip. This park’s isolated location makes it one of the least visited National Parks. You’ll be one of the very few people to see these Pacific wonders.
It’s this isolation that has preserved these islands in their wild state. They’re what the southern California coast looked like 100 years ago. That means a ton of plants and animals, 145 of which are found nowhere else in the world.
You’ll need to catch a boat ride from Island Packers to get there (boats depart from Ventura and Oxnard Harbors). Private flights are also available. Once you’re on the islands, the only form of transport is a kayak or walking. There are no cafes, gift shops, or even a visitor’s center (that’s on the mainland). While hese islands are one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling spots on Earth, this place is all about natural beauty and disconnecting from the modern world.
The beauty you’ll find in abundance. The five islands—San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and Anacapa—are called the “Galapagos of North America” for a reason.
Anacapa and Santa Barbara are the two smallest islands and they’re completely treeless, but no trees mean big views. Speaking of views, the underwater clarity here is off the charts!
Santa Cruz Island is the biggest in the chain. Known for its endless sea caves and divine kayaking, it’s also a great place to whale watch. Spot Grey Whales, Orcas, and Blue Whales from the island’s many trails.
Santa Rosa Island is 84 square miles of isolation. Be sure to check out the pygmy mammoth fossils in Lobo Canyon. San Miguel is the westernmost island and gets crazy weather. You need a permit to go there and hikes are ranger-guided to protect the delicate ecosystem. Visitors that do make the trek will be rewarded with unparalleled wildlife viewing. There are sometimes up to 30,000 seals and sea lions on the resting on the beaches.