Channel Islands National Park & Marine Sanctuary.

Description

Before the Chumash Indians staked claim to the Channel Islands, just off the Ventura coast, Pygmy mammoths once roamed these windswept mountains. Today, five of the eight Channel Islands have been designated as a national park, and the sea for 6 nautical miles surrounding them, is deemed the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The islands are breeding habitat for seals and sea lions, brown pelicans and Scripp’s murrelets. Wildflowers transform the islands in the spring; sometimes the native tree sunflower grows in such abundance that its golden blossoms can be seen from the mainland.

Each island affords a slightly different experience, with its own resident ranger, campsites and hiking trails. Anacapa, the only island to retain a native Chumash name, features spectacular cliff-lined coast and a 40-foot-high natural bridge, Arch Rock, which has become a symbol of the park. The west side of Anacapa hosts the world's largest breeding colony of the endangered California brown pelican. As they explore the surrounding kelp forest and sea caves of Anacapa, divers should check out the submerged shipwreck of the Winfield Scott, which went down in 1853, prompting the establishment of a lighthouse on the island.

Santa Barbara is the smallest of the Channel Islands, and its 6.5 miles of trails prove a challenge to hikers. Its steep mesa boasts six canyons and a badlands area, and provides shelter for a number of sea birds. The Landing Cove is home to an abundance of colorful sea life, including California sea lions and harbor seals.

The Channel Islands' Mainland Visitor Center, located at Ventura Harbor, exhibits three-dimensional models of all five islands, as well as an interactive touch-screen monitor and a living marine life exhibit. Climb the tower for a telescopic view of the islands and venture outdoors to experience the native plant garden.

Address

1901 Spinnaker Dr.
Ventura, California 93001

Lat/Long

34.00888400, -119.75859800

Open Hours

Visitors Center: daily 8:30--5.
Visit Website
(805) 658-5730

Add a Photo

You must be logged in to add photos.
×

Vote for

You can only vote once for each town every 24 hours. You can vote again in

Vote for 2013 Best Small Town

Vote!

Are you a DMO or CVB?
Explore "Best Town Travels" – Rand McNally’s new map-based digital travel guides for your website plus an iPhone and Facebook app! Learn More

×

Thank you for Voting!

Promote , by sharing your vote or writing a review.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter or Write a Review
×