Although most people think of it as an island, Anacapa Island is actually comprised of three narrow islets. The tips of these volcanic formations nearly touch but are inaccessible from one another except by boat. All three islets have towering cliffs, isolated sea caves, and natural bridges; Arch Rock, on East Anacapa, is one of the best-known symbols of Channel Islands National Park. Wildlife viewing is the reason most people come to East Anacapa—particularly in summer when seagull chicks are newly hatched and sea lions and seals lounge on the beaches. Trips to Middle Anacapa Island require a ranger escort.
The compact museum on East Anacapa tells the history of the island and houses, among other things, the original lead-crystal Fresnel lens from the island's 1932 lighthouse.
Depending on the season and the number of desirable species lurking about there, a limited number of boats travel to Frenchy's Cove at West Anacapa, where you might see anemones, limpets, barnacles, mussel beds, and colorful marine algae in the pristine tide pools. The rest of West Anacapa is closed to protect nesting brown pelicans.
Channel Islands National Park, California, United States