Channel Islands National Park Travel Guide
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  • Plan Your Channel Islands National Park Vacation

    Photo: Peter Guttman/

Plan Your Channel Islands National Park Vacation

On crystal-clear days the craggy peaks of Channel Islands are easy to see from the mainland, jutting from the Pacific in such sharp detail it seems you could reach out and touch them. The islands really aren't that far away—a high-speed boat will whisk you to the closest ones in less than an hour—yet very few people ever visit them. Those fearless, adventurous types who do will experience one of the most splendid land-and-sea wilderness areas on the planet.


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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Rare flora and fauna The Channel Islands are home to 145 species of terrestrial plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.
  2. Time travel With no cars, phones, or services, these undeveloped islands provide a glimpse of what California was like hundreds of years ago, away from hectic modern life.
  3. Underwater adventures The incredibly healthy channel waters rank among the top 10 diving destinations on the planet—but you can also visit the kelp forest virtually via Channel Islands Live, a live underwater program.
  4. Marvelous marine mammals More than 30 species of seals, sea lions, whales, and other marine mammals ply the park's waters at various times of year.
  5. Sea-cave kayaking Paddle around otherwise inaccessible portions of the park's 175 miles of gorgeous coastline—including one of the world's largest sea caves.

When To Go

When to Go

Channel Islands National Park records about 620,000 visitors each year, but many never venture beyond the visitor center. The busiest times...

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