channel

  • West of the California Coast
  • Established March 5, 1980
  • 390 square miles

The jagged Channel Islands, covered with grass and wildflowers and tiny foxes (weighing only five pounds!) rise up out of the ocean about 90 minutes by boat west of southern California. The islands are a geography of solitude and calm and they’re also teeming with life. Channel Islands National Park is probably best known for its hundreds of thousands of seals and sea lions who breed on the tip of San Miguel Island, and then give birth in June. Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, congregate in the channel between the coast and the Channel Islands; it is not uncommon on the ferry ride to the islands to see a whale breaching. In fact, probably a third of the world’s total of these endangered whales, whose hearts are as big as Volkswagen Beetles, roam these particular waters.

Scuba-diving and snorkeling are popular around the Channel Islands, since a marine sanctuary extends for six nautical miles around each island, and so the water is rife with kelp, seaweed, sea anemones, and so many fish. Not to mention dolphins, porpoises, and more whales. But perhaps the most popular activity is kayaking. There are sea caves all around the islands, included the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island, one of the world’s largest sea caves.

National Parks Revealed would love to add the Channel Islands to your itinerary as we create a custom trip for you. We will make sure your ferry tickets are purchased in advance, coordinate transportation ahead of time, and put together whatever other activities and adventures you’d like to participate in at the islands. You can go on your own or, we work with private guides who can accompany you and show you around this glorious seascape. We recommend combining a trip to the Channel Islands with visits to other national parks in California; we will put together a perfect trip that is just what you’re looking for. As always, we arrange for luxurious accommodations in the area.