Anacapa Island

Location: Southwestern California
Trip Starts: Anacapa Island Campsite
Trip Ends: Anacapa Island Campsite
Total Distance: 1.5 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Trails Used: Anacapa Nature Trail
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Type: Day Hike
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Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura, CA 93001


The Channel Islands are eight islands that are located off the coast of Southern California near Los Angeles. Five of these islands make up Channel Islands National Park which is home to a wide variety of natural and cultural resources. Over 2,000 species of plants and animals are found within the park, but only four mammals are endemic to the islands. Marine life ranges from microscopic plankton to the endangered blue whale, the largest animal to live on earth.

The park consists of 249,354 acres, half of which are under the ocean and include the islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. Even though the islands seem tantalizingly close to the densely populated, southern California coast, their isolation has left them relatively undeveloped, making them an exciting place for visitors to explore. Anacapa Island is the closest to the mainland and lies only 11 miles southwest of Oxnard and 14 miles from Ventura. It is 5 miles long, but has a total land area that is less than one square mile.

We spent a night on the island and stayed in the walk-in campground a short distance from the harbor. Nearby is a 1.5 mile trail that loops around the western part of Anacapa, and is a great way to explore the features of the area. The park service also has an evening program which speaks to the history, geology, wildlife and plant life on the island.

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