Channel Islands National Park consist of five of the eight Channel Islands. They are located just off the coast of California and can be accessed by boat just north of Los Angeles. The islands are rocky outcrops rising straight out of the deep blue sea. They are great for hiking, kayaking, sailing and diving.
The islands are surrounded by some of the world’s main giant kelp forests and if you scuba dive, diving among a forest of giant kelp is some of the most unique diving you will ever do.
The Channel Islands National Park may not be as popular as some of the other national parks in the U.S., but makes my pick of the top national parks in the United States.
Channel Islands Travel Guide
Channel Islands National Park at a glance
- State: California
- Main attractions: Hiking, diving, kayaking, sailing
- Best time to go: Summer-fall
- Hotels/ Airbnbs: Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard
- Campgrounds: On all five islands
- Dining: Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard
- Shuttle: No, but there is a (paid) boat service from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Oxnard (depending on the island)
Channel Islands National Park Guide
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About the author
James Ian has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents. He has visited all of the main national parks in the United States, as well as many national monuments and state parks.
He has rafted through the Grand Canyon; rappelled down slot canyons near Zion and Arches; hiked among the hoodoos in Bryce and the enormous trees in Sequoia; admired the waterfalls in Yosemite and the colored hot springs in Yellowstone; seen moose in Grand Tetons and seals in the Channel Islands, and much more.