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

Navigate this Channel Islands National Park guide by clicking on the articles below to read in-depth information about each aspect of Channel Islands National Park.

To save this Channel Islands guide for later, Pin It to your National Parks board:

Channel Islands Travel Guide

About the author

James Ian Yosemite

James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.

He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks. 

Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.

As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.

Read more…