Channel Islands NP; A little bit of something for everybody

Channel Islands National Park off the coast of California encompasses five out of eight of the Channel Islands. Each island is a little bit different but they all have one thing in Common. They have enough to do for everyone in the family from water fun to hiking to enjoying nature's wild life. You can find it all at the Channel Islands. Though there are many activities and sights that are the same, the islands themselves hold their own unique qualities.
The Channel Islands np is a series of eight islands off the coast of California. They begin approximately around Point Conception near Santa Barbara and stretch down to just north of Los Angeles. The Channel Islands NP though is only five of the eight islands. The Islands that are included in the park are Anacapa, Santa Barbara, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz. Each Island has interesting and unique qualities to them that are sure to please.

Anacapa Island though one of the smaller islands is certainly one of the most interesting. It has the largest breeding colony of endangered sea birds including the California brown pelicans. Anacapa is the only island that maintained its original Native American name, which means island of mirage. Activities to do here include but are not limited to ranger led interpretive hikes, tide pools and bird watching.

The smallest of the islands is Santa Barbara is a bird haven much like Anacapa. Since this is the southern most island, the waters here are warmer and are ideal for snorkeling. Santa Rosa is another one of the small islands in the chain. Here you will find several rare plants that are found only in this region. Some of the indigenous animals that you will find here are Island fox and the spotted skunk. One of the more interesting features on this island is that there are several archeological and paleontological sites that are currently active.

Though seals and sea lions are found on all of the islands they come to San Miguel during the winter to breed. This island is also known for its archeological exhibits that date back to 10,000 years ago. These exhibits include the remains of the pygmy mammoth.

The most popular tourist island to go to is the Santa Cruz Island. This Island is the largest of the five in the park at over 60,000 acres. The Channel Islands NP service only owns twenty four percent of the island. A Nature conservatory owns the rest of the island. This Island has quite a bit to explore. From large sea caves to majestic coastline cliffs and Historical buildings. It is a beautiful island to explore and it has been commented that this island resembles a mini California. On this island you will be able to find equipment rentals and a few more resources available to you here as opposed to the other islands.

In General it is a beautiful place to visit and explore to get in touch with nature. It is a very rugged terrain, which will make it difficult for people with wheelchairs and limited mobility. The campsites are primitive which typically means no running water. Campsites are available on all of the islands; the site on Santa Cruz Island offers just a few more amenities. There is no fee to visit the park however there is a camping fee which is a partial donation to the park. Through all of their differences they all offer a great opportunity to see wild sea lions, seals, birds and other animals. As well as hiking and many different water activities from snorkeling to canoeing. The Channel Islands NP is a great choice for anyone who wishes to get away and spend some time in nature.
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