Last week my husband and I booked an hour long (one way) boat ride out of Oxnard Harbor to spend the afternoon on East Anacapa Island of the Channel Islands National Park. I think I am inspired now to see all the national parks (this makes 8 of 60 now)!
It’s such a unique park in the system considering it’s a chain of islands off the US mainland California coast and a really special experience. It’s remote and isolated and really brings early Native American culture to life (the Chumash Indians, specifically). You can absolutely imagine their rugged existence there. And their relationship to the plant and animal life native to it.
The amount of seabirds on the island was incredible, from pelicans to seagulls to cormorants swarming everywhere and resting on every ragged rock outcropping. They seemed to whirl and whip around and swarm to the rhythm of the old lighthouse foghorn. Sea lions and dolphins danced around in the rich kelp forest surrounding the island on all sides (part of a National Marine Sanctuary).
We hiked the only trail that encompasses the entire island, which is only about 1.5 miles, but it offered spectacular views off points and coves, including the unforgettable view of the Middle and West Anacapa Island. It was a breathtakingly peaceful and spiritually restful trip overall.
Bring a hat, sunscreen, light jacket, water, hiking boots to handle rocky terrain, and a picnic lunch. There are metal lockers to store your food while you explore the island near the only site with picnic tables. And if you’re prone to seasickness, you might want to bring ginger pieces to chew on or something stronger. The boat has a small galley with snacks and beverages too. We booked with Island Packers Cruises for the closest island but there are 4 other ones to choose from, all amazing in their own ways. You never know what wildlife you’ll see on any given trip out there, maybe even whales. Add this destination to your must see list!
-Summer (& Mark)