The islands of Channel Islands National Park are located close to the densely populated California coastal region, but they have been spared from the explosive population growth and building boom there and are thus still home to a wide range of plant and animal species. There are more than 140 species here that do not live anywhere else in the world. Visitors will find some rare birds on the islands as well as an endangered fox species unique to the National Park and several sea lions, while various kinds of dolphins and whales live in the waters around the islands.
The National Park’s visitor centers are located on the mainland; one is in the Santa Barbara harbour area and one in Ventura harbour. The islands themselves can only be reached by boat or seaplane, the Visitors Centers have further information on transportation options. Excursions to the islands, departing from Ventura, Santa Barbara or Oxnard are available as half or full day trips. Overnight stays are also possible, there are campgrounds on each of the islands for which reservations must be made in advance. Park Rangers are offering guided tours to the islands on a regular basis.