Camping in Channel Islands National Park. What You Need to Know…

Featured Image by Kamilo Bustamante

by David Gray

 

 

I went camping in Channel Islands National Park myself — now that was an experience I will remember for a long time! Perhaps when you think of the Channel Islands, camping isn’t the first thing that might pop into your head, although camping really is something you must try when you visit the islands.

Let me highlight the exact reasons why you should try camping in the Channel Islands and things that definitely are worth your time when you visit.

Image by Doug Mangum

Potato Harbor

Potato Harbor is one of the prettiest anchorages I’ve ever seen. It’s found on the island of Santa Cruz. On Santa Cruz Island you can stay at the Scorpion Ranch campground. It’s a very quiet campground that has running water and pit toilets, so it’s a great place to set up camp. On a sunny day, the water of the harbor just looks gorgeous, and with the bluffs, it’s quite a breathtaking view.
Do take a map with you if you go on any of the hiking trails because the trail I took to Potato Harbor didn’t have a marker on it.

Image by Jeff Bartlett

The Solitude

I didn’t know this was a reason until I was actually there. It’s brilliant because on any of the islands, once the last boat has left at around 4 pm there are very few people who remain. It’s just you, maybe around thirty other campers, and nature and animals that surround you. Plus, at night you will be able to see the stars so clearly. This is one of my favorite things. Stargazing plus absolute peace and quiet… is there anything better?

Image by Beba Sepit

The Nature

Since the Channel Islands are quite protected and isolated areas, tons of flora and fauna are able to flourish there. Firstly, these islands are used as a place to breed, nest, and birth for many birds. So, if you like birdwatching this is the place to be. Just some of the amazing birds you’ll be able to see are western gulls, storm-petrels, cormorants, brown pelicans, and Scripps’s murrelets. Not only that, but there’s a chance to see some adorable island foxes, very rare stellar sea lions, also rare Guadalupe fur seals, and other sea lions and seals if that’s your thing. Don’t even get me started on the marine life though. If you love tide pooling, diving, or snorkeling this is a perfect paradise. Anemones, sea stars, urchins, limpets, periwinkles, chitons, barnacles, mussels, and many other beautiful species can be seen at numerous pristine tidepool sites.

Image by Jack Burleigh

Plenty of Things to Do

First of all, there are so many activities you can do on the Channel Islands. Besides camping and hiking, there are more exciting things for everyone to enjoy. Such as kayaking, snorkeling, diving, fishing, surfing, tide pooling, whale watching, birdwatching, and seal and sea lion viewing. The great thing with these activities is that many of them go hand in hand with camping, they match that ambiance and the special fresh air energy that you get with camping too.

So book your campsite on any of the five islands in the Park, and then book your boat trip out to the islands with Island Packers.
And prepare for memories that will last a lifetime.

(And please consult the Channel Islands National Park website — there have been some changes to accommodate for our current times…)

 

 

Shopping, dining, hiking, beach-going, beer-quaffing, wine-tasting, and all manner of fun in the sun (because that’s what Ventura does best). Want to know (almost) everything about Ventura? Please order our FREE 2020 Ventura Inspiration Guide here.

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