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part ofChannel Islands National Park, National Park Service
Status: Open through Thu Dec 31 2015   Season Dates


Anacapa Island, the closest Channel Island to the mainland of California, offers three iconic features of Channel Islands National Park: Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, and the Anacapa Island Lighthouse.

Arch Rock is a 40-foot natural rock-arch shaped by powerful wind and waves. It's a true natural beauty and is often used as the face of the Channel Islands. Inspiration Point is famous for its breathtaking views of Anacapa's steep slopes followed by a line of islands that stretch out to the Pacific. The lighthouse attracts tourists for its man-made beauty. It's an unmanned lighthouse that faces the city of Santa Barbara, across the Santa Barbara Channel.

Campers can learn about the history of the island, including its earliest inhabitants, the Chumash Indians.

Natural Features:

Waves have eroded the 5-mile volcanic island, creating steep, towering sea cliffs, sea caves and natural bridges. Much of the year, the island vegetation looks brown, but the winter rain brings brightly-colored terrain. The altitude is low and ranges from sea level to 250 feet.


Hiking Anacapa's trail system allows visitors to experience the island's native vegetation, wildlife and cultural history. Look for the 265 species of plants, droves of Pinnipeds and numerous seabirds who inhabit the island. Anacapa boasts the largest brown pelican rookery in the United States.

Swimming, diving and snorkeling in the landing cove are fun ways to explore sea life in the kelp forests. Intermediate to advanced kayakers can explore the island and take in views of Arch Rock.


A half mile hike, including 154 steps, is needed to get from the harbor to the campground. All gear must be carried into the primitive camping area. This includes essentials like water, food, toilet paper and trash bags.

In summer, an underwater video program is available. This is where rangers take live video footage of sea life and project it for visitors to see. It's a great way to stay dry while viewing colorful sea creatures.

Nearby Attractions:

Two overlooks, Cathedral Cove and Pinniped Point, provide excellent viewing areas for watching seals and sea lions in the island coves. Hike to the light house for some picture-perfect moments, or factor in some time to boat to the other four islands in Channel Islands National Park.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Boating
  • Educational Programs
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Picnic Area
  • Pit Toilets
  • Swimming
  • Visitor Center
Know Before You Go
  • Boat transportation arrangements are required before making campsite reservations on the island
  • Campsites must be reserved prior to arrival on the island
  • Access to the campground requires a half-mile hike with 154 stairs; Must carry all gear
  • Primitive camping. Bring low profile tents, water and extra food for weather delays
  • No beach camping or off-trail hiking
  • Food storage lockers available
  • Smoking allowed only on paved areas
  • No cardboard allowed
  • No stores or services on island
  • No pets or vehicles allowed
  • No fires, campstoves only
  • Fishing is not allowed from the island; Contact ranger for regulations
  • Kayakers: ocean conditions can rapidly change; experts only
  • Hantavirus in mice, take precautions to reduce exposure to rodents
  • Upon arrival, meet ranger (if available) at landing dock or visitor center. Please have confirmation letter or receipt with you

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.01419, -119.36779
34°0'51"N, 119°22'4"W

Island can be reached by boat from Ventura Harbor.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura  CA  93001

Phone Number:

Information:  (805)658-5730
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