Holiday
Highlights...
[x]
Find Sites





Find your spot

Find other facilities on map

For more information on passes click here

 
ATTENTION: This facility is closed indefinitely until further notice.

SAN MIGUEL ISLAND, CA

part ofChannel Islands National Park, National Park Service
Photo: SAN MIGUEL ISLAND
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

Overview

San Miguel Island has a wealth of natural and cultural treasures. Its ocean-sculpted landscape and more than 500 relatively undisturbed archeological sites, make it a valued part of the Channel Islands National Park and the National Register of Historic Places. Plus its picture-perfect hikes make it a pleasing destination for campers and day-trippers alike.

Remnants of early inhabitants date back thousands of years, and fossils of the Pygmy Mammoth have been discovered here. Hikers can take a 16-mile roundtrip hike to Point Bennett to overlook fantastic, undisturbed beaches where hundreds of seals and sea lions bask in the sun. The same rewarding hike cuts through some of the best caliche forests in the Channel Islands. The Caliche Forest is a sprawl of petrified tree roots created from deposits of calcium carbonate.

Natural Features:

The 9,500-acre island is a plateau at 500 feet in elevation, with two 800-ft. rounded hills. As the westernmost of the Channel Islands, the island receives the brunt of the northwesterly winds, fog, and severe weather from the open Pacific Ocean. This extreme weather creates a harsh but profoundly beautiful windswept landscape.

The group of islands in Channel Islands National Park boasts 175 miles of pristine, undeveloped coastline.

Recreation:

Hiking and camping are the primary activities on the island, as the water is usually too cold and rough for the average visitor. Most beaches are closed to allow for pinniped (seals and sea lion) breeding. Traverse the trails through Caliche Forest, Point Bennet, Cardwell Point, Lester Point, and Harris Point.

Facilities:

A ranger or naturalist guide is required to escort all visitors to the island. Please set this up before visiting, and take advantage of their incredible knowledge during the trip.

Plan for a steep 30-minute hike to the campground when arriving from the harbor. This is a primitive camping area, so be sure to pack all essentials including water, food, toilet paper and trash bags.

No shelters are provided, but campsites have five-foot tall windbreaks.

Nearby Attractions:

Visit the Cabrillo Monument, commemorating Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who was the first European explorer to chart the Channel Islands and the California coast.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Boating
  • Educational Programs
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Swimming
Know Before You Go
  • Boat transportation arrangements to island are required before making campsite reservation
  • Campsites must be reserved prior to arrival on the island
  • An arduous 1-mile hike to campground is required; all gear must be carried
  • Primitive camping: Bring low profile tents, toilet paper, and extra food in case of weather delays
  • This is a pack-in, pack-out facility; please bring garbage bags
  • Food storage lockers are available.
  • Bring your own drinking water; At least one gallon per person per day is recommended
  • Be prepared for fog and wind
  • Smoking allowed only on the beach
  • To protect resources, no cardboard or corrugated boxes are allowed on the island
  • There are no stores or services on the island
  • Pets and vehicles are not allowed
  • No fires; campstoves only
  • No fishing in state marine reserves. California fishing license and ocean enhancement sticker required
  • Due to strong winds, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and diving are limited and require expert abilities
  • Due to Hantavirus in mice, take precautions to reduce exposure to rodents.
  • Upon arrival, meet ranger (if available) at beach landing or campground; Please have confirmation letter or receipt with you

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.03972, -120.37444
34°2'23"N, 120°22'28"W

Island can be reached by boat from Ventura Harbor.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

SAN MIGUEL ISLAND
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura  CA  93001

Phone Number:

Information:  (805)658-5730
Recreation.gov helps you discover and book trips to all of America's public places.
Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

Agency Partners