World-class adventure right in our backyard.

Guide to The Channel Islands National Park

Are you ready to see stunning ocean views, jutting rock cliffs, and wildlife that you can't find anywhere else in the world? Oxnard visitors can take a quick trip to Channel Islands National Park, located just eleven miles off the coast from Oxnard.

To help you plan your adventure, here's what you need to know:


The park is made up of five picturesque islands that are often referred to as the Galapagos of North America. The untouched landscape is surrounded by the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, which has preserved a breathtaking underwater world full of sea creatures. You can spend the day diving, kayaking, or swimming. Outdoor Union even lists the islands amongst the best camping in California.


If you'd rather explore by land and spend your day above the ocean, a hike might be just what you need. If you prefer a leisurely pace enjoy a stroll along one of the sandy beaches. Don't forget your camera (or your phone these days!) and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while bird watching. The options are endless.

channel islands whale watching

To reach the islands, you'll have to take a boat. Hop on board with exclusive concessionaire Island Packers to reach the islands. Times and frequency of trips vary, so you'll want to plan ahead. For instance, you can travel to Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island year-round, but trips to the other three islands are less frequent and seasonal. Boats leave from Channel Islands Harbor, and travel time varies between one to three hours. To learn more, check out the Channel Islands National Park website.

Sea Cave Kayaking

Hop on a kayak with Channel Islands Expeditions and explore sea caves that stretch 5 miles long. The Channel Islands National Park has the world's longest downwind sea caves. You can enjoy a full day kayaking at Anacapa Island and explore the National Marine Sanctuary. Join the adventure to see amazing wildlife, kelp forest and paddle through the iconic 50" tall Anacapa Arch.

Guidelines and Entrance Information:

  • The park is open 24 hours a day.
  • There is no entrance fee.
  • To visit one of the five islands, you'll have to take a boat.
  • There are no services on the islands. No hotels. No restaurants. The islands are untouched by urbanization.
  • You can camp on the islands, but the sites are basic. No water is provided. There is a fee to camp.
  • For check-in information, preparation for your trip, cancellation policy and overall safety click here.