Planning Your Channel Island Trips
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Have you ever wanted to escape to a deserted island? Why not plan your island trips now? Here you'll find all the reservation information you need to plan a great Channel Islands National Park adventure.

Channel Island trips are available year round. Your adventure could be:

  • a 3-hour, non-landing, north shore and wildlife cruise
  • a 3 - 5 hour trip for hiking, kayaking or other outdoor activity
  • or camp on the islands for as long as 2 weeks (a camping reservation is required)

Trips to Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island are scheduled daily, year round. Trips to the outer islands of Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel are available from April through November.

Know the rules before your visit. Here are the Channel Islands National Park Laws & Policies. For more information, download the 2010 Official Newsletter of Channel Islands National Park and this great brochure about how to get the most out of your trip.

Or, stop by one of these two visitor's centers on the mainland to learn more about Channel Islands National Park:

Outdoor Santa Barbara Visitor Center
113 Harbor Way 4th Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(map it) | (805) 884-1475, call for hours

The Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center
at Channel Islands National Park

1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura, CA 93001
(map it) | (805) 658-5730, call for hours

Public Transportation

Before you book your island trip, check the Channel Islands Public Notices to be informed about the latest regulations, restrictions and public closures in the park.

There are only two companies authorized by the National Park Service to provide public transportation to the Channel Islands National Park.

Island Packers

Island trips by boat are provided exclusively by Island Packers, 1691 Spinnaker Dr. in Ventura (map it) and 3600 South Harbor in Oxnard (map it).

Island Packers provides water taxi services to every island in Channel Islands National Park. Go by boat and you're sure to see dolphins, sea lions or whales on your voyage across the channel.

To begin planning your island trip, check the trip fares and make your reservations with Island Packers.

Channel Islands Aviation

Island trips by air are provided by Channel Islands Aviation, 305 Durley Avenue in Camarillo, CA (map it). Departures from Santa Barbara airport are available by special arrangement.

Channel Islands Aviation provides daily air taxi service to Santa Rosa Island only. You'll depart from Camarillo Airport and take a beautiful 25-minute flight over Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands to land on Santa Rosa Island.

Day Trip & Surf Fishing airfare is as follows:
Children 2-12: $134.95+tax
Older than 12: $159.95+tax.

Camping: $299.95+tax per person.

Click here for more information about Channel Islands Aviation trips to Santa Rosa Island. For reservations, call (805) 987-1301 x 0.

Private Transportation

The airfield on Santa Rosa Island is closed to the public. Private planes may not land there. Other aircraft must maintain an altitude above the park and marine sanctuary of 1000 feet AGL.

If you're fortunate enough to have your own boat, or know someone who does, you may go ashore on all non-restricted areas of the national park year round. Please review the Laws and Policies of Channel Islands National Park before your trip.

Landing permits are required for The Nature Conservancy property on Santa Cruz Island. Order your Nature Conservancy landing permit for Santa Cruz Island at least 10 days in advance to allow for processing.

Download this Boating and Safety brochure for a wealth of information about boating in Channel Islands National Park. You'll also want the GPS coordinates of the Marine Sanctuary Areas.

Be Prepared

Dress in layers and bring a warm jacket. Even in the middle of summer, the boat ride can be chilly. The weather can be foggy and damp or windy. You'll be glad to have a few layers on underneath your jacket.

Going Ashore?

If you're going ashore, wear comfortable hiking shoes. And don't forget your hat and sunscreen.

Public pit toilets are available on all islands.

Bring a lunch and snacks; whatever else you'll need for the day. There are no concessions on the islands.

There is potable water on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, but I hear it doesn't taste very good. It's best to bring your own water. At least a quart or two.

Other items you may be glad to have are your camera, binoculars, plant or animal reference guides and a day pack to carry it all in.


If you plan on camping, each bag of gear is limited to 45 pounds. Use duffels and/or coolers with handles and backpacks for easy mobility. You need a reservation to camp in Channel Islands National Park.

Be prepared with clothing for inclement weather and extra food, in case your transportation home is delayed by weather. Contact your transportation company for more information.

No matter how long your visit, remember to clean up after yourself. If you pack it in, pack it out. Please keep the park pristine for all who visit.

Take only pictures, leave only footprints...

Water Sport Tour Guides

If you'd rather play in the water, contact one of these experienced Santa Barbara tour guides for all water sport adventures in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Island Kayaking

111 Verona Ave.
Goleta, CA 93117
(800) 773-2309
(805) 968-7231

Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara
117 B Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 899-4925
(888) 254-2094

Santa Barbara Adventure Company
720 Bond Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(877) 885-9283
(805) 884-9283

Sailing Tours

Sail Channel Islands
(805) 750-7828

Whale Watching and Siteseeing

Condor Express
677 Miramonte Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 965-1985

Channel Island trips allow you to experience a pristeen California. Leave your cares behind as you begin your ocean voyage across the Santa Barbara Channel. I know you're going to have an experience you'll never forget!

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Anacapa Island | Santa Cruz Island | Santa Rosa Island | San Miguel Island | Santa Barbara Island

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