30th Anniversary of Channel Islands National Park This Year

So close, yet a world away, Channel Islands National Park marks its 30th anniversary as a National Park this year, but its isolation and the fact you can't drive to the park means it is one of the least visited parks in the national park system. Late summer and fall are great times to visit the park as temperatures are generally moderate and rain is not likely. 
A great location for hiking, camping and kayaking, the eight Channel Islands span 160 miles off the coast of Southern California. There are four northern islands - San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa, and four southern islands - San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina and San Clamente. Channel Islands National Park consists of the four northern islands along with Santa Barbara Island.
For more travel information on the islands or to book boat transportation to an island, check out Island Packer's website at www.islandpackers.com as the only licensed tour operator to the park. They visit all are five islands with seven destinations available for you to visit in the Channel Islands National Park, leaving out of Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard or Ventura Harbor in Ventura. Island Packers lands at Anacapa Island’s Landing Cove, and two destinations on Santa Cruz Island, Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoners’ Harbor, year round. During certain days of the year with very low tides, Frenchy’s Cove at Anacapa Island can be visited for tidepool exploration. They also offer trips to the more remote islands, referred to as the outer islands due to their increased distance from the mainland, these trips are seasonal. Trips to the outer islands, Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel, are scheduled when ocean conditions on the outer waters are likely to be optimal for traveling. Trips to Santa Barbara Island operate from April to October, landings at San Miguel are scheduled May to October, and on Santa Rosa from April to November.

The islands rose from the ocean millions of years ago and were born of plate tectonics, volcano activity and fluctuating sea levels. During the ice ages the northern four islands were once connected as the polar ice caps expanded. Also during this time, the islands were most accessible to the mainland’s flora and fauna. When the seas rose again it created the islands and isolated them to evolve separately from the mainland as well as one another. The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 terrestrial plants and animals, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world. A few good examples include the Island Fox, which appears half the size of a mainland fox and the Silver Lotus Plant, found only on Santa Cruz Island’s highest peaks.
Earlier this year, Greg Clure, a local nature photographer, went on a 16 mile weekend backpacking trip across Santa Cruz Island, landing at Prisoners’ Harbor and hiking to Scorpion Anchorage. A few of his images from this trip can be seen below and you can check out all of his images from this trip by visiting his Channel Islands Gallery at www.gregclurephotography.com/channelislands