Channel Islands National Park
The Channel Islands have the elements of a fantastic national park: breathtaking landscape, abundant wildlife and wildflowers, fascinating historic sites as well as a sea cruise in addition. Thanks to that amazing scenery and flora and fauna This national park also serves as considered a National Marine Sanctuary. In addition, since you must embark on a plane or boat journey to reach these islands, enjoying these park's features is more thrilling rather than just a regular national park visit. One benefit of the limited access is that congestion does not exist in this area. Visitors in 2012 were around 250,000 visitors. That same year, Yosemite saw 4 million people visit approximately 16 times as many. It's not just a National Park and a National Marine Sanctuary as well, it's an integral part of the International Man and the Biosphere Program. Channel Islands National Park consists of five islands, which are four that create a chain of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa with one island separated from the other islands, Santa Barbara. California's mainland California as well as those four Channel Islands form the Santa Barbara Channel. Although it is a bit odd, the island called "Santa Barbara" is not part of the Channel which is named so. Your starting point should be the park's visitor centre located on the main island within the town of Ventura. You'll find exhibits and an indoor tide pool with maps, books as well as a model caliche (kah lee chee) ghost forest (more about that later). The telescope on top of the building allows you to have a more detailed view of the islands on a clear day. Visit:- Island Packers Company, the concessionaire of the park, has its the headquarters of Ventura Harbor. As its name implies, Island Packers is an outfitter of pack tours, however their heaviest of beasts are boats. The guides of Island Packers are wildlife experts. If they spot an blue whale or an entire pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins or the gulls in a roost and swarming during the crossing of the Channel The skipper will steer towards the whales to take a closer glimpse. In the vicinity of the islands it is possible to spot harbor seals California sea lions and brown pelicans. At 14 miles far from Ventura, Anacapa is the closest to the mainland. Anacapa is the smaller of the islands and is composed of three islets: East, Middle, and West Anacapa, the largest of the three. West Anacapa, protected as an Research Natural Area, is the primary breeding habitat for the previously threatened Brown Pelican. Today the pelican has recovered to the point of being removed from the endangered species list in 2009. Anacapa is also the biggest breeding ground of The Western Gull. The guide takes you around Arch Rock, Anacapa's iconic landmark, and to look at an area for hauling out that is popular with harbor seals. Then , they make a loop back to the landing cove on the eastern end of East Anacapa. The guides guide guests to the landing area six at a time on skiffs, where they disembark directly onto a ladder at the dock. A staircase that is built into sides of a cliff will lead 157 steps up to the island's plateau. A large crane hauls up supplies for the rangers who reside here. When you arrive at Anacapa on Anacapa, you can walk an easy 1-mile loop to circumnavigate the island. Western harbor seals and gulls are the most commonly seen creatures. In the breeding season, you could see nesting gulls all the way to the trail. The trail runs through stands of giant coreopsis, also known as the tree sunflower. This 4-foot tall sunflower-with-a-tree-trunk grows on all the islands, and blooms in the spring. The aptly called Inspiration Point, which is located at the western end of the islet, has commanding views of the peaks in West Anacapa and Santa Cruz Island. The Bureau of Lighthouses, which later became the Coast Guard, has operated the lighthouse on the east of Anacapa in 1932. It was the only permanent lighthouse to be built in the West Coast. The remains of a few of shipwrecks, mostly prior to the building of the lighthouse, but also afterward they are scattered throughout Anacapa and the other Channel Islands. The remains of the sunken Winfield Scott and other wrecks can be explored by SCUBA divers. There is a possibility to camp on Anacapa Island, but in addition to the camping gear, you'll have to bring all the water you'll require, in addition. The first residents of the lighthouse had a water catchment basin that funneled rainwater into a cistern to supplement their water supply, however the gulls liked being here, so much so that the people rarely used the water it held. It is located on the southeastern side of the island, not far from the campsite. The trip back to the mainland is usually with the winds and current, making for rougher riding. For those susceptible to sea sickness bring Dramamine or ginger, which may be more effective, according to some studies in the field of medicine. Not including Santa Barbara Island, which is located about 54 miles to the southeast of Ventura, the Channel Islands can be thought of as the Santa Monica Mountain range with the shoreline. The forces that created the Santa Monica Range were at work here, as well. In the geologic earlier times, these two islands were united into one giant island called Santarosae. Due to the general warming of the Earth after the Ice Age, the rising seas separated the islands. The rocky shores provide an excellent foundation for kelp which in turn forms a foundation for the invertebrates, fish, birds, as well as marine mammal. The islands are an exceptional area to spot rare species or relatively common species that are in more than usual amount. The Island fox inhabits the larger islands: Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, along with San Miguel. It's a size-of-a-house cat carnivore that shares a similarity to the gray-fox of the mainland. It feeds with deer rodents. San Miguel is known to possess the largest variety of seals and sea lions (pinnipeds, which means "feather-feet") breeding on the shores. The California sea Lion, Steller sea lion, northern elephant seal, northern fur seal, and harbor seals all breed within the island. It is believed that the Guadalupe fur seal doesn't breed in the area, but only makes visits. Many species of land and sea birds nest on all the islands. In fact, Santa Rosa has a freshwater marsh with blackbirds and other types of mainland birds that nest there. The islands have a rich tradition. The Chumash, "island people," were the inhabitants of the islands for a period of about 6,000 years. Their footprints can be found at more than 3,000 archeological sites. Artifacts like hut debris and piled seashells, also known as middens and stone tools offer evidence of their previous history. In 1542, when the first European explorationist visited the area there were between 2,000 and 3000 Chumash. The year 1959 was when Phil Orr discovered a human femur on Arlington Springs on Santa Rosa Island. Utilizing modern methods for aging ancient material in 1999, scientists determined the age of the bone as 13,000 years old, making this the oldest known occurrence of humans within the Americas. This evidence supports the theory that the first inhabitants of North and South America arrived by boat. As the first European to settle in the area that is now California, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lived here for a time, but was killed by the effects of a fall. Although his tomb has not been located, memorials are erected to him to his memory on San Miguel Island and in San Diego. Following the Chumash were moved to mainland missions around 1814 The land was owned by a variety of people. At one time the islands were a source of orchard crops, livestock and also wine, all under wine being sold with the Santa Cruz Island label. Beginning in World War II, the U.S. Navy has used San Miguel Island for a bombing range. It is currently used for missile testing from Pt. Mugu Naval Air Missile Testing Center.  

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