11 Things To Know Before Visiting Channel Islands National Park – TravelAwaits

6. Keep Your Eyes Peeled For The Island Fox

If the Channel Islands had a mascot, it would be the island fox. This brown and black creature is about the size of a small house cat and exists nowhere else on Earth. The island fox was at risk of extinction, but thanks to concerted conservation efforts started in 1999, it has recovered.

Without any natural predators, the island fox can hunt in the daytime and roams freely around trails, picnic areas, and other places where visitors gather. In fact, their favorite hunting grounds are the picnic tables, so be sure to keep a close eye on any food brought to the islands. At the end of every table is a food box for holding items you are not currently enjoying. If youre hoping for a picture of one of these critters, just be patient and keep your camera ready.

If you want to experience the islands with just a handful of humans, then consider an overnight stay. Far away from the mainland, you can enjoy the night sky and hear the sounds of wildlife. Primitive camping is permitted in the national park, and each island has one small campground. Limited backcountry camping is available on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa.

Remember that everything will need to be brought to the island, since no services are available. Also, the campgrounds are located away from the boat docks, so all equipment must be carried to the site. No fires are permitted, but cooking can be done on enclosed gas stoves. Camping reservations must be made in advance.

Pro Tip: In the event you dont want to camp but would prefer to stay nearby in a hotel, try one of the hotels in Oxnard or Ventura. The Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor includes a full breakfast in the morning, which is a perfect way to fuel up before a day of hiking and kayaking.

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11 Things To Know Before Visiting Channel Islands National Park - TravelAwaits

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