Channel Islands, closest national park to LA, has plenty of nature ready to be explored

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Thursday, July 6, 2023
Channel Islands National Park has plenty ready to be explored
The Channel Islands National Park offers a rich ecosystem just off the coast of Los Angeles.

California is home to nine national parks, the most of any state in the country, and the closest one to Los Angeles might be the most unique.

Channel Islands National Park is made up of eight islands off the coast of Southern California.

The National Park Services encompasses five of the eight Channel Islands - Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara.

"This is one of the most lush, marine ecosystems in the world," said Jasmine Reinhardt, the Public Information Officer at Channel Islands National Park. "You can find about 2,000 types of species from tiny plankton up to the largest mammals in the world, the blue whales."

If you've never been, a trip to the islands is a must.

Groups like Island Packers Cruises offer trips that can get you close to the Channel Islands without going ashore.

The trips are designed for people to get a close look at the wildlife while providing an educational experience.

"That has kept our company growing all these years, taking the kids out on the boat, on-hand experience with marine biology, oceanography ..." explained Cherryl Connally with Island Packers Cruises.

According to the National Park Service's website, the park is one of the least visited of all of America's national parks.

The relatively light visitation actually helps in the protection of fragile resources. It also gives you an extra sense of solitude when visiting.

"We want people to really create their own experience," said Reinhardt. "We want people to create their own memories in national parks and we hope that the public can feel drawn to come and experience this very unique part of California."

For more information or to plan a visit to Channel Islands, click here. For information about Santa Barbara Adventure Company's kayak and snorkel tours, click here.