The Channel Islands Visitor Center is fully accessible. The islands themselves have few facilities and are not easy to navigate by individuals in wheelchairs or those with limited mobility. Limited wheelchair access is available on Santa Rosa Island via air transportation.
Admission Fees and Permits
There is no fee to enter Channel Islands National Park, but unless you have your own boat, you will pay $32 or more per person for a ride with a boat operator. The cost of taking a boat to the park varies depending on which operator you choose. Also, there is a $15 per day fee for staying in one of the islands' campgrounds.
If you take your own boat, landing permits are not required to visit Channel Islands because there are no public moorings; if you anchor in a nearby cove, at least one person should remain aboard the boat at all times. Boaters who want to land on the Nature Conservancy preserve on Santa Cruz Island should call 805/898-1642 for permit information or visit www.nature.org/cruzpermit; allow 10 business days to process your permit application. To hike on San Miguel, call 805/658-5711 to be matched up to a ranger, which must accompany you there. Anglers must have a state fishing license; for details, call the California Department of Fish and Game at 916/653-7664. Thirteen Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) with special resource protection regulations surround the islands, so read the guidelines before you depart.
The islands are open every day of the year. Channel Islands Visitor Center in Ventura is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Channel Islands National Park is located in the Pacific time zone.
There are no ATMs on the islands. ATMs can be found in Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Ventura, and the Camarillo Airport. Santa Barbara and Port Hueneme have banks.
Santa Barbara Bank and Trust (583 W. Channel Islands Blvd., near Channel Islands Harbor, Port Hueneme, CA, 93041. 888/400-7228.)
Santa Barbara Bank and Trust (1960 Cliff Dr., Santa Barbara, CA, 93109. 888/400-7228.)
Ventura County Federal Credit Union ATM (withdrawals only) (In Ventura Harbor Village, 1567 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, Channel Islands National Park, CA, 93001.)
In general, cell-phone reception is spotty. The rangers rely on satellite phones. Public telephones are available on the mainland near the Channel Islands Visitor Center but not on the islands.
Park Contact Information
Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center (1901 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura, CA, 93001. 805/658-5730. www.nps.gov/chis.)
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $59* & up -- Fares from 64 U.S. Cities into September, e/w Frontier Airlines
- $157-$197 -- LA: Suite at 4-Star Hotel w/Rooftop Pool BookIt.com
- $53-$76 -- Anaheim Hotel near Disney w/Breakfast, 70% Off BookIt.com
- $8.56 & up -- Car Rentals across California CarRentals.com
- $165 & up -- The Standard Downtown LA, Save 35% — $165 Expedia