A One-Day Adventure on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park

Wonder where to go on a weekend? Head over to Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park, for unforgettable one-day adventure. 

A One-Day Adventure on Anacapa Island

Did I ever want to spend one day on Anacapa Island, one of the islands included in Channel Islands National Park? To be completely honest, the first time I heard about it, my immediate response was no.  I didn’t know anything neither about the Channel Islands, moreover Anacapa Island, nor how to spend the whole day there. A simple idea of going somewhere on a boat didn’t seem too appealing to me.

However, the more I heard about Anacapa Island, the often I was pondering over the idea of spending a day there. One day to pacify my curiosity, I turned to Google for the answers. While reading all available information on Channel Islands National Park, slowly but surely my interest turned into obsession. Without any further delay, my husband and I decided to go to Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park the following day.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park consists of five islands. Anacapa Island is one of them. The islands have a very long history. More than 13000 years ago, they were occupied by Chumash and Tongva Native Americans. Later Spanish immigrants supersede the islands and used them mainly for fishing and agriculture.

One Day on Anacapa Island, www.roadsanddestinations.com

Today the Channel Islands are known as one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world. Their unique fauna and flora attract over 70000 people a year. Most of the visitors venture to Channel Islands National Park during warmer months. The islands provide a nice get-away from busy everyday life and are perfect to spend some quality time with family and friends. Some of the activities on the islands, including Anacapa Island, are hiking, camping, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, whale and bird watching. The best way to travel to the islands is via public boat or air transportation.

Start of a One-Day Journey on Anacapa Island

Like some other islands in the park, Anacapa Island is a perfect place for a one-day or short overnight camping trip. Our journey started in Ventura where we took park concessionaire boat and were on the way to our destination. It took us about one hour to reach the shore of Anacapa Island. During the ride we were lucky to see sea lions and other marine animals.

To my dismay and big surprise, I ended up being seasick halfway throughout the trip and couldn’t wait to finally step on the solid ground. I noticed quite a good amount of people were also the victims of sea sickness. Seeing Anacapa Island in front of us, I breathed a great sigh of relief.  An hour of excruciating travel was finally coming to an end. And honestly, spending all day in the sun exploring Anacapa Island was last thing I wanted to do at that time.

One Day on Anacapa Island, www.roadsanddestinations.com

How to Spend One Day on Anacapa Island

Once ashore, we were on our own. There was no accommodation, food, or water available on the island. The visitors had to plan ahead of time and bring their own food, water, and anything they needed. After catching our breath at visitor center, we were ready for our big Anacapa Island hiking day. Except for climbing 157 stairs to the top of the islands, the hiking trails were relatively flat and easy. But incredible coastal views were what pushed us through the long day on Ancapa Island. What a simple, yet enjoyable hike that was!

At some point during our journey, we strayed off the designated hiking trail and got as close as we could to one of the sea caves. This was the first time we regretted not being able to kayak and explore the cave. But there was no need to beat ourselves up over this since we honestly enjoyed our relaxing day on Anacapa Island the way it was.

On our way back to the visitor center, we decided to have a little picnic. My husband and I only had one problem there. It was extremely hard to find shade when there was no trees around. Nevertheless, we endured Anacapa Island’s heat all day long, and we could manage it for another hour.

After finding a perfect spot for our picnic, we could finally relax and enjoy our meal. Surprisingly, food always tastes better when you eat it in nature. Probably Mother Nature itself is that magical element that brings out all the flavors of even simple dishes. We wished we could sit there longer and enjoy the scenery, warm weather, and even that crazy wind. But our boat, scheduled take us back later in the afternoon, was going to finish our one-day adventure on Anacapa Island in less than two hours. And we still had to get back to the shore.

One Day on Anacapa Island, www.roadsanddestinations.com

Back to the Mainland

Back at the shore in dreadful anticipation of our ride to the mainland, I was sure sea sickness would hit me again.  And surely, it did… Once on the boat, I placed my head on a table and patiently waited for all other passengers to board. It took more than an hours before the boat finally started sailing away.

Battling my sea sickness, I couldn’t stop thinking that it was not what I had anticipated when planning our day trip to Anacapa Island. And once again I desperately wanted to step out of the boat and get over that agonizing motion sickness. But we had to spend one more hour on the boat before it finally reached Ventura harbor. Oh, what a day it was! Anacapa Island, you were unpredictable!

Sitting in our car and getting ready to drive back to Los Angeles, I already felt so much better and almost forgot about that bad sea sickness. The whole trip was such an incredible experience. Do I want to go back to Channel Islands National Park and explore other islands? Definitely yes!

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