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“Go in the right season!”
Review of Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the five islands in the Channel Islands National Park, Anacapa is located an hour from Oxnard.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

The beautiful pictures of Inspiration Point attracted me to Anacapa Island. Unfortunately, due to the timing of my trip (in July) and the lack of rain earlier in the year, the island looked totally brown with very little greenery that would have made the scenery much better. The Island Packers boat ride from Oxnard was still worth it and we saw dolphins swimming close to our boat. One thing I regretted not doing was to sign up for kayaking before boarding the boat to the island. The kayaking would have added more fun to the trip. The 2-hour guided hike to Inspiration Point was interesting, with the stop at Sea Lion Cove and the end point (Inspiration Point) the most memorable.

2  Thank snorkelingJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 25, 2013

Our trip to Anacapa was supposed to be the highlight of our vacation to southern California. We started out by visiting the National Park Visitor Center in Ventura, then headed to Island Packers, the park's concessionaire, with our hats, lunch and water. The eleven mile boat ride was uneventful ... a few pelicans, an oil rig and a thick marine fog. Our arrival at the Landing Cove brought high hopes -- deep blue water with kelp forests and a blowhole. We climbed up the steps for a birds' eye view of the volcanic rock that makes up the island .. .and then, we were met with a cacophony of seabirds and what the National Park calls "telltale guano." We knew immediately this was not the standard national park. We bought one of the guides and set off to explore with a vague sense of disappointment. The path is narrow, but not rugged, and along the way the seabirds continued their fierce protest. Upon arrival at Cathedral Cove, with its awe-inspiring views of the sea lions and scuba divers, any tinges of regret soon faded. At our next major stop, Inspiration Point, we viewed the other, inaccessible islets and felt that overwhelming insight: So this is Nature without the trappings. We found a bench (be sure to bring something to sit on and then dispose) and sat a long time, looking over the surging water. Simon Winchester's words were written for the Atlantic, but they equally apply to Anacapa: "There were no ships' wakes on the sea, no aircraft trails on the sky -- just cool incessant wind, the cries of the birds, and the imagined edge of the known world set down somewhere, far beyond my range of sight." It was the highlight of our trip, we just didn't realize what it had to offer until we had come home and had to deal with the day-to-day world: Serenity.

4  Thank pma03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

If you have looked at other reviews, you will understand that this trip is not for everyone. We went out to Anacapa by boat with Island Packers. We each had a small day pack with all our gear including a wide-brimmed hat, two bottles of water and a sack lunch. We pre-ordered the lunch from the Harbor Cove Cafe a short drive beyond the check in office building. You will find outhouses on the island, but no other facilities and no water. Don't expect a tropical island with shade trees! There is no shade. What you will find are beautiful views of the Anacapa Lighthouse, Inspiration Point and the kelp beds. We arrived at a time when the fledgling Western Gulls (thousands of them) were trying out their wings. By July, they are as big as their parents with a few of the wispy down feathers left on their heads. The coreopsis is now dormant and the dying branches are the perfect camouflage for the birds who blend in with the rocks and the vegetation. We took an hour long hike with a volunteer from the National Parks and then wandered around on our own. The most difficult part of the trip was the climb up the almost 160 stairs to the top of the island. But there are opportunities to rest and you can take all the time you need. On the trip back to Ventura, we saw the Natural Arches Bridge and spotted lots of porpoises, sea lions and brown pelicans.

5  Thank motile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

I have lived in Southern California all my life and have vacationed on Catalina Island several times, but never Anacapa Island - Channel Islands National Park, CA. We took an hour long whale watching trip out to Anacapa. Our view was the high cliff dwelling birds, awesome detached and attached land formations, and the site of the kelp beds in the beautiful clear ocean. You step off the boat and make your way up the cliff climbing about 160 steps. The guide was wonderful with his extensive island knowledge and then you can walk the length of the island on your own. There were seagulls nesting all over the island with their eggs and/or baby chicks. Brown pelicans also nest on the cliffs. There are a few historic Spanish buildings and a lighthouse on the island.

Next visit we will take the kayaking trip to this island. This is a wonderful island to kayak due to the caves, cliff views, clear water, and just the beauty of the entire island.

5  Thank bonbuild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I am shocked this is a National Park. Compared to the other national parks that I have visited this park was a huge disappointment. The island was full of birds and bird feces. This is more of a bird sanctuary than anything.

6  Thank BRYAN H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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