California Channel Islands National Park map and highlights

USA   Canada   Mexico   S.America   World
Go to content

California Channel Islands National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Channel Islands
Channel Islands, California on the map. National Park Channel Islands (California state) on the map of US.      
Previous pages: Beautiful blue Lake Tenaya in Yosemite National Park is rimmed by gently rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Above right, top: Arch Rock on Anacapa Island. The closest  island to the mainland, Anacapa is composed of three small islets—East  Anacapa, Middle Anacapa and West Anacapa—that are accessible to each  other only by boat. Migrating whales can often be seen in the offshore  waters between January and March.      
Above right, middle: The lighthouse on East Anacapa Island  stands as a reminder of those solitary individuals who, using the  lighthouse's bright beacon, warned sailors away from the fog-hidden  dangers.      
Right: From August to December, the elephant seal lives out in  the ocean, feeding on fish and other deepwater marine life. In  December, they return to the islands to breed.      
Channel Islands, California
Established: 1980   Acreage: 249,354      
Located just off California's southern coast, five of the  eight Channel Islands—Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and  Santa Barbara—and their six nautical miles of ocean make up Channel  Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary. The park and the  sanctuary provide a habitat for marine life ranging from the microscopic  plankton to the largest creature on earth—the blue whale.      
Isolation from the mainland and the mingling of warm and cold  water currents in the Santa Barbara Channel help form the Channel  Islands' unique character. The plants and animals are similar to those  on the mainland, but thousands of years of isolation in unique island  environments have resulted in size, shape or color variations among some  plants and animals. The island fox, a relative of the mainland's gray  fox, is the size of a house cat. It preys on deer mice, which are  slightly larger than their mainland counterparts.      
Isolation has also protected the islands. Tidepools, unlike  those found on the mainland, are brimming with life—sea anemones,  abalone, sea urchins, limpets. The undercover rocks at San Miguel are  still covered with white-plumed sea anemones, and vivid purple  hyprocorals filter water for food near Santa Cruz Island, the largest  and most diverse of the park islands.      
Seafaring Indians plied the Santa Barbara Channel in swift,  seaworthy canoes called tomols. The Chumash, or 'island people,' had  villages on the large islands and traded with the mainland Indians. In  1542, explorer Juan Rodriguez entered the same channel, the first  European to land on the islands. Beginning in the late 1700s, Russian,  British and American fur traders searched the islands' coves and  shorelines for sea otters. After the otter was hunted almost to  extinction, hunters then concentrated on taking seals and sea lions for  their fur and oil.      
In the early 1800s the Chumash Indians were removed to the  mainland missions. By the mid-1800s, except for the fishermen who  operated from cove camps, ranching became the economic mainstay. The  Santa Cruz Island ranch produced sheep, cattle, honey, olives and some  of the finest early California wines.      
Each island is unique, with its own history and topography.  Even the flora and fauna can vary from island to island. Santa Cruz  Island has eight species of plants not found on any of the other  islands. Its diversity of habitat makes Santa Cruz a biologist's  paradise.      
Facing page: Except for Frenches Cove, the entire island of  West Anacapa is closed to protect the nesting area of the brown pelican.    
Channel Islands, California on the map. National Park Channel Islands  (California state) on the map of US.
Back to content