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Channel Islands National Park: Camping and Hiking on Santa Cruz Island

The Channel Islands National Park. One of the least visited National Parks in America…lucky for us!

Even though I spent 7 years living in Santa Barbara, I sadly never made it out to the Channel Islands. Ironically, now that we have moved down to San Diego, we made the trip to visit and camp on the islands.

In order to get to the Channel Islands, you have to take a boat across the approximately 26 mile wide channel. Island Packers have a monopoly are contracted with the National Park Service, and operate the ferries back and forth between the islands. The boats leave mostly out of Ventura Harbor, but they do have some that leave out of Oxnard.

If you’re camping on the island, the round trip fare is $78 per person. Also, you will need to reserve a campsite through Reserve America in addition to purchasing your boat ticket. So, as far as camping trips go, it is a bit on the expensive side due to the cost of the boat ride.

Tip: Be sure to check the availability of both the boat, and the campsites before booking anything, as there are more spaces on the boats than there are at the campsite!

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