CIVR Blog: California's Channel Islands


Exploring the rest of California’s Channel Islands

As anyone who’s ever been here realizes, Santa Catalina Island is a magical place. Unique flora, one-of-a-kind fauna and dramatic natural beauty can be found at every turn. Catalina’s geographic isolation has given it fascinating habitats and compelling creatures.

Catalina’s magic is unique – but the Island of Romance is just one of eight Channel Islands. Two of the others are the purview of the United States military, but the other five have long been recognized for the unique environment that exists on Southern California’s Channel Islands.

Established in 1980, Channel Islands National Park protects not just the five islands, but along with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the waters and marine life that surround them.

Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa are the two larger islands in the park, which also includes Anacapa, San Miguel and tiny Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is closest to Catalina and can often be seen from the back side of the island. It is the smallest of all the Channel Islands and is smaller than the city of Avalon.

While visiting and camping can be arranged in the Channel Islands National Park, Catalina Island is the only channel island with a city, hotels, spas, shopping and dining.

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