1938: National Monument
About the SiteNot easy to get to, but well worth the trip. The Channel Islands off the coast of southern California offer a glimpse of unspoiled beauty and tranquility. These five islands once were closer to the mainland, and animals and plants crossed the channel. Then, when the seas rose after the ice ages and cut off the islands, flora and fauna began to develop along different lines. Giant mice, pygmy mammoths, and foxes the size of house cats were familiar creatures long ago. Now, out of the 2,000 species of plants and animals found on the Channel Islands, fully 145 are found nowhere else in the world.
What You're Going to SeeYou may take a boat or a seaplane to the islands. Take the time to enjoy the peace they offer, the barking sea lions, the gulls, the waves lapping on the sandy shores. Visitors can swim, snorkel, hike, camp, view wildlife, kayak, sail and explore the tidepools, beaches, and ruggen canyons. Naturalists lead hikes. The kelp forests, caves, clear water, and rich diversity of animals and plants place the Challel Islands among the top scuba diving sites of the world.
Personal ObservationsUm. Guess who didn't get out to the Islands.
Getting ThereFrom the Los Angeles area, go west on Highway 101 to Ventura. Take the Victoria Avenue exit south for less than a quarter mile. Turn right onto Olivas Park, and stay on it as it enters Ventura Harbor and winds around for a mile. The road ends at the Visitors Center.
Nearby AttractionsSanta Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is not far to the east. Of course, California Coastal National Monument is pretty close, too.