Outdoor island experiences provided refuge from the pandemic for over 167,000 visitors to Channel Islands National Park in 2020.
Although overall visitation dropped, specific locations within the park had significant increases. Visits to San Miguel Island and Prisoners Harbor at Santa Cruz Island nearly doubled from 2019 and visits to Santa Rosa Island increased by 50%. These isolated islands provided safe ways for visitors to recreate responsibly, get some fresh air and stay active.
“This past year has reminded us how important outdoor activities are for our overall wellbeing,” said park Superintendent Ethan McKinley. “Channel Islands National Park has provided opportunities for people to spend much needed time outdoors for their physical and psychological health.”
All five park islands are open for visitation and park concessioner, Island Packers, is offering daily trips to the islands. A new pier at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island is now open. The pier improves the safety and efficiency of loading and offloading passengers and cargo with a gangway for landing visitors and more reliable access during low tide conditions. The park Visitor Center is reopened daily at the end of Spinnaker Drive 8 AM – 5 PM.
To protect the health of those who live, work, and visit America’s national parks, face masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on the islands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, piers, overlooks, and during visitor orientations.