Santa Barbara Vacation Travel Information
San Miguel Island Beaches in Santa Barbara, California
San Miguel Island is part of Channel Islands National Park. It is the westernmost island in the chain and because of this remote location it gets the most severe weather and the fewest annual visits of all the islands. There are beaches on the island, but most are often overrun by molting elephant seals and sea lions. Cuyler Harbor Beach is open for visitation as is the nearby Cabrillo Monument and an area known as the Lester Ranch site. All other parts of the island must be visited with a park ranger and exploration is limited to the established trail system. They offer an all-day 16-mile round-trip hike to Point Bennett where hundreds of sea lions and seals sun themselves on the beach. Kayaking the shoreline is a great way to go. Prince Island at the mouth of Cuyler Harbor is a birder’s paradise as Pelicans and many other species nest there. Since San Miguel Island was used as a bombing site for the U.S. military for about 30 years, they will make you sign a liability waiver with your access permit. No potable water is available so read up on backcountry camping on San Miguel Island before booking an adventure here. Contact Island Packers Cruises to inquire about boat cruise prices and schedules. Cruises to San Miguel Island are available May through October from the Ventura Harbor location, but most of the trips are to drop off and pick up the overnight wilderness campers. It’s a 4 to 5 hour boat ride here over rough waters and the surf landing in Cuyler Harbor can be challenging. On the return trip to the mainland, if the seas are clam, the boat will stop by the Santa Cruz Painted Cave.
1691 Spinaker Dr.
Ventura, CA 93001
- Park Name
- Channel Islands National Park
- National Park
- Wildlife Watching, Birdwatching, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Kayaking
- Trails, Tide Pools, Restrooms, Camp Sites
- Pet Policy
- Pets are not allowed on the island
- Fee for camping