If you are looking for a journey by land and sea, consider Channel Islands National Park! The Channel Islands are located off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, and just getting over to them is part of the adventure. The waters surrounding Channel Islands National Park are home to many diverse and beautiful species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. About one third of these species found worldwide can be seen in the Santa Barbara Channel. The 27 species sighted in the channel include gray, blue, humpback, minke, sperm, and pilot whales, not to mention orcas and four species of dolphins. Wow!!
Once you reach the Channel Islands, you can set up camp on a little-visited island, with wind-swept hills, crashing waves, secluded beaches, unique wildlife, and a complete hiking trail network to get you anywhere you want to go. The plants and animals of the Channel Islands are unique due to thousands of years of island isolation that have resulted in size, shape or color variations.
These islands are home to 65 plant species that do not exist anywhere else in the world. All of the larger islands are the home of the island fox, a close relative to the mainland's gray fox. Because it has evolved in isolation, the Islands fox is no larger than a house cat. These foxes are abundant and you will see them frequently!
As you take the boat across the 24-mile stretch of sea, look out for the largest living mammals on the planet today Ė blue whales!! Our groups have had the thrill of spotting these benign and humongous sea creatures at close range. It is an unforgettable experience.
Once on the island, make camp in a secluded campsite perfect for chilling out, games, and campfires. Hit the beach to listen to the waves, play games in the sand, have solo or free time.
Looking for more action? Try out surfing or go sea kayaking with naturalist guides, meet baby harbor seals looking for a warm place in the sun. They have even been known to climb onto our kayaks to escape the cold waters they call home, a beautiful experience!
Also, donít forget the hiking trails - you can spend an hour or a day hiking to spectacular view points and secluded beaches. The Channel Islands offer you many unique experiences and are a great setting for your Lifeschool adventure.