Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer


Channel Islands National Park -Anacapa Island

Lurking Serpent

  • Anacapa is the only island to retain its Chumash nomenclature, “Eenapah” meant “island of illusion”. This was due to the inversion layer of the atmosphere that sits near the horizon some days and makes the island look much larger than it is. To us it looks more like a lurking serpent out on the Channel on clear days. Either way, the island is mysterious and has an interesting history.

Chumash Camp

  • Anacapa doesn’t have fresh water and therefor the Chumash didn’t make permanent settlements there. However, there are very large “middens” or trash piles of shells and such that suggest that the Chumash did in fact camp there when making their trade journeys to the mainland.

Navigation Hazard

USCG Lighthouse

  • In 1932 the Anacapa lighthouse was completed on the Eastern island, almost 20 years after it was begun. This light has been keeping sailors from meeting similar fates of the Winfield Scott since that time.

National Park And Marine Sanctuary

  • In 1980 congress signed into law the Channel Islands National Park which included Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands. It also established Marine Sanctuaries around both islands. 23 years later, in 2003, 13 marines protected areas were established, including the Anacapa Marine Reserve with more protection and enforcement.This protection has allowed fish species to rebound in diversity and density. Kayaking and snorkeling in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is a profound example of how this protection has been effective and is important for overall ocean health.All of the kayaking and snorkeling on our tours take place in MPAs so you’ll get to see for yourself!


a close up of a map

Volcanic Rock

20 million years ago a collision between oceanic and continental plates resulted in magma bursting from the earth’s crust and forming a volcanic ridge of rock that, over time, has become the Channel Islands.

This volcanic rock has many faults or weaknesses where erosion is more prevalent. Wind and waves have carved these caves and created some very interesting formations that we can paddle our kayaks through and over.

Anacapa is only 1 square mile, roughly the same size as Santa Barbara Island, yet is has just as many caves as Santa Cruz Island which is 100 times the size.