This short, 2.5-miler tours the length and interior of East Anacapa Island, one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park. From the mainland, take a boat to Landing Cove. Climb the steps that lead up the cliffs, and look for the sea lions, brown pelicans, and western gulls that live around Anacapa.
At the top of the stairs, pick up the walking path that travels south toward the visitor center (bathrooms, picnic tables, and trail guides are available here). After half a mile, the route passes a vantage point overlooking Cathedral Cove, an inlet marked with towering rock pinnacles. Look down the edge of the cliff for breathtaking views of a sea cave and a cobbled shore (a popular hangout for sea lions).
From here, the trail travels past a small campground engulfed by bright yellow coreopsis and descends a hill to Inspiration Point. Take in the stunning views before following the singletrack along the southern edge of the island to another overlook featuring sunbathing sea lions and dive-bombing pelicans. The island tour ends with a stop at Anacapa Lighthouse, a historic light station built in 1932. Return to Landing Cove to catch the boat back to the mainland.
Information on Anacapa Island: Plan Your Visit, Hiking Anacapa Island, Island Transportation, and Channel Islands National Park.
-Mapped by Chuck Graham
TO TRAILHEAD: Boat transportation to all five islands is available year-round by Island Packers and Truth Aquatics. Go to www.islandpackers.com or www.truthaquatics.com for information.