Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park
Categories: Islands, National Parks, Nature & Parks
Anacapa Island is a small volcanic island located about 11mi off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County. The island is composed of a series of narrow islets 6mi long, oriented generally east-west and 5mi east of Santa Cruz Island. The three main islets, East, Middle and West Anacapa, are collectively known as "The Anacapas" by some authors. All three islets have precipitous cliffs, dropping off steeply into the sea.Anacapa is the smallest of the northern islands of the Channel Islands archipelago, and is within the Channel Islands National Park.Geography and geologyAlong with Santa Barbara Island, Anacapa was formed by volcanic eruptions between 19 and 15 million years ago. These eruptions are believed to have been caused by thinning of ocean crust as the block containing the northern Channel Islands and Santa Monica mountains was rotated clockwise by the transverse motion of the Pacific and North American plates. Lava from these eruptions can be found across the region, and in depths of up to 10,000ft. The rocks that make up Anacapa are composed of lava, breccias, volcanic ash and cinders.Erosion has heavily weathered the lava formations of Anacapa, and wave action caused the island to split into three islets in recent prehistoric times. The islets display a wide variety of erosional features including sea arches, sea caves, stacks, wave-cut platforms, surge channels and blowholes.Use our Channel Islands National Park holiday planner to visit Anacapa Island on your trip to Channel Islands National Park, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Our visit to Anacapa was a day well spent. The ride over and back with Island Packers was enjoyable; we were fortunate to have calm waters and not too strong of a breeze. Three varieties of dolphin an... read more »
Our day started at Island Packers in Oxnard. The boat trip out and back was smooth and fast. Saw a group of dolphins and one whale of in the distance. The cliffs and vistas are great, but the island l... read more »
My husband surprised me with this trip for my birthday and it was fantastic! The boat ride to Anacapa alone was spectacular. We had recently moved from Maui and really missed being near the ocean. Hav... read more »
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