- About Area
- Before You Go
- * Ferry Tkts
Typical Day is 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, but varies per reservation
We all know that kayakers derive their thrills by paddling under, over, and through things… it’s the honest truth. At Anacapa Island a new obstacle that must be conquered in your kayak meets you at every turn. Paddle through caves that cut under 100 foot cliffs, paddle under the 40 foot Anacapa Arch, and paddle over kelp forests jetting up to the surface of the crystal clear water. That is exactly why Anacapa is one of our favorite paddling destinations.
This journey typically departs from Oxnard and the crossing is a little shorter than an hour. With over 20 marine mammal species visiting the Channel each year, expect to see some whale and dolphin activity!.
Gearing up for your Sea Cave Adventure:
As with all of CIO’s adventures, you will be fully geared up from head to toe with comfy kayaking gear. The friends who don’t come with you will be jealous when they see your pictures! Fashion divas we are not, but adventure seekers we are… So after the fashion show is over and you’re ready for action, climb down the ladder to the plastic chariot that awaits… Let your guided adventure begin!
A Journey Around East Anacapa:
Our plan is to take you all the way around the Eastern Islet of Anacapa Island. Anacapa Island is actually three islets that are separated on a high-tide. The caves on the Eastern Islet are breathtaking, with the largest being Cathedral Arch. On our way around we will encounter a large Sea Lion haul out beach which usually makes for interesting sounds and smells!
The Rest of Your Day:
This adventure is kayaking based. We always try to give you enough time for a a hike, and hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy a walk to the top of Anacapa Island to Inspiration Point. The ferry schedules do vary and it is possible that we may not be able to hike.
History of Anacapa Island
Santa Cruz Island, the largest and most diverse of the eight Channel Islands, has a long and varied history that is tied closely to its physical attributes. Its vast grasslands, coastal scrub vegetation, oak woodlands, and rich coastline sustained the Chumash for millennia and they maintained a number of villages and seasonal settlements on the island. For most of the nineteenth century, mariners found shelter in its coves and hunters and fishermen exploited the marine life. Immigrant ranchers grazed livestock, and the military took advantage of the island’s strategic location.
Chumash Civilization and European Contact Archeological investigations indicate that Santa Cruz Island has been occupied for at least 9,000 years. The island was home to the largest population of island Chumash and developed a highly complex society dependent on marine harvest, craft specialization and trade with mainland groups. The Santa Cruz Island Chumash produced shell beads that they used for currency, which formed an important part of the overall Chumash economy. Those living on the east end of the island mined chert from the numerous island outcroppings to make tiny blades for drilling holes to make the shell disc beads. Native villagers had no known contact with outsiders until the 16th and early 17th centuries. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who is credited with the first European exploration of the California coast, observed at least six villages, though he and his crew never stopped at the island. The villages were called Niquipos, Mazul, Xuga, Nitel, Macamo, and Nimitapal. Cabrillo named the island San Lucas, although the Chumash called it Limuw. READ MORE FROM NPS
What to bring on your island adventure
- Lunch and snack (hard plastic coolers or durable bags)
- Water (reusable water bottles preferred)
- Bathing suit (you will wear this under the wetsuit)
- Warm clothing (for the ferry ride in the morning)
- Water shoes that cover the whole foot or that have a heel strap
- Hat or Visor
- Synthetic layer for extra warmth such as rashguard, polypro top or other synthetic top
- Sunscreen/Lip Balm
- Sunglasses w/ safety strap (example: Chums or Croakies)
- Waterproof camera or dry case for camera
- Personal medication
Make your own Getaway
This multi-day adventure takes place when you choose, and usually it is dictated by ferry availability. The first day commonly entails our adventure that is our most popular trip: Caves and Coves kayaking adventure. Other options are available as available You will leave your camping gear with us in our gear boxes while you kayak. All kayaking gear is provided and camping gear is also available for rent.
Camping on Santa Cruz Island:
We arrange your campsite for you ahead of time and your guide will show you to your resting place for the night in the beautiful Eucalyptus grove in Scorpion Valley. The camping area is at least 1/2 mile from the beach so you should prepare to carry your gear to your campsite. We like to refer to it as “primitive car-camping”. This means you can bring the two-burner stove and a cooler, but you should keep the other gear minimal. There are no facilities at the islands other than pit-toilets and running water from spigots. A suggested packing list is sent to you with your trip confirmation.
A great second day adventure would be paddling to Potato harbor and the Sea Caves of Coche Point. You would meet your guide at the beach at 8:30am with your lunch and snack ready to be packed into one of our dry bags. Your kayaking trip on day two is an amazing journey to a remote beach in Potato Harbor, only accessible by kayak or boat. Along the way you will explore several VERY large sea caves (given the right conditions of course!). Enjoy your lunch on the beach and after relaxing in the California sun, head downwind to Scorpion to complete your kayaking journey.
Length of stay:
Most people camp 1 night, unless you want to explore more!
Camping Gear is Available!
- 2-man Tent:
- Comfy 2-inch thick Paco Sleeping Pad:
- Sleeping Bag:
- Cook Set for up to 4 (stove, lantern, propane, cookware and utensils):
Organic Food Catering
We have partnered with Channel Islands Provisions to provide organic, local, yummy food for your trip. Food is delivered dockside in health department approved, temperature-controlled containers with a reusable water bottle. Our day trip package include breakfast, lunch, & a snack for everything your need to fill you hungry belly on a island. You will choose your meal choices upon check-out.