Visitors depart the boat by stepping onto a ladder at the Landing Cove where you climb several rungs to a wooden dock. From the dock there is a winding set of over 157 steps that take you to the island plateau about 200 feet above sea level for stunning coastal views.
An historic lighthouse still operates on the island and the buildings once used to house Coast Guard personnel have been converted into facilities for the National Park Service.
Once on the plateau the hiking is easy. There are approximately 1.5 miles of trails on East Anacapa. You will find a small visitor center with a picnic area and vault style toilets.
Anacapa Island is a cliff island and there is no beach access at this area of the island. Access to the landing cove for snorkeling or kayaking is done via a ladder to the water from the dock. Kayaks must be lowered from the dock to the water and then must be returned to the dock area prior to the boat’s return for island pickup.
To prepare for the best day possible you will need to:
- Pack food and water for your time on the island. A small cooler with a single handle or a back pack will help to protect your food from the birds that populate the island year round. There are no shops or restaurants on the island. Be prepared to hike out all your trash.
- Anacapa Island has little shade, so sun screen and a hat will help to protect you from UV that is present even on overcast days.
- Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Santa Barbara Channel and it is always best to dress in layers and bring a jacket along (even in the summer months).
- Flat shoes with rubber soles are best for both the boat and the island. We recommend hiking sandals or sneakers. We suggest that you do not wear loose or leather soles sandals or flip flops on your island adventure.
- Camera and binoculars will add to your trip and this island offers some spectacular photo opportunities.
- Please arrive at your harbor of departure 45 minutes before your schedule mainland departure.