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Santa Barbara Island is open to public access. Landings at the island are restricted to the rocky ledge adjacent to the dock. In order to ensure a safe landing, boaters need to carefully assess the weather conditions, particularly the tide and swell heights, prior to landing in this area. The dock remains closed and is not expected to be repaired in the near future due to the severe nature of damage that occurred with successive storms 2015.

Although the island is open to the public, Island Packers looks forward to when we can re-commence public transportation to Santa Barbara Island. The damaged pier prevents us from safe landings at this time. Currently there is no time frame available for re-opening of the pier. You are welcome to receive updates in regards to the opening of future public transportation at and here on this page.

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The Crossing

Located about 55 miles from Ventura County, travel time is 2.5 to 3 hours depending on harbor of departure. The longer channel crossing increases the opportunity to see a variety of wild life such as whales, dolphins, and seabirds.

Visitors step from the boat onto a ladder and climb to a small dock. From the dock there is a ½ mile trail that leads to the top of the island.

Island Information

There is no potable water and no shade trees on this island, so bring ample water, a hat or visor, and sunscreen.

This small island is rich in native flora, with a number of island endemics. Like the other Channel Islands, the spring wildflower bloom is colorful, yet many of the endemic plants actually bloom in the summer and fall, on this island.


Santa Barbara Island is the only southern Channel Island in the park. This island is the smallest of the Channel Islands, yet it is big on wildlife and adventure.

The isolation of this island makes it an ideal place for many species of nesting seabirds and also for breeding seals and sea lions.