East End Landing Cove – Anacapa Island Day Trip

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Photo by Dan Harding

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.

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Anacapa Lighthouse

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.

Photo by Dan Harding
Photo by Doug Mangum

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.

Due to its size and orientation, the Landing Cove at Anacapa Island is more affected by sea conditions than other landing sites of the Park. Island Packers anticipates making landing on all scheduled trips, however landing decisions can frequently only be made on-site by vessel captains. As such, Island Packers does not guarantee landing at Anacapa Island. In the event a scheduled landing trip is unable to land, passengers will have ticket costs prorated.

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.

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