San Miguel Island is the most northern island in the Channel Islands National Park. San Miguel Island day trips are offered only a few days a year during the fall months. Travel time on a direct route from the Ventura Harbor is 3 to 3.5 hours and the crossing is often highlighted with sightings of Humpback Whales and various species of dolphins. Departures are at 8:00 am and return to the Ventura Harbor between approximately 6:30 and 7:00 pm.
Visitors to San Miguel Island must complete an:
Acknowledgement of Danger: Release and Hold Harmless Agreement
San Miguel Island (SMI) Channel Islands National Park.
While Island Packers does have these forms at our office, completing the form prior to your arrival at out office will speed up your check in procedure. Guest will be asked to step out of line to complete the form prior to receiving your boarding pass. Island Packers would greatly appreciate your completing this form prior to your arrival if possible.
The day trips occur in September and/or October when the ocean conditions are the best for the skiff landing on the beach. San Miguel Island has no pier. Passengers depart the transport vessel for the ride to shore in an inflatable skiff through the surf. Landing can be wet depending on the current conditions. Visitors to this island should protect their day gear for the possibility of a wet landing.
Once ashore day visitors can explore the white sand beach of Cuylers Harbor, hike up the steep canyon trail to the Cabrillo Monument or the historic Lester Ranch area on their own.
Guided hikes offered to other areas of the Island may include the Caliche Forest, and Lester Point. The guided hikes are considered strenuous hikes and are enjoyed by hardy hikers. San Miguel Island trails beyond the ranch area must be guided by a National Park ranger or National Park volunteer. Time ashore on a day trip does not allow for the 16 mile hike to Point Bennett to view the pinnipeds.
San Miguel Island vault style outhouses and picnic tables at the campground area. Weather conditions can be windy even in the autumn months. There is no drinking water or shade on San Miguel Island.