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Day Tripping: San Miguel Island at Channel Islands National Park

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Yosemite, Sequoia, Joshua Tree. They all win the popularity contests with folks around here. There's good reason for that, but the closest traditional National Park to Los Angeles goes without much notice. That's too bad considering the striking beauty found in Channel Islands National Park.

That said, it's understandable the popularity isn't up there. Islands, after all, are not that easy to get to. And once your there, will the weather and Pacific Ocean work to your benefit? Of the five islands that make up the park, one is rarely visited (for what it's worth, the folks at Wikipedia say about 200 people a year). That island is San Miguel, a one-way 60-mile 3-hour journey from Ventura by boat.

This past Saturday was this year's last trip with the park's concessionaire, Island Packers (trips will start up again in Spring 2010). With the winter season coming, trips to the the three outer islands--that includes Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara--close (however, if you have your own boat and skiff, there are options). Trips will begin next Spring, but we had to check it out in preparation for next year.