America's Most Underrated National Parks
Courtesy of the National Park Service
Channel Islands National Park, CA
offshore from developed SoCal lie the Channel Islands, five of which are
protected as a national park. Fewer than 30,000 people actually leave the
mainland to explore the islands themselves, where 175 miles of untrammeled
shores make pristine breeding grounds for harbor seals and sea lions.
Cool Facts: Among the islands’ more than 2,000 plant and animal species are 145 found
nowhere else in the world; they also have one of the best-preserved
archaeological records on the Pacific coast, documenting 10,000 years of
continuous human habitation.
Don’t Miss: A boat tour during whale migrations (blue and humpback in summer, gray from
late December to mid-March) and a hike on the easy, 1.5-mile Anacapa Loop
trail, which runs along the island’s dramatic ridgeline.