US Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor
4201 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, CA 93035
In Channel Islands, the summers are comfortable, arid, and clear and the winters are long, cool, wet, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 48°F to 71°F and is rarely below 41°F or above 80°F.
The warm season lasts for 3.5 months, from July 9 to October 26, with an average daily high temperature above 70°F. The hottest day of the year is August 26, with an average high of 71°F and low of 60°F.
The cool season lasts for 4.4 months, from December 5 to April 18, with an average daily high temperature below 65°F. The coldest day of the year is December 25, with an average low of 48°F and high of 64°F.
The wetter season lasts 4.1 months, from November 20 to March 24, with a greater than 11% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 22% on February 20.
The drier season lasts 7.9 months, from March 24 to November 20. The smallest chance of a wet day is 0% on July 29.
Cost of Living
The average cost of living in Channel Islands, CA is 178 – that puts it 28% higher than the average of California and 78% higher than our nation’s average. This simple outline of the cost of living index was formulated using prices of: goods and services (weighted 33%), housing prices (weighted 30%), groceries (weighted 13%), utilities (weighted 10%), transportation (weighted 9%), and health care (weighted 5%). Thus, goods/services, along with housing influences the majority of the cost of living index. The price of daily goods and services is a valuable and reliable number to be aware of when considering the general price of the city’s goods.
Getting to Know the Area
The Channel Islands form an eight-island archipelago along the Santa Barbara Channel in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. Five of the islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, and the waters surrounding these islands make up Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
With its clear waters, its dramatic topography, and wealth of wildlife, Channel Islands offers some of the most rewarding sea kayaking anywhere in the world. While some of the waters surrounding the islands are best suited for experienced kayakers, others are beginner friendly. A number of commercial outfitters run kayak tours to the islands. Note that many depart from the mainland.
Some of the Channel Islands most spectacular features—its kelp forests and the fish that live in them—are best experienced underwater. Prime snorkeling spots include Anacapa’s Landing Cove and Santa Cruz’ Scorpion Beach. With water temperatures ranging between 55 and 70, you’ll almost certainly want to wear a wet suit—most outfitters include them along with snorkel gear.
The waters around Channel Islands are home to 27 species of cetaceans, including gray, blue, and humpback whales, and numerous species of dolphins. Dolphins can be spotted throughout the summer. Whale watching is best between June and September, when Humpback and Blue whales congregate, and during gray whale migration season between December and April. Whale watching trips leave from Channel Islands, Santa Barbara, and Ventura harbors.
Visit Anacapa Island. The island is made up of three smaller islands, of which only East Anacapa is open to hiking. Here, ranger-led hikes begin 30 minutes after Island Packers boats arrive on the island. Or you can explore on your own. A 2-mile trail system takes you up the rugged cliffs to the broad flat top of the island; one must-see destination is Inspiration Point, whose views (of Anacapa, other Channel Islands and the mainland) are as dramatic as the name promises.
There are no accessible beaches on East Anacapa. But you can get into the water via the dock at the Landing Cove; swimming, snorkeling and kayaking are excellent. From November to April, Island Packers has daytrips that go to Frenchy’s Cove, on the south shore of Mid-Anacapa Island; the tidepools here are some of the best in California.
Also, do not miss Santa Rosa Island. Santa Rosa offers some of the park’s best hiking, with trails and fire roads that extend across much of the island. From the landing pier, you can walk two miles along the gorgeous white sand of Water Canyon Beach. The 5-mile moderate Torrey Pines trail leads to a grove of one of the world’s rarest trees; more ambitious hikers can take a 7.5 mile loop trail that gives you even more spectacular views of the island.