Channel Islands National Park
May 2022 • The Channel Islands are California’s Madagascar—a land mass off the continent that's home to flora and fauna found nowhere else. Twenty-five miles of ocean has kept Darwinian competition, as well as human exploitation, stuck in first gear. National-park status provides added protection. It’s an hour-long ferry trip from Ventura Harbor—no guarantee of a smooth ride or a clear day. On first hit, it feels like hiking in Marin or Sonoma. Then the subtle differences begin to assert, and it becomes easier to see this place not just as a terrarium, but also a time capsule of the upspoiled California coastline that existed hundreds of years ago.
Coastal prickly pear