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RV Camping Hiking Tips

Island Campgrounds

California Islands that Offer Campgrounds

            When you really, really want to get away, camping on an island offers a complete retreat. Island campgrounds feel like another world, isolated from the modern daily grind and even the Internet. There are a few islands off the California coast where camping is allowed, specifically the Channel Islands near Santa Barbara and Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. (See our Catalina Island article for camping opportunities there.)
Channel Islands National Park
            Located off the Southern California coast near Ventura and Santa Barbara, this park consists of five of the eight Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara. Island activities include kayaking and hiking, both good ways to see some of the plants and animals unique to this isolated environment. Camping is allowed on all five islands year-round, but the outer islands may be hard to reach during the winter. Access to all the islands is available by boat through either Island Packers in Ventura or Truth Aquatics in Santa Barbara, or by private boat. You can also get to Santa Rosa Island by plane through Channel Islands Aviation in Camarillo. 
            Each island has one campground, and some backcountry camping is allowed on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. Campers need to be prepared to hike to their campsite, as there is no transportation on any of the islands. Island campgrounds supply only a table and pit toilets, although water is available on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa; campsites are also equipped with storage lockers to keep your food and trash away from scavenging rodents and birds and, on Santa Rosa, feral pigs.
Angel Island State Park

            Angel Island in San Francisco Bay provides less isolated island campgrounds with a view of the city. The island can be reached by ferry or private boat and explored on foot or by bicycle (rented or your own). The unusual experience of a guided tour by Segway is also available. The nine individual campsites and one group site are primitive, although water is available. Campers must hike up to two miles, some uphill, from the landing at Ayala Cove.

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