Activities For Dogs In Channel Islands National Park

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Introduction

Looking for a picture-perfect park to visit with your dog? Well, the Channel Islands National Park is certainly picturesque but it's not exactly pet-friendly. In order to protect the wildlife in the park (especially the native fox population that has been struggling to survive), pets are not allowed in Channel Island Nation Park. However, that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to do and see in the surrounding area with your dog, allowing you to enjoy the scenery of the park from a different viewpoint! Hope is not lost!

Boat Trip

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Easy
6 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Collar
Treats
Boat
Activity description
If you are just dying to see Channel Islands National Park with your dog, you can definitely do so by boat! While the main ferries that run to the islands do not allow dogs (since the park itself does not allow dogs), there are many places in the nearby area where you can charter a private boat to take you on a tour around the islands. If you are privileged enough to have your own boat, you can easily bring your dog along for the ride! However, be sure to respect the park policies and keep your dog on the boat and off the land of the Channel Islands National Park.
Step
1
Boat search
Search local harbors for people who will take you and your dog on a tour around the Channel Islands National Park. There are plenty of companies operating in the vicinity that will gladly take you out so you can easily find several and compare rates. Make sure to mention your dog when you speak to the companies and try to book in advance to avoid last minute pricing or unavailability.
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Sail away
Head out on the open seas with your dog and explore the waters around and between the Channel Islands National Park. The view will be quite different from the water and you can expect to see high mountains that seem to jut out from the ocean. A wide array of marine life is also sure to pass by the boat and may fascinate your dog as well!
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3
Anchors down
If you want to explore the islands, let your dog sit on the boat and take in some sun while you venture out for a quick trip. The painted caves are surely a sight to see; you can also climb to the tallest peak of the islands to get a one of a kind view. While you are on land, be sure someone is tending to your dog and they are safe on your private boat. Once you have seen the islands first hand, head back out on the water with your happy dog by your side.
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Hiking

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Water
Collar
Leash
waste bags
Activity description
If you are interested in visiting the Channel Islands National Park because you love to hike with your dog, there are plenty of places you can do just that nearby. Since the Channel Islands National Park doesn't allow dogs, these nearby hiking spots are the perfect place to bring your dog as they will welcome your pooch with open arms. Get in a good hike with your dog and pick a coastal trail that grants you a view of the Channel Islands National Park as well! Pick a clear day and check ahead to see if these parks require parking fees or if they are completely free (the best option!).
Step
1
Oceanfront trail
This unpaved path is perfect for taking an afternoon stroll with your dog. The trail goes along the roadways (so you want to be sure your dog is kept on a leash!) but flows easily up and down cliffs which provide you with a fantastic water view. This is an easy walk which means it is perfect for all pups and their owners as well.
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2
Coal Oil Point Trail
This easy 1.5 mile path goes along the oceanfront and will give you a nice view of Channel Island National Park. Dogs are allowed on the bluffs and also on the beach so you can let your pup run free and get out some of their energy as you stroll the shoreline looking out toward Channel Island. Enjoy this park on a sunny day when the water is warm enough for your dog to swim too!
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3
Douglas Family Perserve
This vast nature preserve is privately owned and maintained and they allow you to bring your furry, four-legged friend! Keep your dog on a leash while inside the park and choose one of the many trails that you can walk. With incredible views of Channel Island and the ocean itself, you are going to love this perfect pup place. Walk as long as you'd like or sit at one of the viewpoints with your dog and just take in the scenery.
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Movie Night

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Any Day
Free
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Dog Treats
Popcorn
DVDs
Activity description
Since dogs can't exactly visit Channel Island National Park, you may need to think of more creative ways to visit the park with your dog. You may also have the problem of Channel Island National Park being far away if you don't live in the direct vicinity. The solution to both of these problems - watch a documentary! By watching one of the many movies about Channel Island National Park, you can pretend you are visiting it yourself with your dog by your side! Pick a movie that you and your dog can enjoy together and get the full Channel Island National Park experience from the comfort of your couch.
Step
1
Official movie
The National Park website has a 24-minute official video that will tell you this history of the park and take you across the islands to see what it is all about. This film is pretty informative and prescriptive so you and your pup will learn a lot. Perfect for a quick cuddle session with your dog, this is a pretty straightforward movie about Channel Islands National Park.
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2
West of the West
The movie series called West of the West, Tales From California's Channel Islands is a movie series that you must see. This film romanticizes the islands and lets the islands tell the stories of those who lived there, died there and the treasures that are hidden in one of America's "last frontiers". You and your dog will need some popcorn for this film as you will be riveted from the start.
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YouTube
One of the best ways to feel like you are on Channel Island National Park is to watch a few homemade YouTube videos from people who have gone to the park themselves. By watching footage people have gathered, you will be able to see the best short clips that highlight everyone's favorite part of their trip. Watch a few clips at once to really feel like you are on the trip of a lifetime! Don't forget to pet your dog as you watch!
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More Fun Ideas...

Brew Dog

After spending your time involved in the Channel Islands National Park, head over to the Brewhouse restaurant in Santa Barbara which has a full menu just for dogs. Grab your pup an order of dog biscuits and gravy or a frozen bone marrow bone and order some food for yourself too.

Picnic

Grab everything you need for a picnic and head down to the Santa Barbara shoreline with your dog. Spread out a blanket and look across the ocean at the Channel Islands National Park as you both share a delicious lunch.

Conclusion

Just because your dog can't visit the Channel Islands National Park doesn't mean it is totally out of reach for you and for them too. You can easily sail around the islands with your dog, hike on the California coast and marvel in the beauty of the islands or just stay at home and watch a few movies with your dog all about the islands themselves. It's too bad the parks department won't let your pup explore the Channel Islands National Park but you can easily work your way around that little obstacle!