Day Trip Highlights
World’s longest downwind sea cave kayak tour – 5 miles of sea caves with the current behind you.
- Anacapa has more sea caves per mile than any other island we can find… and we’ve looked everywhere!
- Around every bend and turn there is another cove or cave that we explore. With a little current at our backs, it’s just like paddling downhill on a bike.
- Paddle through the iconic Anacapa Arch, symbol of Channel Islands National Park. This 50′ tall arch is incredible and surrounded by beautiful kelp forests and sea lions.
- Experience one of the largest brown pelican breeding colonies in the world. During the summer the pelicans are busy feeding their young and teaching them to fly. It’s an incredible experience that doesn’t usually make the headlines, but it’s worth it!
- Short channel crossing to the islands, only 75 minutes to and 60 minutes from the island.
- We regularly see whales and dolphins on our your journey to and from the island.
Downwind Kayaking Route
- Total Kayaking time: 2hr 45 min
- Active Kayaking time: 2 hrs 20 minutes
- Total mileage covered: 4 miles
- Snorkeling time allotted: 30-45 minutes
Island Cruise Details
What your day looks like:
- Check-In: 7:45am
- Departure: 8:00am
- Whale Watching on return to Oxnard: By 4:00pm
Your Expedition Vessel – SUNFISH
- USCG Inspected Vessel
- Cruising Speed: 12 knts
- 1 Bathroom
- 1 Changing room
- Inside and outside seating.
- Swim platform off the stern making entering and exiting the kayaks easy for all ages.
- No food and beverage available – bring your own picnic and BYOB
- Destination: Anacapa Island
- Spend all day in Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary
Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard CA
3600 Harbor Way
Oxnard, CA 93035
Local Restaurants & Lodging
Stay for a seafood dinner or drinks at the Marine Emporium after your trip. There are many restaurants right where the Sunfish picks you up and drops you off, some with harbor views.
Book a weekend visit! Stay at the Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach Resort-only a few minutes drive to the harbor. Right on the beach, this is an excellent place to relax after an adventurous day at Anacapa.
Sea Cave Kayaking
Guided Kayaking into Sea Caves
Imagine you’re paddling down the side of a volcanic island with the rock wall to your right and the open ocean to your left. A Pelican is perched on a rock just off shore and as you approach on your kayak she looks over at you and gives you the sort of look that says, “I’ve eaten too much fish to move”. You gently glide past the prehistoric looking bird leaving it to rest and see a small hole in the rock in front of you where a beam of blue light shines onto the water bouncing a shimmering reflection on the cliff wall. As the reflection lights up the black volcanic rock with a dance of sunshine you sit back and relax and enjoy the current as it pushes you easily around yet another bend with more mysterious holes in the cliffs edge.
Rent a snorkeling package to explore from the SUNFISH at the end of your kayaking trip. If conditions are good, this is some of the best snorkeling you can do in temperate (colder) water. Anacapa is a marine protected area where you cannot fish or take anything from the ocean here. If you are brave enough to dive through the kelp, you’ll be greeted with a indescribable sensation of flying through an underwater forest… it’s pretty incredible.
If conditions do not permit snorkeling, you will be refunded for the gear that you do not use.
Vessel Supported Kayaking – Downwind tour
If you haven’t experienced vessel supported kayaking before, you are in for a treat. The SUNFISH (big boat) drops you in the water at point A and picks you up 2 miles downwind at point B . You never have to cover the same area twice and you will have the current and breeze to your back.
Downwind and down current paddling is like going downhill on a bike, it’s easier and less strenuous.
Enjoy the ride!
Minimum Age is 7 years or older
The younger the child, the more work the parent or other paddler will have to do. If you are inexperienced and are planning on kayaking with a 7 year old, you’ll be pretty tired by the end of the day! This is your call, but we suggest you plan for the young one to tire out half-way.
Wild Blue (now Channel Islands Expeditions) featured in Living Local – a great look at an Anacapa Day Trip!
Frequently Asked Questions
You will be on our Expedition vessel, SUNFISH, all day. She is nicely outfitted for this island journey with kayak racks overhead and an easy swim deck of the stern.
100% refund up until 10 days prior to departure.
We like to keep it simple and fair and we’re no pirates… we’re here to help and happy to accomodate special circumstances.
Extend that policy to the day prior to departure for only $8.99/person by purchasing CIEx Trip Insurance at the time of booking.
Kayaking – You will be wearing a PFD at all times and you need to be comfortable in water over your head.
Snorkeling – You must be able to swim unassisted for 30 minutes in order to snorkel without a life jacket.
We have single kayaks for those of you traveling solo or in odd number groups. Because of this, we don’t allow people to reserve single kayaks ahead of time.
The kayaking on this trip is generally appropriate for beginner kayakers. Ocean conditions are always variable and some days can offer more challenging paddling conditions. Our age limit of 7 is based on decades of experience. Younger paddlers fatigue faster and the adult paddler is left doing all of the paddling.
Yes, prices vary based on day of week and season. Please call or email with the dates you are interested in and we’ll get you a quote.
Scorpion Ranch is a beautiful area but very busy, our trips are small and intimate with a chance to see more, do more, and wait less!
- All CIEx kayaking trips are vessel-supported. Rather than launching and landing through surf at the Scorpion Ranch beach, all CIEx trips launch kayaks from our motherships with crew assistance from our accessible, water-level swim steps. On our trips, you paddle in one direction with the wind and get picked up at the end of your paddle by the mothership. You’ll have the support vessel nearby at all times to assist you if needed.
- You are our exclusive purpose. All CIEx kayak guests are here for the same reason… to kayak into sea caves! Scorpion Ranch trips require ferry transportation to get to the island paddling destination, which can result in wait times between activities.
- We paddle at areas where we barely encounter other boaters or visitors to the islands. This means less crowds and more wildlife. Scorpion Ranch is the most heavily-visited part of Channel Islands National Park – if you’re looking to get a more remote experience, join us!
Unfortunately no. We cannot pick up or drop off passengers at the Landing Cove at Anacapa. All of our paddlers need to board at Oxnard for the day. The best way to kayak Anacapa Island and see all of the amazing arches and tidepools is to have a support vessel like the Sunfish. We don’t recommend trying this on your own 🙂