14758
Ventura
Channel Islands National Park: Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands
Explore the pristine ecology of Channel Islands National Park, discovering a wealth of unique flora, fauna and geology as you learn the islands’ story from local naturalists.
Rating (5)
Program No. 14758RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,099
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Dinner
Ventura, California
D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. For our farewell dinner on the last night of the program, we ask you to pre-order your preferred entrée. Please see the “Notes” section for details. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

DAY
2
Channel Islands National Park Field Trip
Ventura, California
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Walk along the harbor is 0.38 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a buffet featuring an assortment of hot and cold breakfast items plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.

Morning: We’ll journey from the hotel to the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center via private motor coach, where you will have an opportunity to watch the new video, "A Treasure in the Sea: Channel Islands". You will also be able to talk with park personnel, walk through the native plant garden, and view exhibits which highlight the natural and cultural features of the islands. You will have some time to browse and enjoy the scenic view from the tower before we depart and walk along the harbor into Harbor Village.

Lunch: At a restaurant on the water’s edge in Harbor Village, we’ll have a plated lunch that includes dessert and your choice of coffee, tea, or water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After returning to the hotel, we’ll discuss a variety of the topics that the Channel Islands have to offer with a local expert. Established as a National Park in 1980, the Islands have a long history, completely separate from the main land. Created by tectonic forces roughly five million years ago, they have a distinct nature that differentiates them from mainland California.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll continue learning about the Channel Islands with our local expert. Due to their isolated history, numerous species of plants and animals live on these islands that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The islands and their protected waters serve as a habitat for animals living in the massive kelp forests, including approximately 1,000 species of fish, and other animals ranging from plankton to blue whales, the largest creatures on Earth.

DAY
3
Anacapa Island Field Trip by Boat
Ventura, California
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Weather permitting, travel to Anacapa Island is approximately one hour boat ride each way. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven terrain; Approximately 150 steps to the Island plateau; Layered clothing, rubber soled shoes, and a good grip are all recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Departing the hotel via private motor coach, we’ll enjoy an all day outing to Anacapa Island via Island Packers boat. Upon arrival at Anacapa Island, be prepared to climb 153 steps to the island’s plateau where we’ll partake in a naturalist led walk. Twelve miles from the mainland a five-mile-long spine of rock emerges from the ocean, breaks into three islets, and offers itself as home to 265 species of plants and a bevy of seabirds. It is home to the largest brown pelican rookery on the Pacific Coast. On charts, the island of 737 acres appears as East, Middle, and West Anapaca. The Chumash called it Anyapakh or "mirage". It was anything but a mirage on the night of December 2, 1853, when the sidewheel steamer Winfield Scott, running at full speed, crashed into the rocks off Middle Anacapa and sank. The Coast Guard later built a light beacon in 1912 and a light station in 1932.

Lunch: Bag lunch on Anacapa Island featuring a sandwich, chips, a cookie, and bottled water. Our lunches are packed so that all trash can fit in a pocket to avoid littering because there are limited trash cans on the island.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip on Anacapa Island. The Island Packers boat returns to the mainland at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Walking Trip through Ventura, Evening Session
Ventura, California
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Guided walk of downtown Ventura involves walking on a flat sidewalk for 6 blocks one way.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll walk from the hotel to downtown Ventura, which we will explore under the knowledgeable guidance of a local expert. From Mission San Buenaventura founded in 1782, to the classic 1912 City Hall and birthplace of the Perry Mason novels, our guide will describe how Ventura has retained a strong sense of its past, traditions, and architecture. After walking back to the hotel, we’ll continue learning about what makes the Channel Islands so special with our local expert. Just 1/3 the size of Rhode Island, these islands contain archeological wonders. The oldest skeleton found in North America, believed to be nearly 13,000 years old was discovered in 1959 on Santa Rosa Island. They have since been inhabited by Native American populations, who use canoes to freely travel between the islands and the mainland.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Ventura. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Our local expert will continue to enhance our knowledge about The Channel Islands, which are divided up into two groups; the Northern islands and the Southern islands. Historically, the Chumash people occupied the Northern islands while the Tongva lived on the Southern islands until the early 19th century, when they were relocated to Spanish missions and pueblos.

DAY
5
Santa Cruz Island Field Trip by Boat
Ventura, California
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Weather permitting, travel to Santa Cruz Island is approximately one hour boat ride each way. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven terrain with elevation change of up to 300 feet; Layered clothing, rubber soled shoes, and a good grip are all recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll take our private motor coach from the hotel, we’ll enjoy an all day outing to Santa Cruz Island via Island Packers boat. Upon arrival at the Island, be prepared to climb a small ladder to the pier where we’ll partake in a naturalist led walk. With its pristine beaches and grass covered hills, Santa Cruz is the largest island of the five islands comprising Channel Island National Park, and is a miniature of what Southern California looked like 100 years ago. With our expert, we’ll embark on an easy, 1 mile round trip walk with good examples of native and endemic plants through Scorpion Cavern. If participants are eager for a more rigorous hike, they can partake in a 2 mile round trip hike to Cavern Point, which climbs 300 ft on the first third of the hike to Cavern Point and then flattens out providing expansive vistas of the Santa Barbara Channel. The trail experts talk about the isolation of the island, animals, plants, restoration projects, ranch history, and the marine environment at stops along the trail.

Lunch: Bag lunch on Santa Cruz Island featuring a sandwich, chips, a cookie, and bottled water. Our lunches are packed so that all trash can fit in a pocket to avoid littering because there are limited trash cans on the island.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip on Santa Cruz Island. The boat returns to the mainland at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: At the hotel. Our farewell dinner features the entrees we selected previously. (See “Notes” section for details.)

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Channel Islands Session, Program Concludes
Ventura, California
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Channel Islands National Park and its 175 miles of pristine coastline are within 60 miles of 18 million people, yet it has fewer than 300,000 visitors a year — quite low for an American national park. In our final session, we will follow one man’s journey of discovery with a week of isolation on each of the islands. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!