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The Channel Islands

Channel Islands off the Southern California coast. Los Angeles County (dark green) includes Santa Catalina & San Clemente Islands. Los Angeles Almanac Map.

Los Angeles County’s two islands, Santa Catalina and San Clemente, are part of the eight-island group called the Channel Islands. The group extends from San Miguel in the north off the coast of Santa Barbara to San Clemente, 160 miles to the south. Los Angeles County’s own Santa Catalina, the most populated and visited of the islands, is the third largest of the group (75 square miles).

At one time, the islands were home to an abundance of sea otter, sea lions, and seals. Fur trappers, however, saw to their decimation during the 19th century.

Los Angeles County’s own San Clemente, along with San Miguel and San Nicolas, have been under U.S. Navy administration since shortly before World War II. These islands were used as bombing and missile test ranges. Only San Nicolas continues to be used for that purpose.

Channel Islands (From North to South)

Island Acres County
San Miguel 8,960 Santa Barbara
Santa Rosa 53,760 Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz 61,440 Santa Barbara
Anacapa 717 Ventura
Santa Barbara 640 Santa Barbara
San Nicolas 14,080 Ventura
Santa Catalina 48,000 Los Angeles
San Clemente 35,840 Los Angeles


Palos Verdes Peninsula was once believed to have been an island.