"Aerial view" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
San Miguel Island
Hiking Map and Guide
Channel Islands National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Channel Islands National Park Exploring San Miguel Island Welcome to San Miguel Island, one of five islands in Channel Islands National Park. This is your island. It is also your responsibility. Please take a moment to read this bulletin and learn what you can do to take care of San Miguel. This information and the map on the back will show you what you can see and do here on San Miguel. About the Island San Miguel is the home of pristine tidepools, rare plants, and the strange caliche forest. Four species of seals and sea lions come here to breed and give birth. For 10,000 years the island was home to the seagoing Chumash people. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo set foot here in 1542 as the first European to explore the California coast. For 100 years the island was a sheep ranch and after that it was used by the military. San Miguel is still owned by the Navy, but it is managed under agreement by the National Park Service. In 1980 it was designated part of Channel Islands National Park. Access Permit Required A permit (inlcuding liability waiver) is required to visit and hike on the island. They may be obtained at concessioner offices and on the island. On your own you may explore the Cuyler Harbor beach, Cabrillo monument, and the Lester ranch site. Many parts of San Miguel are closed to protect wildlife, fragile plants, and geological features. Several areas, however, are open for you to explore on your own. Others are open to you when accompanied by a park ranger. The Nidever Canyon trail will take you to the ranch site, monument and ranger station. The trail begins at the top of the dune above Gull Rock. It climbs along the east wall of the canyon. Contacting a Ranger To see other parts of the island, such as Point Bennett or the caliche forest, you must go with a ranger. The San Miguel ranger can be contacted on Marine Radio Channel 16. You can also arrange a hike with the ranger through park headquarters at (805) 6585730. Island Rules Everything is protected. Do not collect anything. Take your trash off the island with you. San Miguel Island is open only when National Park Service personnel are on the island. Hikers must stay on trails. Access permit (including liability waiver) is required. No pets are allowed on shore. No smoking or fires. Safety The island was a former bombing range and there are possible unexploded ordnance. Do not disturb any munitions that you may find on or off shore. It is extremely dangerous and may detonate at any time. Report its location to a ranger, who will have it removed by qualified personnel. Hikers must be escorted except where indicated on this map. California State fishing regulations apply. No fishing in marine reserves. Hantavirus has been found in deer mouse populations on San Miguel. This is a potentially fatal disease and some basic precautions should be taken: avoid contact with rodents; do not feed wild animals; keep food and drink in rodent-proof containers. For more information, please see the bulletin board in the campground. Use caution when crossing the rockfall along the beach. Carry plenty of water and drink it. The Nidever Canyon trail is steep and slippery. Watch your step. Hikers should never hike alone—use the buddy system. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Richardson Rock Marine Reserve No Commercial or Recreational Fishing Allowed Boating prohibited within 300 yards of shore from Castle Rock to Judith Rock from Apr. 30 to Oct. 1 and Dec.15 to Mar. 15. No boating within 100 yards of shore year-round. Point Bennett Cuba Wreck N Judith Rock Research Station Castle Rock Adams Cove Judith Rock Marine Reserve No Commercial or Recreational Fishing Allowed Otter Harbor Tyler Bight to n No Commercial or Recreational Fishing Allowed Cuyler Harbor 0 0 Prince Island Bay Point 2 km 2 mi Cardwell Point *Refer to the National Marine Sanctuary's Protecting Your Channel Islands brochure for more information on marine reserves. *To avoid disturbing sensitive seals, sea lions, and seabirds, please stay away from the shoreline where you see them congregate. Lester Ranch site Cabrillo Monument Judge Rock Gull Rock Palm Trees Harris Point Marine Reserve 831 ft Crook Point San Miguel Hill Harris Point Lester Point on 817 ft Caliche Forest Green Mountain Sim ve Co Using This Map • • • • • • Landing is only permitted on the beach at Cuyler Harbor. There is no drinking water on the island. Pit toilets are available at both the ranger station and the campground. The distance from the palm trees to the campground is about one mile. If seals are present on the beach, do not approach or disturb them. On the beach, you may walk to either end of the beach to where the sand runs into the rock. This map is your guide to the open areas on San Miguel Island. The dashed lines mark the trails and sections of beach that you may travel on your own with an access permit. • Only the unshaded portion of Cuyler Harbor (outside of the marine reserve) is open to fishing.