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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anacapa Arch, Channel Islands National Park, California

Anacapa Island
is a small volcanic island located about 11 miles (18 km) off the coast of Port Hueneme, California, in Ventura County.

Anacapa Island has a rich human history as well. Shell midden sites indicate where Chumash people camped on the islands thousands of years ago. In addition, visitors can view the 1932 light station whose mission revival style buildings include the lighthouse, fog signal building, one of four original keeper's quarters, a water tank building, and several other service buildings. The original lead-crystal Fresnel lens, which served as a beacon to ships until an automated light replaced it in 1990, is on exhibit in the East Anacapa Visitor Center. 

The Island is composed of a series of narrow islets 6 mi (10 km) miles long, running in a mostly east-west orientation, 5 mi (8 km) east of Santa Cruz Island. The island is composed of three islets: East, Middle and West Anacapa, collectively known as the “Anacapas” by some authors. The islets have precipitous cliffs, dropping off steeply into the sea. East and Middle Anacapa have fairly level areas at their tops, but West Anacapa is wider and reaches an altitude of 930 ft (283 m). Middle Island reaches an altitude of 325 ft (99 m) and East Island is 250 ft (76 m) at its highest point. All three islands total 699 acres (283 ha), or about 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2).

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands archipelago (island chain), and is part of the Channel Islands National Park. It is the smallest of the northern islands. The islands are defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block Group 8, Census Tract 36.04 of Ventura County, California. The official 2000 census population was 3 permanent residents (Ranger Station in the eastern part of East Island), and the total land area was 2.947 km2 (1.138 sq mi).[1] The highest peak is Summit Peak 2 on West Island, 930 ft (283 m).

East Island's most notable natural feature is Arch Rock, a 40-foot (12 m)-high natural bridge.

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