Monday, April 23 , 2018, 5:03 pm | Mostly Cloudy 61º


Local News

Corroding Staircase Forces Closure of Anacapa Island

Channel Islands National Park officials say access may be denied through summer

Anacapa Island, the narrowest volcanic isle in Channel Islands National Park, has been shut down indefinitely, possibly through the summer. More than 150 stairs are the only access to the island, but over time the moist, salty air has corroded the metal much like the weather-beaten cliffs they climb.

The island is closed to the public until further notice. An inspection Thursday revealed hazardous conditions of the staircase structure, and a quick determination to close off access was made.

Island Packers, the National Park Service concessioner that provides tours of the islands, has been notified of the closure. Company officials say they plan to reroute scheduled trips to Anacapa Island as nonlanding north shore wildlife cruises or as landing trips to neighboring Santa Cruz Island.

The rusty steel staircase was to have been replaced in April but the new structure could not be installed because the crane at the top of the staircase is currently not operational.

The park service shut down the crane after a March inspection identified mechanical, structural and electrical problems. Officials are assessing whether to repair or replace the crane.

“This regrettable closure is necessary to ensure public safety,” said Channel Islands National Park superintendent Russell Galipeau. “The National Park Service will work diligently to conduct repairs in order to reopen the island as soon as possible.”

Noozhawk contributor and local freelance writer Chuck Graham is editor of Deep magazine.

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