Photographer:Kellen Mohr
Camera:Olympus MJU, Minolta X700, Fuji GW690II
Film:35mm Tudorcolor XLX 200, 120mm Kodak Portra 400

Overnight Exploring in Channel Islands National Park

26 miles off the California coast exists an isolated and biodiverse haven unlike anywhere else on Earth

Earlier this spring, hours of good whisky and better conversation with strangers at a hot spring outside of Mammoth led to the offer of a few days on Santa Rosa island—a part of Channel Islands National Park. An early morning a few weeks later found our group of friends old and new departing Ventura Harbor for the distant islands, located some 26 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.

Channel Islands National Park is uniquely isolated, requiring a several hour sail to access. As a result, the islands are remarkably devoid of human activity, with Santa Rosa being the most isolated of the lot—and the second largest, at over 53,000 acres. Once home to the ancestors of the Chumash Indians thousands of years ago, Santa Rosa has since played host to a USAF radar base during the Cold War, extensive oil exploration by Mobil, and, until 2011, a cattle ranching operation.

Upon arrival we found the island practically deserted. While hiking, we seemed to have the whole island to ourselves, and only encountered other people once at the campground—tucked away in a valley and dotted with lean-tos. The swirling fog and light rain added to the beautifully isolated vibe as we roamed over the island’s beaches, cliffs, coves, meadows, and forests. Only barking seals and squawking birds punctuated the stillness.

check out more film photography from Kellen Mohr here

Author:
Washington bred though now based in Mammoth Lakes, CA, Kellen is an emerging photographer and founder of Cairn Visuals, a still and motion picture production company focused on the outdoor industry.
Related Reading:
Best of 2017: Editor's Pick
Poler x Yakima Skyrise Rooftop Tent
Gift Guide: For the Wayward Outdoorist
Seeking Solitude and Adventure in Big Sur