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April 2014: Cavern Point Trail on Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park

From the Photographer...

Ian Shive

Cavern Point Trail, located on Santa Cruz Island in California’s Channel Islands National Park, is one of the first places I experienced many years ago on my maiden voyage to the islands. The spectacular views of jagged and abrupt cliffs are frequently punctuated by whale sightings in the blue waters of the channel. If you are lucky, you may even hear the songs of those whales echoing off the walls of the coves. 

The trail is reminiscent of the best of California’s famous coastlines, with each bend revealing rock formations and sea caves. However the islands feel far removed from the hum of modern life on the mainland. Here, only the sounds of nature surround you, complementing the awe-inspiring sights. 

The islands will always be a special place for me—a meditative place where, looking back towards the California mainland, I can to stop, listen and look inward to find calm and satisfaction.

Ian Shive is an award-winning conservation photographer. Shive is frequent contributor to Nature Conservancy magazine and his images have appeared in other publications around the world including National Geographic, The New York Times and Outside.

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