Santa Barbara Island

,

Book through our partner Recreation Gov

Overview

Once visitors have scaled the rugged cliffs using the steep trail from the Landing Cove, they will be rewarded with a campground perched on the bluffs with magnificent coastal views.

Santa Barbara lies much further south than the other four northern Channel Islands and is the smallest, measuring just one square mile. The islands' native vegetation is recovering slowly with the help of the National Park Service's restoration efforts. This recovery, along with the removal of nonnative predators, has aided in the reestablishment of nesting land birds and seabirds. The island is one of the most important seabird nesting sites within the Channel Islands, with 11 nesting species, including western gulls, California brown pelicans, three species of cormorants, three species of storm-petrels, and one of the world's largest colonies of Scripps's murrelets. The rocky shores of Santa Barbara Island also provide resting and breeding areas for California sea lions, harbor seals and northern elephant seals.

Recreation

With five miles of hiking trails, ocean access nearby the campground and generally good weather, Santa Barbara Island offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and wildlife/wildflower viewing. Since Santa Barbara Island is a cliff island, access to the water is only at the Landing Cove via a dock. There are no other accessible beaches unless you have a watercraft. There are no services on the island, so all gear has to be brought to the island. For more information about recreational activities in the park, visit https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/index.htm.

Facilities

Santa Barbara Island Campground offers 10 campsites (4 persons per site). Camping is primitive and campers must bring their own food, equipment and water. Picnic table, food storage box and pit toilet are provided. Distance from landing to campground is a quarter-mile and includes a 200-foot climb. Access to the island is by Island Packers Cruises or by private boat. Due to the Island Packer boat schedule, minimum stay is generally three days.

Natural Features

Steep cliffs on this small island rise above rocky shores and give way to a grassy mesa flanked with twin peaks. The highest point, Signal Peak, is 635 feet in elevation.

Nearby Attractions

The Landing Cove near the campground is an ideal place for swimming, diving, snorkeling and kayaking, but there are no lifeguards on the island.

The island is also home to just over five miles of trails that meander over gentle slopes and low mountain tops to dramatic overlooks and magnificent coastal views. All hikers must stay on the trails for visitor safety and to protect fragile vegetation and nesting seabirds. No off-trail hiking is allowed. Portions of trails are subject to closure when pelicans are nesting from January through August.

Reviews

Have you stayed here? Be the first to leave a review!


More Places to Stay

Malibu, California

Ocean View Paradise W/ Outdoor Kitchen

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Tucked away on 2.7 shaded acres on the Pacific Coast Highway, this stylish ...

From $727/night

Avalon, California

Catalina Villa W/ Dazzling Ocean Views & Amenities

This 2BR/2BA villa features the largest private terrace at Hamilton Cove! Enjoy 180-degree ocean views, umbrella-shaded seating, and a convenient gas grill. Additional highlights include a sparklin...

From $488/night

Avalon, California

Dazzling Panoramic Ocean View Catalina Penthouse

Admire panoramic ocean views from two private terraces at this luxe 1BR penthouse, featuring shaded alfresco dining and a convenient gas grill. Additional highlights include a sparkling full kitche...

From $418/night

Adventures Nearby

  • Camp at Parsons Landing

    The distance can vary depending on where you start. It is a 2.5 mile hike from Emerald Bay or 7 mile hike from Two Harbors or you can kayak in. There are 8 primitive campsites (6 people/ site) which means there is no running water, no supplies...y...

    7 miles 0 ft gain

  • Visit Two Harbors, Catalina Island

    Just 30 miles from the commotion and congestion of Los Angeles, is a small island village that time seems to have left behind. You won't find the usual traffic, development, and big crowds here.  You won't find movie theaters, concert venues, hote...

  • Day Hike across Catalina: Two Harbors to Avalon

    This hike was one of the most difficult and definitely one of the most memorable hikes I’ve ever done. The view of the island and the surrounding water is surreal and I am yet to be anywhere like this hike. The dry California vegetation of the mou...

    21 miles