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  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Channel Islands National Park, California

    Top Spots in and near Channel Islands National Park

    • Ventura, California

      Chinese Harbor via Prisoners Harbor

      14.11 mi / 2703 ft gain
      The hike to Chinese Harbor is a 14-mile out-and-back hike from Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island or a much more manageable 8-mile out-and-back hike from Del Norte backcountry campground. If you are spending the day on the island courtesy of Island Packers, a trek to Chinese Harbor might be di...
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    • Ventura, California

      Prisoner's Cove to Scorpion Anchorage

      5.0
      13.19 mi / 2474 ft gain
      To get to Santa Cruz Island you will need to book a ferry with Island Packers. On their website, you can only book roundtrip tickets in and out of the same location so for this trip you will need to call and book a ferry into Prisoner's Harbor and out of Scorpion Anchorage. You can call them at (...
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    • Ventura, California

      Potato Harbor Trail

      5.0
      4.34 mi / 404 ft gain
      As California’s largest island, Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands is the perfect little getaway from Los Angeles. Getting to the island is possible only by a one hour boat ride through Island Packers, click here to find out more about them. Be sure to pack light since you’ll be carrying ev...
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    • Ventura, California

      Scorpion Ranch Campground

      4.0
      0.72 mi / 43 ft gain
      Accessible only by Ferry, this little-known national park is a backpacker's dream. You can catch the ferry out of Ventura or Santa Barbara, only a short distance from LA. The ride to the island is around 1 hour. We chose to take Island Packers Ferry out of Ventura to Santa Cruz Island. The ferry...
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    • Ventura, California

      Smuggler's Cove

      3.5
      7.72 mi / 1342 ft gain
      Save one stretch of elevation close to the cove itself, this 8-mile, round-trip hike is a leisuring trek across one of the countries most beautiful, though less famous National Parks - the Channel Islands. Smuggler's Cove is located on the Santa Cruz Island, which also happens to be the largest i...
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    • Ventura, California

      Potato Harbor via North Bluff Trail

      4.49 mi / 463 ft gain
      The 4.5-mile North Bluff Trail traverses the colossal cliffs of Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park from Scorpion Anchorage to Potato Harbor. Arrive via an Island Packers boat to Scorpion Anchorage and, upon disembarking, walk straight ahead. Just past the restrooms (one of only tw...
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    • Ventura, California

      Cavern Point & Potato Harbor Loop

      4.99 mi / 545 ft gain
      Tucked away in the Pacific Ocean just 25 miles from the coast, the Channel Islands are one of Southern California’s hidden gems. With towering cliffs and isolated beaches that hug the coast, this place makes you feel worlds away from home. Channel Islands National Park is comprised of five island...
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    • Ventura, California

      Kayak Santa Cruz Island

      4.5
      As the largest of the Channel Islands, Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Island National Park is an ecological treasure, and to kayak it is to get to experience it in a manner unlike any other. Getting to the island is easiest through Island Packers where you can also reserve a kayak (so pack effi...
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    • Santa Barbara County, California

      Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island

      5.0
      19.72 mi / 3097 ft gain
      Channel Islands National Park is California's least visited National Park. If you visit, you will see many unique plants and animals, including a rare native fox species, and Torrey Pines, only found here and in a small grove near San Diego. This adventure is not for the inexperienced. There is ...
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    • Santa Barbara County, California

      Water Canyon Campground

      3.28 mi / 128 ft gain
      You can get a wonderfully detailed description of what to expect from the Channel Islands/Santa Rosa Island and how to get there from fellow Explorer Michael Wigle's "Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island" adventure (which I highly recommend you check out for the information and the photography, so I'm...
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    • Santa Barbara County, California

      Lobo Canyon Trail via Santa Rosa Campground

      12.03 mi / 984 ft gain
      The National Park Service describes this hike in the following:  "Strenuous.  A spectacular canyon with wind- and water-sculpted sandstone cliffs, a year-round stream, riparian vegetation, and a spectacular coast at its mouth.  Well worth the effort." I couldn't agree more with the last sentence...
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    • Santa Barbara County, California

      Torrey Pines Trail

      4.71 mi / 584 ft gain
      The vast diversity of terrain of Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands National Park is matched in uniqueness only by its own flora and fauna, in particular the endangered and endemic Torrey Pine. The best way to view and experience these strange, broad trees is via the Torrey Pines Trail, whi...
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    • Santa Barbara County, California

      Black Mountain via Cherry Canyon Trail

      6.54 mi / 1329 ft gain
      Words fail in describing the beauty of the Channel Islands National Park and Santa Rosa Island, the second largest of the Channel Islands and perhaps the most diverse in terms of terrain, flora and fauna, and also the only to allow backcountry beach camping. While the opportunities for exploratio...
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    • Santa Rosa Campground

      East Point via the Coastal Road

      13.76 mi / 486 ft gain
      One could a lifetime exploring, and attempting to describe, the beauty of the Channel Islands National Park and Santa Rosa Island in particular: its wildly diverse terrain, endemic flora and fauna, and also the only of the Islands to allow backcountry beach camping. While the opportunities for di...
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    • Ventura, California

      Dive East Cat Rock

      East Cat Rock of Western Anacapa Island is an excellent dive site for experience the vast kelp forests that can be found all along the California Coast and in the Channel Island National Park. The average depth is around 60' feet and clarity varies from day to day. Kelp forest and coldwater divin...
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    • Ventura, California

      Dive East Fish Camp

      The numerous kelp forests, sea caves, and coves of the Channel Island National Park, coupled with its unbelievable sealife makes for some of the best diving in the world.  East Fish Camp off Anacapa Island is an excellent introduction to diving on the Channel Islands, with an average depth of 35'...
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    Camping and Lodging in Channel Islands National Park

    Santa Cruz Del Norte Backcountry
    Ventura, California

    Santa Cruz Del Norte Backcountry

    Anacapa Island
    Ventura, California

    Anacapa Island

    Santa Cruz Scorpion
    Smugglers Road

    Santa Cruz Scorpion

    Santa Rosa Island Backcountry Beach Camping
    Unnamed Road

    Santa Rosa Island Backcountry Beach Camping

    Santa Rosa Island
    ,

    Santa Rosa Island

    Sage Hill
    Snyder Trail

    Sage Hill

    Guides, Insights and Stories from Channel Islands National Park

    Boats, Backpacks and Booze: Why You Should Try Island Backpacking

    Boats, Backpacks and Booze: Why You Should Try Island Backpacking

    Kristen Fuller

    11 Photos That Will Make You Want to Hike Channel Islands National Park

    11 Photos That Will Make You Want to Hike Channel Islands National Park

    Katie Y

    One Ideal Day on Santa Cruz Island

    One Ideal Day on Santa Cruz Island

    Leigh Maneri

    The Galapagos of California

    The Galapagos of California

    Kyle Frost

    By Land & Sea: 72 Hours in Ventura, California

    By Land & Sea: 72 Hours in Ventura, California

    Josiah Roe

    Velo Ventura: The 5 Best Cycling and Mountain Biking Trails in the Heart of the Central Coast

    Velo Ventura: The 5 Best Cycling and Mountain Biking Trails in the Heart of the Central Coast

    Josiah Roe