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The Best Hiking in Channel Islands National Park

Looking for the best hiking in Channel Islands National Park? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Channel Islands National Park. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top hiking spots in and near Channel Islands National Park

  • Ventura, California

    Hike Pelican Bay and Prisoners Harbor Trails

    8.8 mi / 1358 ft gain
    There is a plethora of vegetation and wildlife to see on this hike. The Pelican Bay Hike is inside the Nature Conservancy, which requires a tour guide to access. Bring a picnic or snacks for lunch. The trails are open for use year-round. No matter when you visit, bring more water than you think y...
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  • Ventura, California

    Cueva Valdez to Arch Rock Trail

    7.45 mi / 1614 ft gain
    Cueva Valdez to Arch Rock Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Pelican Bay Trail

    4.25 mi / 538 ft gain
    Pelican Bay Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see local wildlife located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Backpack across Santa Cruz Island

    5.0
    15 mi
    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 in to Prisoner's Harbor and out of Scorpion Anchorage. You can call them at...
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  • Ventura, California

    Hike Cueva Valdez to Arch Rock

    7.5 mi / 1715 ft gain
    This hike features amazing ocean views and unparalleled opportunities to see marine life and unique plant vegetation. The trail is open for use year-round, but is best used from March - November.  Santa Cruz Island is the biggest of the Channel Islands. To get there, you will take a boat from Ven...
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  • Ventura, California

    Del Norte and Montanon Trail to Scorpion Campground

    12.58 mi / 2464 ft gain
    Del Norte and Montanon Trail to Scorpion Campground is a point-to-point trail with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean located in Channel Islands National Park, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Santa Cruz Island: Del Norte Campground to Chinese Harbor

    8.09 mi / 1325 ft gain
    Santa Cruz Island: Del Norte Campground to Chinese Harbor is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Hike El Montanon

    7.6 mi / 2214 ft gain
    Bring extra layers, as exposed ridges are very windy. Trekking poles are recommended to help provide stability during strong wind gusts. The views are absolutely breathtaking. If you visit this hike after heavy rains or in the spring, wildflowers are abundant.  The trail is open year-round. The E...
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  • Ventura, California

    Explore the Scorpion Bay to Cavern Point Loop

    2.1 mi / 288 ft gain
    This short trail is a staple and a must-do for Santa Cruz Island. Watch for dolphins, seals, sea lions, whales and otters off the coast. This is a great hike for sunset. In early February, the tail end of whale migration season, you may be able to see pods of whales passing by! On land, you'll se...
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  • Ventura, California

    El Montanon Trail

    8.5 mi / 1893 ft gain
    El Montanon Trail is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Scorpion Bay to Cavern Point Loop

    1.69 mi / 269 ft gain
    Scorpion Bay to Cavern Point Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Hike to Smuggler's Cove, Channel Islands NP

    3.5
    8 mi
    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

    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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  • Ventura, California

    Smugglers Road, Scorpion Canyon and Potato Harbor

    7.97 mi / 1309 ft gain
    Smugglers Road, Scorpion Canyon and Potato Harbor is a loop trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail

    4.63 mi / 823 ft gain
    Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Ventura, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Hike the Potato Harbor Trail on Santa Cruz Island

    5.0
    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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