By An Trieu
February 5, 2022
SANTA CRUZ ISLAND CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK. CALIFORNIA
Santa Cruz Island is the largest island out of 8 islands in the Channel Islands archipelago and Channel Islands National Park.
You've heard it correctly. Santa Cruz Island is just a 1-hour ferry or boat ride away from the southwestern coast of Ventura, California.
I saw a sea of dolphins, a mom and baby gray whales, island foxes, and tons of birds.
I visited late May, and the entire east side of Santa Cruz Island was painted yellow by the blooming mustard plants.
Trails range from easy to strenuous, maintained flat to unmaintained rugged trails. Stay within the park boundary as the other part belongs to The Nature Conservancy.
Tour and rentals operated by Channel Islands Adventure Company in Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island only.
Available year-round on all five islands in Channel Islands National Park (NPS-managed campground). Santa Cruz allows backpacking, but limited.
You'd encounter other hikers and park rangers, but most of the time, you're surrounded by the remote untouched nature.
Learn about the native Chumash, European explorers, stories and remnants of California's ranching history, and off-shore shipwrecks.
Santa Cruz is home to the Island Fox, and they exist on 6/8 islands in Channel Islands and nowhere else in the world. The gray fox is its mainland ancestor.
Besides backpacking, you can book a full service expedition that lasts up to 10 days. Come enjoy the rich and untouched natural beauty of California's Southwestern coast.