Santa Cruz Island

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

47 mi 76 km of trail 0 Featured Hikes

Easy Trails 9 Trails Intermediate Trails 12 Trails Hard Trails 5 Trails

Santa Cruz Island is the largest and most diverse of the eight Channel Islands and has a long and varied history that is closely linked to its landscape. Its coastal scrub vegetation, vast grasslands, oak woodlands, and rich coastline sustained the sea-going Chumash people for about 9,000 years. During the nineteenth century, hunters and fishermen exploited the marine life, and mariners found shelter in its coves. Later the island was home to immigrant ranchers, and, in later years, the military took advantage of the island’s strategic location. With such a rich and varied history, visitors are sure to find plenty to explore in addition to the island's stunning natural beauty.

To learn more about Santa Cruz Island, visit the park's website.

Local Info

The island has a single visitor center located in the historic Scorpion Ranch house. Several trails and roads traverse eastern Santa Cruz Island, providing visitors with spectacular hiking opportunities. These trails and roads range from the maintained, relatively flat trails of Scorpion Valley to the unmaintained, rugged, mountainous paths of the Montañon area. Hikers must stay on designated trails, and no off-trail travel is permitted.

While visitors may explore the national park property on Santa Cruz Island, no hiking is allowed beyond the national park boundary onto the Nature Conservancy property. The boundary is the property line (marked by a fence line) between Prisoners Harbor and Valley Anchorage.

Visiting Tips

Santa Cruz Island is only accessible via boat. Island Packers offers trips year round. Travel time is one-hour, landing at either Scorpion Anchorage or Prisoners Harbor. Landing is via a pier at both locations. For more information on transportation options, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Primitive camping is available at the Scorpion Ranch Campground. There are 31 sites available for $15 per night per site, and reservations are required. Water, picnic tables, food storage boxes, and pit toilets are provided.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a free brochure to help plan your trip, click here.

Food & Drink

There are no goods, services, or accommodations available on the island. Visitors must bring all their own food and supplies. Water is available at Scorpion Anchorage but not at Prisoners Harbor.

After the Hike: Local Favorites

Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine Small moquecas or moquequinhas of mussels or cubed shark are easily shared among a crowd. Equally shareable is frito misto, expertly fried and precisely arranged crisp fish.
Toppers Pizza Place Touch screeeeeen sodaaaa
2701 Peninsula Rd, Oxnard CA — (805) 385-4444
Yolanda's Mexican Cafe It's all about the bean dip baby!!!
1601 Victoria Ave., Oxnard CA — (805) 985-1340
Anaba Sushi Grab a saporro, a salmon skin salad and you are ready for the main course.
Barrelhouse 101 There are 101 beers on tap, but the 101st beer is a rotational tap which changes constantly.
Lure Fish House Strawberry Fields Salad with seared ahi tuna was amazing! Great service!
Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company Best hot sauce in the world. Put it on everything.
In-N-Out Burger Just go here. My personal favorite location. Worked in the area and always stop by.
2070 Harbor Blvd, Ventura CA — (800) 786-1000
Cafe Nouveau Try the Brie & Mango Quesadilla
Toppers Pizza Place Good chicken garlic Dijon pizza
3940 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 385-4444
Allison's Country Cafe Everything is amazing here! Make sure you get the biscuits with their homemade jam!
3429 Telegraph Rd, Ventura CA — (805) 644-9072

Other Activities

The mixed sand and cobblestone Scorpion Beach is a world-class destination for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. With easy beach access, clear ocean waters, nearby camping, amazing kelp forests, and a spectacular shoreline with sea caves to explore, this is a great option for those looking to enjoy the area. No fishing is allowed within the marine reserves located around the island. Fishing is allowed outside of these areas with a valid California state fishing license with an ocean enhancement stamp.

Trails in Santa Cruz Island - 26

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Anacapa Island, CA
1.3 mi 2.1 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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0.9 mi 1.5 km
#2 North Bluff Trail
Anacapa Island, CA
0.9 mi 1.5 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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3.9 mi 6.3 km
#3 Smugglers Road
Anacapa Island, CA
3.9 mi 6.3 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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1.4 mi 2.2 km
#4 Montanon Trail
Summerland, CA
1.4 mi 2.2 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
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1.5 mi 2.5 km
#5 Potato Harbor Road
Anacapa Island, CA
1.5 mi 2.5 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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Anacapa Island, CA
0.7 mi 1.2 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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Anacapa Island, CA
1.4 mi 2.2 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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7.2 mi 11.5 km
#8 Navy Road
Anacapa Island, CA
7.2 mi 11.5 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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4.0 mi 6.4 km
#9 Del Norte Trail
Anacapa Island, CA
4.0 mi 6.4 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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0.9 mi 1.4 km
#10 China Pines
Anacapa Island, CA
0.9 mi 1.4 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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2.4 mi 3.8 km
#11 East End Road
Montecito, CA
2.4 mi 3.8 km Montecito, CA
Unknown
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1.4 mi 2.3 km
#12 High Mount
Toro Canyon, CA
1.4 mi 2.3 km Toro Canyon, CA
Unknown
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1.6 mi 2.6 km
#13 Montanon Canyon
Anacapa Island, CA
1.6 mi 2.6 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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1.7 mi 2.7 km
#14 Yellowbanks Trail
Carpinteria, CA
1.7 mi 2.7 km Carpinteria, CA
Unknown
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1.2 mi 1.9 km
#15 Mt. Pleasant
Anacapa Island, CA
1.2 mi 1.9 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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4.3 mi 7.0 km
#16 Loma Pelona
Summerland, CA
4.3 mi 7.0 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
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Anacapa Island, CA
2.4 mi 3.9 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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0.3 mi 0.5 km
#18 Oil Well
Toro Canyon, CA
0.3 mi 0.5 km Toro Canyon, CA
Unknown
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0.7 mi 1.1 km
#19 Del Norte Road
Anacapa Island, CA
0.7 mi 1.1 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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Montecito, CA
2.4 mi 3.8 km Montecito, CA
Unknown
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1.1 mi 1.7 km
#21 China Pines Road
Anacapa Island, CA
1.1 mi 1.7 km Anacapa Island, CA
Unknown
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1.1 mi 1.8 km
#22 Los Pinos del Sur
Summerland, CA
1.1 mi 1.8 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
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Summerland, CA
1.0 mi 1.7 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
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0.7 mi 1.1 km
#24 Loma Pelona Spur
Summerland, CA
0.7 mi 1.1 km Summerland, CA
Unknown
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0.6 mi 1.0 km
#25 San Lucus Road
Montecito, CA
0.6 mi 1.0 km Montecito, CA
Unknown
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1.1 mi 1.8 km
#26 Del Norte Road
Santa Barbara, CA
1.1 mi 1.8 km Santa Barbara, CA
Unknown
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Photos of Santa Cruz Island - 18

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