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Santa Cruz Island

Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands National Park, CA
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Type: Islands
Activities: Kayaking, Camping
Description: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, this island is a popular place for kayaking and exploring sea caves.
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92 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
San Juan Capistrano, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

I wanted to take my teenaged grandkids on an adventure that didn't involve electronics, and asked my son to come along for the paddle. I chose to do some sea kayaking in the Channel Islands, and I'm so glad that I did! We camped overnight because I was unsure of the timing on the kayaking and the boat back to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

I've wanted to go to the Channel Islands for years now, and we finally made the trip. We took a ferry with Island Packers from Ventura. I love boats and being on the water, so the ride over there was really fun. We saw Risso's dolphins, and evidently that's really rare for this area. One thing I'll do differently next... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014 NEW

The boatride was wonderful with views of both the mainland and islands. On the island we had an hour guided hike with one if the parks very nice and knowledgeable volunteers. The island itself was very bare which made the hike less interesting. We did see wild fox on the island and dolphins from the boat.

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
35 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

To get a campsite on the Channel Islands, go to www.recreation.gov then arrange your ferry trip through Island Packers. We departed Ventura at 8 am and our return ferry was at 4pm. It is an easy walk from the pier to the campsites but there are a few handcarts if you must bring lots of gear. Sites are in a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

This was a great island to see! We did the hike to potato harbour and it was perfect. There are breathtaking views along the way. This whole hike was along the coast . Just a heads up, once you go up, there are zero trees. So make sure you are well protected from the sun and have enough water!

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Calabasas, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Loved this island. We kayaked, swam, snorkeled, and hiked. The campground is fantastic but they have pit toilets only :( The foxes are little buggers and will get into everything so bring your items in storage bins or coolers that can lock. Throughly recommend Channel Island Outfitters ( J.D. the guide) for the kayaking and snorkeling.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sunnyvale, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

I'm so glad we visited Santa Cruz Island. We took the boat out from Ventura Harbor and had a fairly smooth crossing (glad I took Bonine, though), highlighted by sighting a pod of dolphins! Once at Scorpion Bay, we stowed our lunch in the "fox-proof" lockers and took off for a hike to Potato Harbor (gorgeous!) and Cavern Point -... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange County, CA
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

It's a little different being on an island that's isolated! But we spent 2 nights at Scorpion Ranch campground in late June and it was beautiful! No campfires meant we all (2 leaders, 6 Girl Scouts) went to sleep early! We hiked to Potato Harbor, and to Cavern Point - both beautiful spots! The wind kicks up a bit, especially... More

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Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

It was a bit muddy on the trails and the path from the dock in was underwater, but we enjoyed learning about the history and the restoration, saw one of the small foxes that are on the island, enjoyed the views from up high and the boat ride, with dolphins coming across (couple whales in the distance too). The mainland... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Memphis, Tennessee
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

I've been group camping on Santa Cruz Island twice and thoroughly enjoyed both times! We were ferried to the island, both times, by Island Packers out of Ventura Harbor. They allowed us to bring our camping gear as well as kayaks. On the island there are no campfires allowed. There are pit restrooms provided. Use the food lockers provided or... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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