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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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94 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014 NEW

Why have I never heard of this place! Amazing! Short trip 1 hour boat ride, its not at all what I expected it to be. Everything is easy from the time you book (online) to the minute you step on the island. We camped at Scorpion for 3 days and we hiked and snorkeled all day long. The ocean is... More

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Manhattan Beach, CA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

we went in July and the waters were fantastic. pristine kelp forests, shallow waters, not too many people. I saw different types of fish, a leopard shark, a rare blue shark, an eel, a large crab and lobster, seals, and other underwater animals. the water is clear(great for photography). The only issue is that the water was in th lower... More

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San Juan Capistrano, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

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
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

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

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Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

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
48 helpful votes 48 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

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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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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.

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Sunnyvale, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 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

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Orange County, CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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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