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Santa Cruz Island

Address: Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands National Park, CA
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Type: Islands, Nature & Parks
Activities: Kayaking, Camping
Owner description: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, this island is a popular place for kayaking and exploring...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Islands, Nature & Parks
Activities: Kayaking, Camping
Owner description: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, this island is a popular place for kayaking and exploring sea caves.
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110 reviews from our community

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English first
Dacula, Georgia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
52 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

Santa Cruz Island is gorgeous! The islands remain pristine. Winter is migration season for the gray whales, and there were plenty to see. The island is also home to some species that exist nowhere else. The island scrub jay can only be found on the island. The island fox is also unique to the islands, with each island having its... More 

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Reno
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

Great day trip with the Island Packers cruise. We were very lucky to encounter humpback whales both on the way to the island and coming back (October 31). The boat crew made a detour and allowed 15-20 minutes for us to admire the whales while providing some useful information. While on the island we did the classic Cavern Point loop... More 

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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2015

Took my 8 yr old son for his birthday. The boat ride over by Island Packers was great. Apparently, the weather and water were perfect for early January. Very calm seas and not a lot of wind. On the way to the island, the boat captain detoured to view dolphins, whales and sea lions giving some cool facts about them,... More 

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Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
53 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

What a great way to spend the day - whale & dolphin watching, walking the trails, spying the pygmy fox. If I were to go again, I would avoid going on a weekend, there were a few rent-a-mob types there, en mass, travelling in the proverbial pack, making a lot of noise and that bit was not conducive to the... More 

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Pasadena, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
34 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

We took Island Packers to Santa Cruz Island, Scorpion landing. Either spend the day on the island on a sea cave kayak tour (use Channel Island Outfitters) or hike to the top of the bluffs for great views of the ocean or stay and camp there for a night. We took a guided hike with a naturalist who came over... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

We enjoyed a beautiful day at this park as we hiked about 8-10 miles. As others have noted, the views are amazing but there is also that wonderful sense of going back in time. We landed at Scorpion. My wife and I believed it lived up to its claim as "the Galapagos of California" as it is remote and stark... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2014

I loved the boat ride over to the island. I wish we had gone during a season where the chances of more marine life being seen in the channel but we will go back again. Great for a day trip from LA and the biggest compliment is that our teenager enjoyed it too!

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Vermont
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2014

This day trip to Santa Cruz Island exceeded all expectations. The boat ride with pretty, with hundreds of dolphins swimming around the boat. The trails on the island were numerous and worked well for several hours of hiking. The views were stunning. Next time I'm out in CA I'll do another trip to Anacapa Island.

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Petaluma, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2014

Chartered a sail boat for 2 days and spent our time in a little cove on the west side of the island. What can I say, maybe we just hit the perfect weekend here but the weather was 80, water temp 70 degrees, glassy and very clear. We spent our time spear fishing, cruising around in the dingy, and hiking.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
39 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

Went on a Tuesday and the boat was packed with people. The boat ride to the island takes an hour so prepare yourself if you are prone to sea sickness. Also you must ring back everything you take, so take trash bags if you plan on eating a lot. And bring plenty of water, especially if it is going to... More 

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Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Santa Cruz Island and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?