We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A Great Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, this island is a popular place for kayaking and exploring sea caves.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Great Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

Booked a half day trip through Island Packers. The logistics under that company's control went smoothly and professionally. Unfortunalely thr choppy sea was not under their control. Got a little "green" going over, but it was well worth it. Recommend taking the included guided tour with a volunteer. We learned a lot about the island's history, ecology and geology. The moderate walk took about two and a half hours. Very little greenery when we went. Apparently there is more vegetation for a short period in the spring. If you are interested in water activities, this is the place in the summer. Remember you have to carry in evrything you will want to use during your stay and carry out all trash. Highly recommend.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank GARunner_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    146
    43
    7
    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Oxnard
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Channel Islands”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012

It's like another world out there, pristine, untouched by man. The way nature should be. We've been out there at least 2 dozen times and always enjoyed out time out there.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Melissa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bakersfield
Level Contributor
57 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Backpacking to Del Norte Campground on Santa Cruz Island, California”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2012

My Son and I went on an overnighter backpacking trip. Enjoyable. We left from Ventura using "Island Packers". Flawless. Excellent boat and service. Cost $75/each R/t. Ride over was brilliant. Many dolfins, beautiful view of ocean. Landed at Scipion Harbor, then on to Prisioner Harbor. Nice area with Dock, Swimming Area, and Trees. We Packed on 4 miles to Del Norte, essentially a perch on the side of a mountain. 4 sites with citter boxes. Many redish Foxes, expansive view of coast. Wow! Very much a place of solitude. We brought 3 gallons of water. Just fine. Awesome place to just reflect and enjoy the desolute location. in the 70's f most of the time. Great view of stars. Hike is "strenous", up and down alot. should be in fair shape for this jaunt. We took a nice ocean swim when we arrived back at the Harbor. Perfect. Recommend! Trip back to main land - flawless.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
14 Thank kennybeal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fun getaway from the common crowds of summer!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

Took the Island packers ferry from Ventura Harbor to Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island. About an 1 hour trip each way. Plan on packing light as you will have to hoof it all to the campground which is a half mile from the dock/pier. Took a two man tent, hiking gear, camp stove, provisions and my surfboard. Awesome time, clean, pristine, fresh air, bright stars and blue moon too! Hiked to Smugglers Cove on the SE side of the island to go surfing. Quite a hike with all the gear (wetsuit, surfboard, backpack, food but was worth it. About 4 mi each way 800'+ elevation each way steeper shorter incline coming back longer and more drawn out incline on the way to Smugglers. Saw noone else on the hike to Smugglers. Saw only 6 people on the way back. Quite a few boats docked outside Smugglers Cove for Labor Day recreation. Campground has potable water, pit toilets, no fires allowed and a food storage locker. Safe and peaceful. Plan on packing light ie. backpacking type camping. Brought several items that I should have paired down on like my camera tripod, boci ball set (fun but weighs like 10 lbs). Bring binoculars, small compact camera, sunscreen, water booties, clothes line, dry bag if your paddling around the coves to the better surf breaks. Enjoy!!!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank 714Tombo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Do it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2012

Just back from two night camping on Santa Cruz Island... our first visit to the Channel Islands.
We got in some serious exercise... an eight mile hike that was rarely on flat ground and a couple hours sea kayaking... hello upper body!
There are two campsites at the Scorpion Beach location... a lower and upper one. The lower was a very short walk for the ferry and great for family with kids and having to haul a bunch of stuff.
We stayed in the best site there, number 25... right on the edge looking out into the valley and the hills. The campsite does have potable water and a "nice" outhouse. Other than that, bring everything else you need!
Our day hike of eight miles was out to Scorpion Beach. This is not a sandy beach, but it was great to watch the surf come in. Our kayak trip was with Santa Barbata Adventure Company andd they get a big thumbs up. Kayaking along side the sea lions was a real treat.
We lucked out on the return ferry ride and spent a few extra minutes following an enormous pod of dolphins... easily numbering in the hundreds with lots of babies (the size of footballs) flying out of the water with their moms (or dads?).
It was a very,very dry time of year ther and it would be glorious to see the island when it is really green... Either way, it is a real national treasure and I am glad it is well protected as a national park.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank BVinSantaFe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Santa Cruz Island also viewed

Channel Islands National Park, CA
Channel Islands National Park, CA
 
Channel Islands National Park, CA
 

Been to Santa Cruz Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing