• Header AA Santa Cruz Bay
  • Header B Santa Cruz tree with hills 1900 x 700
  • Header v Santa Cruz kayaks from cliff 1900 x 700
  • Header w Santa Cruz path ocean 1900 x 700
  • Santa Cruz Fox 1772 x 700

Channel Islands National Park

August 23-27, 2023


Santa Cruz Island is one of 5 islands off the California coast which constitutes Channel Islands National Park.  With an area of 61,765 acres, Santa Cruz is the largest of the eight Channel Islands (approximately 22 miles long and 2-6 miles wide).  The highest point is Devil’s Peak, at over 2,450 feet (747 m). The island's coastline has steep cliffs, large sea caves, coves, and sandy beaches. Archaeological investigations indicate that Santa Cruz Island has been occupied for at least 10,000 years. The Chumash people who lived on the island developed a highly complex society. They harvested from the sea, and specialized in crafts and trade with the mainland population. The National Park Service now owns and operates approximately 24% of Santa Cruz Island. The remaining land, known as the Santa Cruz Island Reserve, is used for scientific research and education, and is managed by a combination of organizations which includes The Nature Conservancy, the University of California Natural Reserve System, and the Santa Cruz Island Foundation.

Santa Cruz Island is accessible by boat or plane.  We have reserved space on a ferry boat operated by Island Packers.  The trip to the Island takes between 2 ½ and 3 hours, and it too is part of the experience.  We often see dolphins, sea lions and other marine life on our route.  Upon arrival at the Island, we will gather our gear and have a short backpack of 1 ½ miles to our campsite.

Our chartered bus will be leaving San Diego at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23 to arrive at a motel in Ventura where we will spend the first night.  We will need to be at the ferry dock by 8 a.m. on Thursday morning for our trip to the Island.  After arrival, we will set up camp, and decide among several day hikes which our leaders have chosen for our enjoyment.  We will have 2 half days for hiking and two full days, so you will have a chance to see different parts of the Island which are accessible to visitors.

There are no concessions on the island, so you must bring all your food and supplies with you. However, there is water in the campground so you needn’t bring more than a quart or two to cover potential needs before you get there. Be sure to fill those water bottles before leaving the motel.

We will have a pre-trip meeting approximately 2 weeks prior to departure to update you on important details about the trip.  This will be an important time to get your questions answered and to meet your trip leaders.  Registration for the Trip Lottery is now available.  The lottery will be on July 13, 2023. 

Channel Islands Bus Trip Lottery Registration

Please feel free to contact the trip coordinators, Alice Fichandler and Pauline Jimenez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Day Hike is right for you. Please read our RESERVATION AND REFUND POLICY before you sign up for the trip.

Space: Space is limited to 45 people, including Leaders.

Cost: $395

Registration is currently open.

Zoom Pre-trip Meeting: TBD

Departure: Wednesday, August 23, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Return: Sunday, August 27, 2023 at approximately 9:00 pm

Trip Rating: A variety of difficulty levels, from easy to strenuous.


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