The channel crossing takes about one hour and a little longer when we encounter marine life along the way.
Scorpion Anchorage offers some of the most varied trails, from family hikes to strenuous trails for the avid hiker. A guided hike by a volunteer National Park naturalist is offered on most day trips. The guided hike is on the Cavern Point Trail at no charge.
There are vault style restrooms, tree shaded picnic tables and potable drinking water available at Scorpion Anchorage.
You can swim or snorkel through shoreline kelp forests or just relax on the cobblestone beach. Coastal kayaking along the cave pocketed volcanic cliffs is a popular exploration of kayaking enthusiasts.
There is plenty to discover, beginning with a visit to the island visitors center located at historic Scorpion Ranch. Panel displays, exhibits and a topographic relief map describe the vast bio-diversity and rich cultural history of Santa Cruz Island.
You can pick up a trail map and explore on you own along the island’s many trails or join one of the naturalist led hikes that are offered. You may encounter one of the island’s endemic creatures like the Santa Cruz Island Fox along the way.
What to bring for the best island experience.
- Pack food and drink for your time on the island. A small cooler with a single handle or a back pack will help to protect your food from the small animals and birds that populate the island year round. There are no shops or restaurants on the island.
- Come prepared to hike out all your trash.
- Santa Cruz, Scorpion Anchorage has some shade in the camping and picnic areas, but no shade on the trails. Sunscreen and a hats will help to protect you from UV that is present even on overcast days.
- Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Santa Barbara Channel. It is always best to dress in layers and bring a jacket along (even in the summer months).
- Flat shoes with rubber soles are best for both the boat and the island. We recommend hiking shoes. We suggest that you do not wear loose or leather soled sandals nor flip flops on your island adventure.
- Camera and binoculars will add to your trip and this island offers some spectacular photo opportunities.
- Please arrive at your harbor of departure 45 minutes before your schedule mainland departure.