CAMPING IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK - DEL NORTE | PRISONERS HARBOR (SCI)
To camp at the Del Norte Campground you must have both a boat reservation and a campground reservation. By clicking the two buttons to the right, you will be able to view both the reservation system for the boat and for the campground in two separate windows. You can use these programs to check availability.
Please review both links below to help in the ease & speed of the loading of all camping gear:
Santa Cruz Island Camper Transport Fares
55 Years +
Infant (Must Reserve)
Under 3 Years
The Del Norte Campground
The Del Norte campground, SCI is the smallest campground in the park. There are only four sites each with a four-person capacity for a maximum of 16 total campers at one time.
Located 3.5 uphill miles from the pier where you disembark the boat. This is a “back country” campground. Rustic and charming with beautiful views of the island coast, this campground is frequented by backpackers and hearty hikers.
Picnic tables and small food storage boxes are in each site. NO fresh/potable water is available at this location and most years no streams or creeks flow to allow for water filtration by campers.
Accessing the Ocean
Santa Cruz Island at Prisoners Harbor has a sand and rocky beach. Visitors who want to access the ocean for swimming, snorkeling or kayaking are advised to bring a pair of water shoes. The addition of water shoes will make your ocean experience much more enjoyable.
Hiking the Ridge
The Del Norte campground is the perfect gateway for hiking the ridge to Scorpion Anchorage. The hike over to Scorpion is 11.5 miles from campground to campground.
There is no shade on the trail and campers/hikers should carry ample water for this trek. The trail is best for practiced hikers and backpackers and should be begun early in the day.
TNC Property Access Point
Access to the private TNC property is from this location on Santa Cruz Island. All Packing/Gear Guidelines apply to TNC Guests.
Planning to go backpacking around Prisoner’s Harbor? Watch this video for more information on backpacking Santa Cruz Island.
CAMPING PREPARATION | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW & BRING
- Please arrive at your harbor of departure a full hour before your departure time. Late arriving gear may not be loaded onto the boat.
- Fresh/Drinking Water (suggested 1 gallon per day per person). Prisoners Harbor, Del Norte Campground, SCI has NO POTABLE WATER available. Water weight is not included in your 60lbs of gear.
- Food for your time on the island.
- Kitchen utensils and camp stove (No campfires are permitted)
- A tent and sleeping bag(s)
- A campsite reservation.
- An Island Packers reservation.
- Flashlight or lantern
- Sturdy shoes and warm clothes for the cool evenings that can occur year-round.
- Gear that meets the Island Packers Restrictions/Guidelines
- Hat, Sunscreen and long-sleeved shirt for UV protection. UV is present even on overcast days.
- NO Single Item weighing more than 45 LBS (required)
During the rough weather months, November through May, you will need to make sure Island Packers’ schedule has not been changed due to ocean and/or weather conditions before you leave the camping area for the day.
Schedule changes are relayed to the park in the morning and the bulletin board or the ranger will have schedule change information. Campers during these month should come prepared with extra food in case weather prevents us from our planned pick up.
Get the National Park Service App!
Island Packers recommends visitors utilize the National Park Service App for a more complete island experience. 420 + Parks all in one App. Find interactive maps, tours of park places, on-the-ground accessibility information, and more. Download before you go so you can use it offline at the islands! The app is free and available online.