Prisoners Harbor Day Trip Options:
- One way trip from Ventura to Prisoners Harbor
- Return trip from Prisoners Harbor to Ventura
➤ One way trip from Ventura or Oxnard to Scorpion Anchorage
➤ Return trip from Scorpion Anchorage to Ventura or Oxnard
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 is plenty to discover on a Scorpion Anchorage Day Trip, 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 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.
Accessing the Ocean:
Santa Cruz Island at Scorpion Cove 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.
Visitors can pick up a trail map, print one below or download the new app (scroll down) and explore on you own along the island’s many trails. People can join one of the naturalist led hikes that are offered. Hikers might encounter one of the island’s endemic creatures like the Santa Cruz Island Fox along the way.
➤ Please arrive at your harbor of departure 45 minutes before your scheduled mainland departure.
➤ Pack food and drink for your time on the island. A small cooler with a single handle or a backpack will help to protect your food from the small animals and birds that populate the islands year-round. There are no shops or restaurants on the island.
➤ Fresh/Potable water is available in the campsite area.
➤ Visitors to the island must take all their trash with them when they depart the island.
➤ Flat shoes with rubber soles are best for both the boat and the island. We recommend hiking shoes. We suggest passengers do not wear loose or leather soled sandals or flip flops on your island adventure.
➤ Weather conditions can change rapidly in the Santa Barbara Channel. It is always best to dress in layers and bring a jacket/sweatshirt (even in the summer months).
➤ Shade is available in the Scorpion Ranch area. There is no shade on trail. Hat and sunscreen is recommended even on overcast days.
Once underway the channel crossing takes about one hour, longer if we encounter marine life along the way.
There are vault style restrooms, tree shaded picnic tables and potable drinking water available at Scorpion Anchorage.