Planning a Trip to Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island

Headed out to Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park?

Check out Scorpion Anchorage! Scorpion Anchorage has numerous hiking trails, a close-by campground, snorkeling in a kelp forest, and best of all sea cave kayaking!

Sea Cave Kayaking near Scorpion Anchorage

Scorpion Anchorage is located eastern Santa Cruz Island and is one of the most popular destinations in Channel Islands National Park.

Channel Islands Adventure Company offers adventures for all levels. From different kayak tours to snorkel tours, our friendly guides share their knowledge of the island with our guests about the local history, wildlife, and cave formations.

To get to Scorpion Anchorage, take the Island Packers Ferry. The ferry takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to cross the channel. Ferries generally leave daily @ 9am from Ventura, CA. Ventura, CA is only 1.5 hours from Los Angeles, CA and 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, CA. Your adventure begins on the Island Packers ferry where hopefully you’ll spot a pod of dolphins during your journey or even whales.

Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park offers many adventures!


Kayak Tour Options: Adventure Tour (our most popular tour!) will spend 2.5-3 hours exploring the sea caves. Discovery Tour is the shortened version of our Adventure Tour and spends 1.5 hours of paddling time exploring sea caves. Ultimate Sea Cave Kayak Tour is the longest kayaking tour and advised for those who are experienced kayakers and will paddle from Scorpion Anchorage to Potato Harbor.

Sea Cave Kayaking in Channel Islands National Park

Sea cave kayaking


Snorkel Tour Options: Snorkel Tour explores the kelp forest right off the beach at Scorpion Anchorage with a friendly and knowledgeable guide who can teach the basics of snorkeling. Snorkel & Kayak Tour is for the adventurer who wants to do it all! Guests spend 1.5 hours paddling exploring sea caves and then 1.5 hours on a guided snorkel tour through a kelp forest. There is also snorkel gear for rental on the island.


Camping on Santa Cruz Island is a great getaway from the big cities. Enjoy the starry night sky, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and more time to explore all the wonders of Santa Cruz Island.


There are several hiking trails to check out. Cavern Point Loop is a short hike with great overlook views. Potato Harbor Hike is a longer hike, so be sure to bring plenty of water. Many guests are excited to see the Island Fox and Island Scrub Jay as they are endemic to the island.

Island fox

Be sure to pack food and water for your time on the island. Keep all belongings protected from small animals and birds by packing them in a backpack or small cooler. There are no options for food to purchase once on the island. Come prepared to pack out all your trash. #leavenotrace 

*Weather conditions can change rapidly, it is best to bring layers and a jacket regardless of the time of year.

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