Visual Guide to Santa Cruz Island

Curious about where to go and what to do on Santa Cruz Island? We’ve put together an easy guide to help plan your trip to Channel Islands National Park.

Where is Santa Cruz Island?

Map of how to get to Santa Cruz Island

Channel Islands National Park is comprised of 5 islands. The transportation to Santa Cruz Island is with Island Packers and goes out of Ventura Harbor.

From Los Angeles to Ventura Harbor, its about a 60-70 mile drive depending on where in LA you are coming from.

From Santa Barbara to Ventura Harbor, its about a 30 mile drive.

Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoner’s Harbor for Adventurers

Visual Map of Channel Islands National Park

Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoners Harbor are the two most popular destinations that the Island Packers stops at. Both locations have many activities such as hiking, snorkeling, bird watching, ocean kayaking, and camping to check out.

Camping is located at both Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoners Harbor.

Wildlife can be spotted at both locations and will vary depending on the time of day and season. The Island Fox can be spotted at both locations along with the Island Scrub-Jay. Want to know about other wildlife on the island? Check out this blog post: Channel Islands National Park Animals.

Island Fox

What is the difference between Painted Cave, Prisoner’s Harbor, and Scorpion Anchorage?

Kayak tours go out of all 3 of these locations.

Channel Islands Adventure Company runs guided kayak tours at three locations: Scorpion Anchorage, Prisoners Harbor, and Painted Cave.

Painted Cave* Tours ONLY runs in the Summer. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram for updates on available dates.

Scorpion Anchorage is our MOST POPULAR year round sea cave kayaking tour. (As of November 2019 this location is closed for construction of a new pier and will reopen summer 2020). Great for sea cave kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and camping!

From the pier, it’s a 5 minute short walk to our storefront & operations at Scorpion Anchorage.

Prisoners Harbor is our newest location and will be open during the construction at Scorpion Anchorage. Great for kayaking and snorkeling!

Kayaking around Santa Cruz Island

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