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 available at Scorpion Anchorage (approx 0.25 mile hike to Santa Cruz Scorpion Campground) and at Prisoners Harbor (approx 3.5 mile hike to Del Norte Campground).

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?

Channel Islands Adventure Company runs guided kayak tours at Scorpion Anchorage which is the best area on Santa Cruz Island for guests who want to experience a mix of activities including sea cave kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and/or camping.

From the pier, it’s a 5-minute short walk to our storefront & operations at Scorpion Anchorage.
Kayaking around Santa Cruz Island

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