ABOUT THE HIKE: We explore the eastern side of Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands. Some consider this a classic bucket list hike, while placing this as one of the top ten hikes in California. We take the 9 AM Island Packers boat from Ventura to the Island. (Check in 30-60 minutes prior to the boat departure at 9 AM. If you miss the boat, you will miss the hike.) And then we day hike from Scorpion Anchorage to a lunch picnic at Smugglers Cove. Total hike time is 4.5 hours excluding mid hike rest stop, 8 miles roundtrip, with approximately 700 feet of elevation gain/loss. This is an intermediate, not beginning, level hike. The hike traverses the island on a truck trail with panoramic views of bluff side coves, the distant mainland Santa Susana Mountains, rolling inland hills, and other Channel Islands. The island is part National Park and part nature conservancy that jointly aim to preserve the land as the Spanish explorers originally found it. The trail itself is a well maintained former ranch road, as are most of the trails on the island. We ascend to beautiful views of Anacapa Island and descend through an old growth olive grove to Smuggler's Cove where a few picnic table and eucalyptus trees border the secluded cobblestone beach. Plan to bring food and beverage for a potluck picnic, as there are no concession stands or water available on the island. The cove at low tide has tide pools with hardy sea life that beg for exploration during our mid hike rest stop and picnic. We can also visit the nearby historic ranch house, now being converted to a bunk house for island researchers. Please understand that time for lunch will be limited given our hike time and boat arrival/departure times, including the uncertainties of ocean travel. This is an out and back hike returning the same route to the Scorpion Anchorage prior to the 4:00 PM return boat that will depend on your hiking pace. There are boats returning to the mainland departing at both 4 and 4:30 PM; you may book either return, with the later time being a safer choice depending on your hiking pace. Anyone that does not board this later return boat will spend the night on the Island! This hike is not for fast hikers or slowpokes, not willing to stay with the group. Please understand the conditioning requirements of this intermediate level hike for completion of it in a timely manner. Survivors of this island adventure can celebrate our hiking good fortune with a post hike celebration on the patio at Margaritaville Mexican Restaurant (805/[masked]) located a short walk from the dock in Ventura Harbor. Find additional information regarding hiking on Eastern Santa Cruz Island here:
ABOUT THE BOAT: Island Packers has the concession for taking visitors to Channel Island National Park and Conservancy. Expect approximately one hour of travel time for the trip from Ventura Harbor to East Santa Cruz Island (Scorpion). Ticket prices round trip are $59 for adults and $54 for seniors 55 and over. The boat has a passenger capacity of approximately 100, so space is limited and reservations should be booked in advance. You can do that by calling 805/[masked] with a credit card or on line using the following link:
Island Packers Online Reservations (https://reserve.islandpackers.com/)
You will need to "view schedule" for October, 2019 making reservation for Saturday, October 5 - the 9 AM Ventura departure to East Santa Cruz Island (Scorpion Anchorage) and return boat at 4:30 PM.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Take the 405 or 5 Freeway north.... take the Ventura Freeway 101 west... exit Seaward.... turn left on Harbor Boulevard.... turn right on Spinnaker Drive.... parking on your right. Parking for the day at the Island Packers Ventura Harbor terminal is free. Their address is 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 105B, Ventura, CA 93001. Allow 45 minutes prior to departure for checkin. Allow three hours drive time from Orange County to Ventura. Car pooling to Ventura is recommended with arrangements made privately in events comments.
DISCLAIMER: Group organizer and assistant organizers assume no liability; hike at your own risk. By being a member of this group you hereby agree to assume all risks and liability related to or resulting from any group functions. You agree that neither you nor any third party will hold any of the group's leaders, officers, or representatives liable for any injury, loss, or damage to your own person or any members of your family, friends, acquaintances, children, pets, or property, arising directly or as a consequence from a group activity. You also agree that your membership of this group is based on an "at will" basis.