addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupsimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Santa Cruz Island Camping Redux-Cinco de Mayo Weekend 2017 for 3 Nights

  • to

  • Channel Islands National Park

    1691 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA (map)

    34.244190 -119.265450

  • In front of the boat at Island Packers in Ventura Harbor
  • Price: $10.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • Picture: Scorpion Landing, where our adventures on the island will begin




    The trip to Santa Cruz Island on April 9-11, 2016 was such a smashing success that we'd already started talking about a return trip during happy hour on our first night there.

    Picture: "Cheers" from Santa Cruz Island

    This will be a four day, three night trip.  We've got two group sites which are walk-in (about 1/2 mile on a slightly uphill dirt road) from our boat landing location. These sites will accommodate about 12-13 people each comfortably so the group size will be limited to 25.  During our April '16 visit we inspected all of the group sites and determined that the two sites we've chosen for this trip (D and E) are the best ones.  Cost per person (regardless of the duration of your stay) is $10.00 to cover the cost of the 2 group sites, I have Paypal once all attendees are selected. No refunds for cancellations unless your spot ends up being taken and paid for by someone else.  IF YOU ARE ON THE "YES" LIST PLEASE SEND PAYMENT ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2016, PAYPAL ADDRESS IS: [masked] [the "z" is not a typo]

    Picture: Group Site area; we'll be in sites D and E, which are in the trees at right.

    The campground includes running water, pit toilets, picnic tables, and food lockers similar to the ones in Yosemite.  Proper food storage is very important due to presence of scavenging rodents, birds and foxes.

    Picture: the endangered Santa Cruz Island fox, endemic to this island only, Craig Smith will vouch for how quickly they can make food disappear; more information HERE

    Important notes:



    • SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS (like the plastic shopping bags provided by stores) ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE ISLAND SO LEAVE THOSE AT HOME




    Santa Cruz Island, the largest and most easily accessed of the Channel Islands, has a long and storied past. THIS LINK has some fascinating background information about the island, including how it was named (see the numbered pages 11-12).  The western 3/4 of Santa Cruz Island is owned by the Nature Conservancy and access is pretty limited. The eastern 1/4 is part of Channel Islands National Park and is administered by the National Park Service, and this is where we'll be camping and doing our activities. 




    Hiking and kayaking are the prime activities at Santa Cruz and those who attend may partake of either.  See kayaking information below.  More details on the specifics regarding planned hiking trips will be added later.  I anticipate planning 2 different day hikes which will showcase the island, in all cases we will likely be passing by or visiting, among other places, the following (and you can refer to this ORIENTATION MAP to locate these spots):

    Potato Harbor:

    Smuggler's Cove:

    The summit of El Montanon, the highest point (1,808') on the NPS end of the island (but this pic was taken on the sister peak "Elle Montanon" which is ~8' shorter and a few hundred feet away but with better views):

    ...and various other spots.




    A. Meeting Place and Transport

    We will meet at Island Packers in Ventura, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, for the ferry ride over to Scorpion Harbor, which takes about an hour (although they will stop for dolphin and whale viewing).  Once we've landed, gotten our gear up to camp and set up, our adventures will begin.  Note that due to damage during the storms in December/January, all passengers and gear unload via skiff, here's Liz demonstrating a very smooth skiff landing:

    You will need to make your own boat reservation through Island Packers at this link (you want to be on Ventura-Santa Cruz Scorpion boat): ISLAND PACKERS RESERVATIONS

    I am currently planning to take the 8am boat to Scorpion on Friday 5/5 (there is also a noon boat) and the only return boat on Monday 5/8 is at 3:30.  The cost is $79.00 round trip ($74.00 over age 55).  Cancellations allowed 72 hours prior to sailing.  Free parking is available and delineated at Island Packers.

    There is a weight limitation for gear, see the Island Packers packing guidelines referred to below.  In general everyone can bring 3 items weighing up to 45 lbs. each, plus a carryon item.  For the April trip I brought (1) a suitcase with my grill in it, (2) my backpack and (3) several camp chairs bungeed together, plus my day pack, I coordinated with Craig who brought a cooler along with his other items.

    When checking into Island Packers, they will ask for your campsite, it is group sites D and E.

    B. Island Packers Information:

    For our trip, it is critical that you review the ISLAND PACKERS WEBSITE for all pertinent instructions/requirements/information.

    Without limiting the above, among the matters to become familiar with are the following:

    • General Information about Santa Cruz Island Trip HERE

    • Pier Damage/Skiff Landing Information HERE

    • Camping/Packing Restrictions and Guidelines HERE

    • More detailed packing instructions HERE


    C. Campground Information:

    The section of the island we'll be visiting is in the Channel Islands National Park and is managed by the National Park Service.  For detailed information about our campground and the Channel Islands National Park, please review the NPS WEBSITE

    D. Activity Information:

    1.  Planned Hikes:


    2.  Kayaking:

    Kayaking is an available option and Scorpion Harbor is a great kayaking spot. There are no kayak rentals on the island, BUT you can rent a kayak in Ventura or bring your own or sign up for a kayak tour with one of the companies that has kayaks on the island solely for this purposes (i.e. these kayaks are not available for rental); in case you are bringing a rental kayak or your own, you must make arrangements with Island Packers regarding kayak transport to and from the island. Kayaking information (including names of companies which rent kayaks in Ventura and have a relationship with Island Packers, and companies which offer kayak tours) is HERE.

    E. Meals

    Everybody should bring sufficient food for the entire trip (including lunches on the trail), we encourage folks to group up to coordinate their food if they'd like.  I'll bring my portable Weber grill, which was much used during the April '16 trip.  I'd love to have a Cinco de Mayo-themed potluck on Friday night, we can exchange ideas as the date approaches.  Alcoholic beverages are allowed and STRONGLY ENCOURAGED, we had a ton of wine on our April trip and finished it all!

    Picture: Part of April '16 potluck: tri tip, 2 kinds of grilled lamb sausage, three bean stew, green been+pasta salad with pesto sauce, couscous salad, apple/peach crumb pie, chocolate cake, lots of wine, and more

    Picture: Sunday night feast in April '16: quail, chicken drumsticks, potatoes (in foil) and asparagus (in foil) 

    F. Other Miscellaneous Items:

    • Once on island, for emergencies, contact local ranger (apparently someone is there 24/7

    • Cell reception spotty on Island

    • We must monitor camp bulletin board for sea conditions/possible change in pickup times/delay to next day. Pick up could also be earlier on Monday 5/8 if sea conditions warrant.

    • Bring extra food should we not leave until the day after our scheduled departure

    • Please heed animal warnings regarding food storage.  The foxes and birds are very smart, apparently the birds know all about zippers and how to open them.

    G. Geology Posts from Craig Smith from the April and October '16 Trips-click below links:

    Geology Post 1

    Geology Post 2

    Geology Post 3

    Geology Post 4




    To attend, please RSVP to the Waitlist.  Attendance limited to 25 people. If you are interested in attending, place your name on the wait list. Priority will be given to our dedicated hikers who will enjoy the experience with the group (in particular those who were on the "GO" list for the April, '16 trip but ended up being unable to go). If the wait list is large, it may be necessary to use a lottery to select attendees.

    Once you are moved to the "yes" list, we strongly recommend making your boat reservation at that time (for my day hike at Santa Cruz in October, several people didn't make reservations until the last minute, and the boats were full so they couldn't come).  Reservations are fully refundable until 72 hours before sailing so it is a relatively no-rise proposition to buy your ticket well in advance.




    • Everything you need for camping (shelter, sleeping bag, headlamp, cooking and eating gear, etc.)

    • Appropriate clothing for day, night and beach use (include layers); weather can be variable between hot and cold, wet and dry

    • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good tread for participating in hikes

    • Water shoes or similar (for use during skiff landing; you don't want to get your shoes/boots wet)

    • Sun protection (hat/sunscreen)

    • Trekking poles are always advised


    “The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group” group and its event/assistant organizers (the "Organizers") are not responsible for your safety. Outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. By signing up for these events, you agree to release “The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group” group of and its Organizers from ANY responsibility, liability or claim in law or in equity. If you DON'T agree to these terms, DO NOT JOIN THIS MEETUP EVENT. “The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group” group of doesn't certify the expertise of the Organizers. The Organizers in this group are volunteers. You are responsible for yourself.  We expect you to take responsibility for your safety during our activities.  Joining activities with the "Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group" is entirely voluntary and participants assume the full risks associated with the activities. It is each participant's responsibility to ensure that he/she is in sufficient fitness and health to participate in the activity, and to bring appropriate water, food, clothing, first aid, and navigation equipment for the conditions. The "Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group" and individual Organizers make no representation or warranties about the quality, safety, or supervision of these activities. By making a "Yes" RSVP to this event you acknowledge and agree to the foregoing as well as the terms set forth under the "PAGES" tab on the "Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group" home page.

Join or login to comment.

  • Sara

    I'm having MISC thoughts.

    1 · October 22

    • JB L.

      Sounds good. Remember though, no campfires at SCI, stoves etc. will need to be brought (I'll have my grill).

      1 · November 5

    • Sara

      We will bring a grill too.

      November 10

  • JB L.

    BOAT SCHEDULE UPDATE: Island Packers has filled in its May schedule; on our outbound day (Friday 5/5) there's an 8am boat (which I'm taking) and a noon boat; on our return day (Monday 5/8) the only boat is at 3:30; I highly recommend getting your reservations well before the last minute

    November 9

  • JB L.

    I've added paypal instructions in the writeup and sent an email re payment timing to all participants who've been added from the waitlist, please review my email and proceed accordingly, thanks.

    November 5

  • Mari K.

    If I get selected for this event, I think it would be appropriate to make my chicken mole for our Cinco de Mayo pot luck! ;)

    1 · October 22

    • Mari K.

      Great! I will make a vegetarian mole poblano with chicken on the side. Mole poblano is also wonderful on vegetables, eggs etc. Beer will be perfect!

      November 5

    • JB L.

      Great! I'll have about 20 people from my SoCal group there also that weekend, a few may wander over to your stove once they smell what's cooking (but they'll also have some good stuff).

      November 5

Want to go?

Join us!

27 going

RSVPs close: Apr 20 at 1:00 PM

  • Dave W
    Event Host
  • JB L.
    Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host

    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph... more

  • Craig S.

    Geologist.....­..............­ and always interested in JLB hike!

  • Christian R.

    Made hiking my medicine, and medicine my hiking.

  • Liz P.

    I enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Sharol

    Pic - North Dome - a few years ago. Great Hike Dave!!

  • Maria

    I love exploring the local trails. Hiking, running, biking... I love where I live! ... more

  • Terri

    Hi all! I'm loving hiking and hoping to do more with this group! :)

  • John

    I have an excuse for every kind of hike.

  • Amy
  • Bill V.

    I need to hike as much as possible as I live in Colin Fletcher's old house.

  • Sue
  • Sandra

    The mountains are calling and I must go.

  • Janet G.

    Now from Morro Bay; originally Sonoma County. Passionate about nature.... more

  • Cam M.

    I moved to the area in September of 2011 and found this hiking group right away! I... more

  • David K.

    I'm middle-aged, stay fit by hiking, jogging, weights, & rarely yoga. I'm married... more

  • Sara

    I love long, steep, endless climbs surrounded by sweeping Sierra or Big Sur views.

  • liane v.

    I love hiking , bicycling, kayaking with other fun folks ! I live at Shaver Lake ,... more

  • Jane C.

    Love hiking, biking, kayaking...bei­ng outdoors!

16 waiting

4 not going

(See all)

Your organizer's refund policy for Santa Cruz Island Camping Redux-Cinco de Mayo Weekend 2017 for 3 Nights

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy