Yose's Guide to Channel Islands
Updated: Apr 10
I had (and still have) an aggressive list of National Parks to see in 2022. Originally set to try and be in Channel Islands on New Years Day 2022, a last minute request to work delayed the trip by about a week. I wasn't sure what to expect but I flew to LA with a ticket for a ferry to Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island.
Know Before You Go:
BOOK IN ADVANCE. I was slightly delayed in booking so I was only able to go to Santa Cruz instead of both Santa Cruz and Anacapa. I also was very far behind booking a spot in the ONE campground on the island which turned my trek into a day trip. In the end it was one of the most spectacular days of my National Park adventures and will lead me back to the islands at some point.
What I did:
I hopped onboard the Island Packers ferry and headed across the channel from Ventura to Santa Cruz Island. The ocean was calm and the first leg of the trip (from Ventura to Scorpion Bay) was very mellow. The boat carried about 100 passengers and I was slightly worried that there were going to be too many people, but then made the first landing and about 90% of the people got off the ferry. My initial reaction was OMG WHAT AM I MISSING, but then I realized that it probably wasn't much different then where I was going on the island.
Once the boat left Scorpion Bay, I was ready to chill for the next 30 min to my port of call. But that 30 mins turn into about an hour. Why? Because we saw a humpback whale! I had never seen a whale before and it was incredible. Then the boat came across several grey whales that surfaced by the boat and that was stunning.
Once we finally arrived, I left the boat, got the intro from the Park Ranger and headed out on a hike to Pelican Bay. The hike was outside of the park but it was a stunning hike to a beautiful bay. There was an inlet where hikers could eat lunch and dip their feet. But the best part was the Catalina Fox. The little guy was definitely looking for food, and to all of the hikers credit no one actually fed the guy. But he did hang around and let the humans snag some pictures.
I ventured back to the dock to catch the ferry and saw a few more foxes. All in all the 4.0 round trip hike was just want I needed to feel satisfied about the day. I thought the day couldn't get much better (after all there were already foxes AND whales) but the boat came across a pod of about 1,000 common dolphin. And they swam with the boat for about 20 min, it was quite the site to behold.
I know that I will be back to the islands. It was just too amazing to not go back and explore the other islands and even spend the night out there. I have no problem recommending this park to anyone and everyone and if it isn't on your list, it should be now.
📍 Chumash, Limuw, Michamash