Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, and half of the park's area is underwater. They are home to over 2,000 species of land plants and animals, and 145 are unique to the islands. The islands were originally settled by the Chumash people, and there is a unique Mediterranean ecosystem.
A strenuous hike, especially if you are hiking from North to South from the Prisoners/Del Norte portion of the island, but well worth it. Beautiful views of Santa Cruz island that offer ocean, rolling hill, canyon, and mountain scenery. Bring plenty of water.
Erik L. on Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail
Nice loop to see the interior of Santa Cruz Island, with nice views of Anacapa and across the Santa Barbara Channel. Best for a naturalist who is interested in seeing the unique species of plants and animals on the Channel Islands. Saw a couple of island foxes and a bald eagle. Can be done in either direction. One section is a steep and rocky (uphill when going counterclockwise, downhill clockwise) for those unsure of footing.
Incredible wildlife! The trail is a bit washed out, but that's just the nature of the beast. Smugglers Cove is full of life. We explored the tide pools filled with bright purple urchins, little crustaceans, and magnificent looking shells. The ocean leaves its mark on the sand and it's simply stunning. The hike was pretty strenuous due to the humidity. We quite literally hiked through a cloud. We chose the day hike option and we're able to complete the out and back with well over 2 hours to spare. We saw multiple island foxes and they seriously are living, breathing stuffed animals. It's truly a magical experience! Next time, we'll definitely be staying over night and kayaking. Those caves beg to be explored!
Hiked in on a Friday, with temperatures in the low 90's, and hiked backed out on Sunday, walking in the clouds as the weather dipped in the low 70's. At the time of this review there was no water other than at Clap Springs which is detour off Wreck Road by a couple of miles. Bring plenty of water
We headed out from camp at 7am. Long, windy, wiinnnnndddy, foggy trail up and over mountains to the other side. It started off cold and crazy windy, but we went down into Lobo Canyon and out to continue onto a route along the rocky coast, so ended up being about a 14 mile hike. Amazingly beautiful Lobo Canyon, and the picnic on a rock cliff , next to crashing waves was great! If you come to Santa Rosa Island, this is the best hike on the island by far.