Santa Cruz Island: Pelican Bay And Prisoners Harbor Trails

MODERATE 3 reviews

Santa Cruz Island: Pelican Bay And Prisoners Harbor Trails is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

8.8 miles 1482 feet Loop


nature trips

trail running






hot springs



wild flowers



bridge out



over grown



washed out

1 year ago

Took the 4 mile round trip guided hike from Prisoners Harbor. Didn't think I could make it all the way, in fact more than half of the group turned back but when I saw Pelican Bay Up ahead, all I wanted was to rest my sore feet in some cool clear ocean water! Stunning views, learned a lot of how truly unique this habitat actually is.

1 year ago

I visited the Channel Islands in mid Feb of 2015. Decided to go to Santa Cruz and land at Prisoners so I could do the Pelican Bay Trail. The trail was only 4.5 miles, not 6 as the site suggest, but the difficulty was moderate/strenuous.

The hike itself was absolutely beautiful and our tour guide David did an absolute amazing job informing the group about the plants and wildlife. The Pelican Bay hike is inside the Nature Conservancy which requires that this hike be done with a tour guide. Getting to Pelican Bay was definitely worth the hike! We were able to stop to enjoy our lunch that we brought with us and the view.

I would highly recommend this hike. And we will definitely be back to the channel islands for some camping!

6 years ago

Hiked the Montaon Ridge "trail" but it was not listed. This is the closest. Great view at the top and on the way of the Santa Barbara Coastline. The "trail" only applied to parts. Very step in parts as well. Other parts of the trail were more like a river bed with nothing but rocks to step on.