Explore Santa Cruz Is - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
18 days ago

Taking a swim at Tinker's Cove at the end was amazing!

Pretty boring aside from the oil well at the top. Scenery just looks like the rest of Southern California.

After lunch near the Visitor's Center, I went to the Scorpion Campgrounds. I tacked on some extra trail when I had been looking for wildlife around the campgrounds. I then went up the Potato Harbor Road then onto North Bluff Trail and Cavern Point Loop Trail. Great Views.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

hiking
2 months ago

Potato Harbor Trail is an moderate to easy hike and the views are spectacular of the Santa Cruz Island Coast. This hike is well worth doing, best in the spring when everything is blooming and it is not too hot. This day the ride over was a little tough with the swells but not too bad. There is an orientation you should do after getting off the boat, then you can do whatever you had planned. I immediately hit the trail up to the bluff overlooking Scorpion Harbor, then out to Potato Harbor overlook. Bring plenty of water especially if you are hiking inland, hotter away from coast.
Enjoy.

Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Did part of this hike during our day on the island. Nothing too special.

hiking
2 months ago

Some nice views of the other side of Santa Cruz island but not as amazing as we expected from a national park.

Would not suggest this as an out and back because of lack of water. Better to get dropped at prisoners and hike across or even over night at del Norte along the way.

Very beautiful trail that follows the coastline of Santa Cruz Island! Make sure you bring enough water, there is no source for potable water until you get to Scorpion.

A nice, easy hike with gorgeous views the whole way! I was lucky enough to see a peregrine falcon perching on some of the cliffs along the trail. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water because there is nowhere to stop in the shade on this trail.

For an easier climb start at Campsite 22 and come back down the other side. Make sure you take water as there is no shade.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a beautiful hike with great views along the coast. I saw an island scrub jay and island fox, too. Easy hike and something that a family could do.

Some revegetation going on later in the trail. Beautiful panoramic views of the shore and sea.

hiking
4 months ago

Not a difficult hike, but it can get pretty warm in the direct sun. Great views along the trail until you make your way down towards the boat launch area. Good quick hike to do if you are only on the island for the day.

hiking
5 months ago

The hike wasn't hard at all and you'll get plenty of picture opportunities once you get to the end.

Potato Harbor was amazing at sunset! We were camping in the upper loop and left for Potato Harbor about an hour before sundown. We took the coastal trail instead of the harbor road in both directions, and there was breathtaking scenery throughout! Be sure to stay after sunset to catch the best colors. You can read more about our trip on my blog: https://tellmeabootit.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/santa-cruz-island-channel-islands-national-park/

hiking
6 months ago

Started from the Cavern Point trailhead and added an additional mile of amazing views along the bluffs. Had plenty of time for the trail, a long break at the overlook, and a chance to relax on the beach before the boat returned to the dock.

Beautiful views

walking
6 months ago

Trail was busy with other daytrippers. Great views. Caterpillars, birds, and some friendly bees. Good hike for kids as it is quite level with minimal elevation gain.

Great trail, beautiful views and lots of interesting plants in the spring

hiking
6 months ago

This is the prettiest family hike if you are in the Scorpion Beach area. It is an easy hike and the views are spectacular. Definitely worth your time, especially if you area a daytripper and only have time to do one quick hike. Our group seen an island fox in hunting action.

We added the Cavern Point Loop hike for an extra 1 1/2 to 2 miles.

This is a decent hike in a scenic area. I would give it a 3.5 stars. If you are just wanting to see the famous scrub-jay as advertised in the NPS trail brochure, you do not need to do the entire loop. Start at either campground and travel counterclockwise. Within a few minutes after the group campground, you'll be in the canyon where the scrub-jay is frequently seen. There is very little elevation gain until after you leave the canyon.

The actual hike itself is not easy and the elevation gain is gradual if traveling clockwise. Our group seen numerous caterpillars, an island foxes (primarily in the campground), scrub-jay, and we heard beautiful music from unknown type(s) of songbird(s).

Beautiful short trip. We actually started at our campsite and hiked to Potato Harbor. Once there, we hiked over to Cavern Point and made it a longer loop.

This was my first time on the island and will most likely be back on a 2-3 overnight stay. The camping on the island is fantastic; however, campfires are not allowed.

This was an easy hike with spectacular views of the coastline. We saw the island foxes, a bush sunflower, lizards, and heard the seals barking as we peered down the steep cliffs of Potato Harbor.

My parents, who are 66, accompanied my husband and I on this hike. My father charged on ahead with reconstructed /prosthetic ankle. It was definitely a continual elevation gain for the first half of the hike. The scenery was mostly grassland. I’d love to see it in the spring with wildflowers blooming.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Great hike. Complete solitude. Exposed ridges were, very windy. I repeat. Very windy. Recommend trekking poles to help anchor or provide added stability against strong wind gusts.Have your camera ready, the views are breathtaking. We combined with trip to Smugglers cove. All day hike. One of my favorites.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Did a variation of this
Went to High Mount only
Also combined with Scorpion Loop Trail

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

hiking
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Well maintained trail that is easy for kids and adults. The final decent with switchbacks is the only reason for a moderate trail difficulty. Views are stunning and the Island Fox are fun to watch. Take your lunch and enjoy the views at Cavern Point.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

This was the first hike I've ever done. Not only did I challenge myself but reaching potato harbor made it totally worth it. I love the California mountains and to have hiked starting from the second camp ground area made my entire trip spectacular! One of the coolest and most memorable things I've done next to walking on a glacier in Alaska ! WOW!!!!! Channel Islands are not to be missed - will definitely go again

on Potato Harbor Trail

Saturday, July 15, 2017

We went to Potato Harbor, it was so foggy, we couldn't see the cove below. It was time for a snack, we sat and within 10 minutes, the turquoise water appeared before us. Only to disappear again quickly. It was spectacular. We returned by the north bluffs and down to the Scorpion cove.

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