Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Channel Islands National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trail was in good condition. We just did an out and back totaling 10miles. Beautiful views. Lots of up and down. Nice trail. I didn’t find the part that we did to be particularly hard, just up and down a lot.

hiking
16 days ago

Great views throughout and we saw 3 island foxes. Pretty easy hike and we really enjoyed it. I recommend taking the coastal trail versus the road as that gives you the better views.

hiking
no shade
17 days ago

The boat ride alone is worth it - lots of wildlife including dolphin and migrating whales can be seen. The stairway up to the trail is the most challenging part (and it's not bad). The trail itself is very easy; the views are spectacular and unique to the islands. There is a volunteer on the island that explains a few rules and offers a guided tour (which is interesting), or visitors may hike on their own. There are also a few campsites available - the island packers website explains it all pretty well. Definitely bring a camera - Dramatic ocean cliffs, kelp beds, (very) abundant sea birds, the lighthouse and other structures are all great subjects. Great date day for my Wife & I

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
21 days ago

We did this hike from Scorpion campground to Chinese harbor cobblestone beach. It was a crazy hike back up. Elevation gain was quick and vicious, bring water , and any type of performance enhancer gummies Gatorade because you will burn through a lot going back up. It was 19 miles out and back and we enjoyed it.

hiking
26 days ago

Nice trail. Very windy! Easy to follow. Beautiful views.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

We took the 8am ferry from Ventura and returned on the 12pm. Easy enough hike. We decided to go counterclockwise on the Canyon Loop and then come back the clockwise route, which is a bit more challenging as counterclockwise features a steeper ascent. Beautiful views of the bluffs and lots of wildlife all around, especially dolphins down in the water.

Amazing spectacle to see three humpback whales breaching right off the coast of Los Angeles!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Steep incline at the beginning ( >20% gradient) to get to the top. Flat at the top. Well groomed. Easy to follow. Nice look out points.

hiking
bugs
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Nice hike to an overview several miles from Scorpion Anchorage. No shade and it was extremely windy, but that at least meant we didn't get too hot. Some good views from the top of the cliffs of some of the beaches and caves below as well as the mountains to the east. Could just make out the mainland even though it was quite hazy. Overall it was a fun easy hike that we managed to complete in a few hours after spending the morning kayaking and still make it back in time to catch the boat.

Enjoyed the hike but we have to carry a lot of water from Prisoners Harbor up to the Del Norte campground a good 4 miles of uphill hike. Despite of that we were able to enjoy a day hike the Chinese Harbor Trail and back, enjoy a beautiful solitude night staring at the stars.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

The trail was clear and footing was good. Not too difficult for all hikers. Could have better markings but pretty short and traffic was average on a Saturday. Beautiful views easily accessible from the trail. We spent about an hour with a local guide who was very informative about the island. If you want to get in the water take water shoes. Lots of rocks. The ferry ride over was very rough and almost made us nauseous. Still a great day.

hiking
2 months ago

8/19/19: Started off on the ferry over by seeing about 100 dolphins swimming/jumping along side the boat (pretty incredible)! From the Scorpion Ranch docks we headed straight up the coastline to Cavern Point, then over to Potato Harbor. Would recommend bringing a backpacking chair if you have one so you can just sit and take in the views (or have lunch as we did) at the overlooks. We just made it an Out and Back instead of taking the inner loop to give us a second chance along the coast to see some marine life. Unfortunately we didn’t see any whales, but were able to see schools of fish surfacing. Pretty cool! There are no trees along this route (thus no shade), so plan accordingly. Overall it was a pretty easy/enjoyable hike with amazing views!

Short hike, easy. Pretty views!

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Such a fun trek! Lots of variance in trail conditions and terrain. I didn't quite expect just how steep and rocky the final bit of the climb to the peak would be -- not technically 'rock climbing', but it felt like it after the hours of hiking to get there and the weight of a backpack to contend with. As noted by a few folks, you'll need to pack plenty of water with you as there aren't any sources along the way. Some sections where the trail gets a bit fuzzy and overgrown, but not too bad at all. I set out in the morning from Del Norte (about 7am) and had plenty of time to explore the Scorpion history center and beach and chill well before the 4pm ferry arrived. A note on the campsites at Del Norte -- #1 and #2 are completely unshaded and were basically unusable in the August heat during the day. #3 and #4 were nice with partial to full shade most of the day. It was just me for most of my time there, so I hung out at #3 in the day and moved to #1 (for the insane view!) once the sun set.

Fun 8 mile out and back trek down to Chinese Harbor. In August it was totally dry, no stream passage at all. And little to no shade. So make sure to pack in water for the trek. I took 1.5 liters and was ok in 80-ish degree clear weather. If you've got sandals, recommended for walking on the rocky beach. Near impossible to do barefoot.

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