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Channel Islands National Park

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Channel Islands National Park

Postby old and slow » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:28 am

Since the wife and I were heading to Southern Cal to visit family, we decided to check out Channel Islands NP for a 1 night trip. It's a little more than a one hour boat ride from Ventura Harbor to Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island. Added bonus on this trip was some fantastic whale watching -- the humpback whales put on an excellent show both to and fro! It was an easy 20 minute walk from the pier to our site at the upper Scorpion campground. This is basically a nicer version of car camping; but our site #25 was pretty quiet and provided some privacy as well as great scenery into Scorpion Canyon. After setting up camp, we hiked along the ridge toward Cavern Point and Potato Harbor Overlook. Great views in all directions! The next morn we explored the hike into Scorpion Canyon and then after lunch we walked the beginning of the trail to Smuggler's Cove.

Takeaways from this trip:
1. this is a nice trip for older or slower folks and/or as an intro for children or other newbies into camping….it might pique their interest into something just a bt more adventurous e.g. my wife now wants to accompany me on a Sierra trip, perhaps the Saddlebag/20 Lakes Basin.
2. April is a great time to visit with near perfect weather and tremendous spring colors
3. flora and fauna excellent -- spring flowers are in full bloom, and we saw the endemic Island Scrub Jay as well as the Island Fox
4. we should have stayed 2 or even 3 nights as there are plenty of hiking trails to explore and enjoy.

Here are some pictures:
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:07 pm

Thank you for sharing your trip to CINP. Really enjoyed the pictures, especially the
flower and fox photo's. I am almost sure that she we will really enjoy 20 Lakes Basin
too.
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby The Other Tom » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Thanks for the report. I didn't know foxes could climb trees :)
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby Rockchucker » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:35 pm

I love Santa Cruz, but Santa Rosa is my favorite. Anacapa is too small. Too bad more of Santa Cruz isn't open.
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby old and slow » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:59 pm

Mav, thanks for the feedback.

Rockchucker, this was my first trip to the Channel Islands and just loved it. It would definitely be nice if more of the island was open to the public. For those who don't know, the National Park Service owns approx 25% of Santa Cruz Island while the Nature Conservancy owns the remaining 75%, which, as I understand it, is off limits absent some kind of official guided tour. And, Santa Rosa Island is definitely on my wish list now! Maybe San Miguel too??

As for the fox, the tree climbing thing was crazy -- they really seem more like a hybrid dog/cat.
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby Rockchucker » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:17 pm

Never been to San Miguel, been on Santa Barbra, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and worked on San Nicolas for several years. They are all so unique and special, I really need to take my son out there. Now that I'm in the eastern sierras it's a bit tougher.

Thanks so much for the pictures. BTW how did you like those big eucalyptus trees at camp? When I was there last the sings said camp only at designated spots but avoid being under the trees, yet all the tent spots are under the trees! :confused:
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby old and slow » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Hmmmm….now that you mention it, that's a good question about the eucalyptus. There weren't any signs warning folks to not camp under the trees and, in fact, most of the designated campsites are nestled amongst the "widow makers." Fortunately, it wasn't particularly windy and the trees held up okay -- no limbs came crashing down. But now, you've made me nervous!
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby freestone » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:21 pm

The winds on Santa Cruz, especially at Scorpions, are not as bad as the outer Islands, so being under those big eucalyptus is safe enough.

BTW, the Park Service just closed San Miguel so the island can be decontaminated of unexploded ordinance by the Navy. The closure will be at least a year and possibly longer.
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Re: Channel Islands National Park

Postby austex » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:10 pm

About 33 years ago myself and now wife took a field study class from CSUN to the field study station run by the Nature Conservancy. We were there 3 nights; brought over by a Naval ship. Quite a special trip lots of indigenous species there. I would guess that would have been part of the now off limits area.
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