Summary: This trail is very easy as it follows an old ranch road for the entire distance. It climbs gradually and gives you swooping vistas of the California coastline. You can get up close and personal to the cliff drop-offs, but be careful not to get too close, there are signs that warn you of this.
This is a great hike that the whole family will enjoy, and there shouldn't be any complaining. You might even get to see an endemic and endangered island scrub jay among the golden non-native grassland along the trail.
Once you get to the clear cove that is Potato Harbor, you will want to explore its crystalline water, but you can't - it is too steep to allow access.
If you are an experienced hiker, you may want to do what my friend and I did - continue on to Montanon ridge via the old ranch road up to High Mount. Don't worry, it isn't discouraged, just be careful of places where areas are being revegetated. You can hike on any of the old roads.
Trailhead: From Scorpion Harbor - follow the road west through Scorpion Campground to Upper Scorpion Campground and veer right onto the north road that leads up into the coastal hills. Follow this road to Potato Harbor - there is no beach access.
To get to Santa Cruz Island, you must take a boat.
Be sure to check in with the ranger - he won't check on you.
If you are camping - camp in the upper campground - it is less crowded and quieter. (Lat:34.04763 Lon:-119.5889)
Trail Guides for Santa Cruz Island - Potato harbor:
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Channel Islands National Park (805)658-5730
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by NancyJ on 6/5/2005
This is a great way to see the island... not too steep, but scenery keeps changing... and you hear the occasional wild pig spying! Am goin' again in July.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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