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Guide to Camping in Channel Islands National Park on Santa Cruz Island

So you want to camp in the Channel Islands? Here’s how!

1) Start by booking your campsite with the National Park Service.
You will want to stay at Santa Cruz Scorpion, part of Channel Islands National Park. The campground has an Upper Loop and Lower Loop. All the group sites are in the Upper Loop and this area is further to hike to. Print out your confirmation and take it with you on your trip. All campers are required to have camping reservations prior to their departure from the mainland. Island camping reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

Campground Information:
The Lower Loop at Santa Cruz Scorpion campground is about ½ mile from the dock (the Upper Loop is further). The hike to the campground is along a flat, dirt trail and takes approximately 10 minutes. Visitors must carry all gear to the campgrounds. Camping conditions are primitive, and users must camp within designated areas. All campgrounds are equipped with picnic tables and pit toilets. Potable water is available and we will provide a water container for you to fill up at the site. No trash containers are provided; campers must pack out their own trash. No fires are permitted. To prevent scavenging animals from entering your site, please store all food in the fox boxes provided.

2) Make your ferry boat reservation with Island Packers.
You will want to book your ticket from Ventura Harbor to Scorpion Cove. Book your camper ferry ticket online here or call (805) 642-1393.

3) Lastly, book an amazing sea cave kayak and/or snorkel tour with us!
Whether you want to kayak/snorkel on the day you arrive, the day you depart, or someday in between, it is up to you!

Please book all three reservations as far in advance as possible as there is often limited space for camping, ferry boat seats, and kayak tours.

View Additional Camping Information.


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