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part ofChannel Islands National Park, National Park Service
Status: Open through Thu Dec 31 2015   Season Dates


Fantastic ocean views and relaxing beach time is practically guaranteed at Scorpion, the most family-friendly campsite on Santa Cruz Island. Set on the eastern part of the island, Scorpion is a short hike from the pier and is sheltered from harsh ocean winds.

The largest of California's Channel Islands, Santa Cruz is rich in cultural history, magnificent landscapes, and unique flora and fauna. The Chumash Native American Indians inhabited the island for 9,000 years, and Europeans have explored and ranched on the island for a few centuries. Remnants of ancient villages can be explored throughout the area.

Additionally, 600 plant species, 140 land birds, 11 land mammals and a handful of amphibians and reptiles call the island their home. The island fox and spotted skunk are exciting finds, as they're 100% unique to the island.

Natural Features:

Scorpion's beaches are a mix of sand and rocks, and face the Santa Barbara Channel. It's one of the five islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park, and the altitude ranges from sea level to 2500 ft. at its rugged mountain peaks.


An ultra-fun activity is ocean kayaking. Kayak novices should hire a guide, and kayak rentals need to be arranged before arriving on the island. Whether boating around the island or simply perched on the beach, look out over the Pacific for a chance to spot whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins.

For camping, fishing, kayaking and private boating information, contact Channel Islands National Park at 805-658-5730 or www.nps.gov/chis.<p>


Scorpion offers 25 campsites and 6 group sites. Access to the island is by Island Packers Cruises or by private boat. Note that no landings are available at the pier. You must anchor off-shore and skiff in.

Nearby Attractions:

Hiking options are unlimited and offer spectacular coastal views. Try the Potato Harbor hike for views of the island's mountain peaks, the southern California coastline and a potato-shaped harbor. This popular hike takes you past antique ranching equipment and old buildings for a taste of island history. For more advanced hikers, tackle the 14-mile hike from Scorpion to Prisoner's Cove. Expect to trudge through areas with your hands and feet.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Programs
  • Food Storage Locker
  • Hiking
  • Picnic Area
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Vault Toilets
Know Before You Go
  • Boat transportation arrangements to the island are required before making a campsite reservation
  • There are 25 individual campsites; Max 6 people per site, Max 2 tents per site
  • There are 6 groups sites; 15 people per site; you may reserve up to 4 of these sites per party
  • Groups of more than 60 persons must contact the park to obtain a Special Use Permit
  • Food/Trash storage lockers are required and provided at each site
  • 1/2 mile to 1 mile hike to campground, you must carry all your gear
  • Primitive camping. Bring low profile tents and extra food for weather delays
  • Smoking is only allowed on beaches or piers
  • To protect resources, no cardboard or corrugated boxes can be brought to the island
  • No stores or services on island
  • No pets or vehicles allowed
  • No fires, camp stoves only. No charcoal or BBQ allowed
  • No fishing in state marine reserves (Scorpion Anchorage is in a marine reserve.) California fishing license with ocean enhancement sticker required.
  • Hantavirus in mice, take precautions to reduce exposure to rodents
  • Upon arrival, meet ranger (if available) at beach, landing dock or campground. Please have confirmation letter, receipt, or campsite number with you.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
34.04824, -119.5616
34°2'54"N, 119°33'42"W

To park headquarters in Ventura, Ca: exit Highway 101, at Victoria or Seaward to Ventura Harbor.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

1901 Spinnaker Drive
ventura  CA  93001

Phone Number:

Information:  (805)658-5730
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