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SANTA ROSA ISLAND, CA

part ofChannel Islands National Park, National Park Service
Photo: SANTA ROSA ISLAND
Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
 

Overview

Bountiful beauty covers Santa Rosa Island with 53,000 acres of rolling grassy hills, deep canyons and white sand beaches. Santa Rosa is the second largest island of California's Channel Islands, and is part of the Channel Islands National Park. The island landforms support a diverse array of plant and animal species including six plant species found nowhere on earth but Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa also hosts over 100 bird and three land mammal species, including the endemic island fox.

Remains of an ancient species like the pygmy mammoth have been uncovered on Santa Rosa Island. These miniature mammoths, reaching just four to six ft. tall, roamed the island's grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene Age. The island has rich archeological resources as well. It is home to thousands of significant archeological sites of the Chumash Native Americans, who inhabited the island until 1820.

Natural Features:

Santa Rosa has a landscape of remarkable contrasts. High mountains with deeply cut canyons give way to gently rolling grass-covered hills, extensive beaches, and coastal wetlands. The altitude ranges from sea level to 2,000 feet.

Recreation:

Hiking options seem limitless and the coastline extends for miles, providing many beaches. Back country beach camping is available for part of the year, but the camping season varies. Take a stroll through the diverse landscapes and discover some of the island's 500 plant types, including six plant species that are unique to Santa Rosa. Among these plants is a variety of the Torrey pine, a rare, ancient pine tree.

Facilities:

Santa Rosa is a true rural getaway from the highly developed coast of southern California. It's for dedicated backcountry hikers, campers and fishermen. The pier is on the north part of the island.

Nearby Attractions:

Access to a highly recommended beach, Water Canyon Beach, is just over a mile from the Bechers Bay pier. The sandy beach lies on the northeastern shore of the island. Bechers Bay is a destination in itself, with buildings and equipment at the historic Vail and Vickers ranch.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Beach Camping
  • Boating
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Programs
  • Flush Toilets
  • Food Storage Locker
  • Picnic Area
  • Showers
  • Swimming
  • Wind Shelters
Know Before You Go
  • Transportation arrangements to island are required before making campsite reservation
  • Campsites must be reserved prior to arrival on the island.
  • 1.5 mile hike to campground, must carry all gear.
  • Primitive camping. Bring low profile tents and extra food for weather delays.
  • Be prepared for fog and wind.
  • Food storage lockers available.
  • Smoking allowed only 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.
  • Firearms or fireworks not allowed on the island
  • No fishing in state marine reserves. California fishing license required.
  • Due to strong winds, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, diving are limited and require expert abilities.
  • For a few months each year, Vail and Vickers operate a private hunt for stocked deer and elk. During these hunting periods, hiking may be restricted in certain areas. Please check with island personnel before hiking and be aware of the hunting operation.
  • 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 or receipt with you.
  • Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    33.95, -120.1
    33°57'0"N, 120°6'0"W

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

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    SANTA ROSA ISLAND
    1901 Spinnaker Drive
    Ventura CA 93001

    Phone Number:

    Information: (805)658-5730
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