Fantastic ocean views and relaxing beach time is practically guaranteed at Scorpion Canyon Campground, the most family-friendly campsite on Santa Cruz Island. Set on the eastern part of the island, the campground is a short hike from the pier and is sheltered from harsh ocean winds. The largest of California's Channel Islands, Santa Cruz Island is one of the five islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park. The island is rich in cultural history, magnificent landscapes, and unique flora and fauna. Native American Indians inhabited the island for over 10,000 years and Europeans explored and ranched on the island for over 150 years. Over 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 island scrub-jay are exciting finds, as they're unique to the island, found nowhere else in the world. For more information about Santa Cruz Island visit: https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/santa-cruz-island.htm .
Primitive camping is available at Scorpion Canyon Campground with 25 individual sites which accommodate up to six persons per site; and six group sites with up to 15 persons per site. Picnic table, food storage box, pit toilet, and water are provided. The campground is a flat 1/2 mile to 1 mile hike from the pier. Access to the island is by Island Packers Cruises or by private boat.
There are 25 individual campsites. Max 6 people per site. Max 3 tents per site. A party or group of 12 or less may reserve a maximum of 2 individual sites per visit.
Quiet time is enforced at 10:00 pm. Check-in and check-out times are at 11:00 a.m.
No campfires or charcoal fires. Only enclosed gas camp stoves are allowed. Smoking is only allowed on beach areas at Scorpion, Smugglers, and Prisoners Harbors.
Visitors who have known allergies to yellow jacket venom should consider going to an alternate location other than Scorpion Ranch campground during the summer and early fall. Since yellow jackets are attracted to the water at the Scorpion Ranch campground water spigots, visitors that are allergic to yellow jacket stings may want to consider bringing their own water to the island.
To help prevent the introduction of nonnative species the following items may not be brought to the park: pets; live or potted plants; soil; cut flowers; firewood or any untreated, unfinished wood (including hiking sticks); corrugated boxes; tools or equipment with attached soil; motorized vehicles; bicycles; and single-use plastic grocery bags. Prior to departure, visitors are required to use pest-proof packing materials, inspect and clean their gear and shoes of all soil, seeds, and insects. Learn more about biosecurity and watch the required video at Protect Your Park Through Biosecurity.
The beach near the campground is a mix of sand and rocks, and faces the Santa Barbara Channel. The campground is located in a valley with a mixture of trees and shrubs. Rugged mountain peaks rise above the campground to 1,808 feet.
Hiking options are unlimited and offer spectacular coastal views. Try the 2 mile round-trip Cavern Point Loop hike for views of the island's mountain peaks, and the southern California coastline. This popular hike takes you past antique ranching equipment and historic buildings for a taste of island ranch history. For more advanced hikers, tackle the 7.5-mile round-trip hike from the campground to Smugglers Cove.
With its easy beach access and generally good weather, this area offers the most recreational activities in the park, including hiking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and wildlife/wildflower viewing. There are no services on the island, so all gear has to be brought to the island. Guided kayak trips and kayak rentals must be arranged before arriving on the island. For more information about recreational activities in the park, visit https://www.nps.gov/chis/planyourvisit/index.htm.
1901 Spinnaker Drive ventura CA 93001
For campground inquiries, please call: 805-658-5730
Learn more about gear rental options for your trip
Boat transportation can be arranged with Island Packers from Ventura Harbor. To park headquarters in Ventura, Ca: exit Highway 101, at Victoria or Seaward to Ventura Harbor.