Are you looking for a great place to hike in Ventura County? Look to Island Packers for year round excursions to the Catalina islands off the Ventura coastline. They have several trips to choose from depending on the time of year and each one is unique. The most common trips are to the Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands as they are considered the “local” islands whereas the “outer” islands are the Santa Barbara, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands.
These island hikes offer beautiful views of the coast, bird watching and the varying terrain all located within the the Channel Islands National Park. When hiking on the islands you have to supply your own food and water and take out your own trash since there are no services available. Wear your most comfortable hiking or walking shoes and layer your clothing. The boat ride out can be a little cold but it’s a great part of the trip and if you’re lucky there will be plenty of wildlife to view – whale watching is common, along with the many seals and dolphins.
My last hike was to Prisoners Harbor on SantaCruz Island with a group of friends this past December. This was a 4.6 mile round trip hike on the Nature Conservancy Property. The Pelican Bay Trail was a perfect trip up and down rugged hills, along sloping meadows and through small forests of Oaks and Pines. We had an hour long picnic on the rocks at Prisoners Harbor and then it was time to head back to the boat. A perfect trip!
Hiking Update: Our latest trip was on the other trail called Scorpion. Here you can enjoy camping at its best with 25 reserved campsites and running water and bathrooms. You’ll even see several of the native animals including the friendly native foxes. Rent a kayak while you’re there but be sure to reserve the campsites and kayaking rentals before you go. For all the information on boating, fishing, kayaking and camping, contact Channel Islands National Park at 805-658-5730 or www.nps.gov/chis
When it comes to enjoying the outdoors in Ventura County it’s hard to beat a trip to our beautiful coastline! To learn more about this hike and all of the other hiking/boating packages that Island Packers has to offer go to their website here http://www.islandpackers.com