april, 2018

21aprallday22alldayEvent OverEvent CancelledSanta Cruz Island Backpacking AdventureActivity:Backpacking,CoedLevel:ModerateDays:2Capacity:6-8Availability:Early Bird

Event Photos


april 21 (Saturday) - 22 (Sunday)


Santa Cruz, Channel Islands National Park

Event Details

Join us for a unique overnight backpacking adventure on Santa Cruz Island, the largest of five islands in Channel Island National Park.

Santa Cruz Island offers 77-miles of rugged ocean cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, giant sea caves and colorful tidepools. The island is home to many distinctive plant and animal species that have adapted to the unique environment, including the Santa Cruz Island Fox, a local you will likely meet during your visit.

From Ventura Harbor, a ferry will bring us to Scorpion Anchorage. While the campground is only a short .5-mile hike from the ferry, the island has very few amenities, allowing us to slip into the backcountry and hone our skills without too much sweat.

Learn from our experienced guides how to pack your bag, cook in the backcountry and Leave No Trace. We’ll enjoy hikes across the island, offering panoramic coastal views and wildflower sightings and relaxing beach time. 

Join our supportive community of Shoestring Warriors and take back your weekend!

Photos by Triptographer Kyle Miyamoto on our Santa Cruz Island Backpacking Adventure

Highlights For This Adventure

  • Enjoy a 1-hour ferry ride to the island. Keep you eyes peeled for dolphins and pelicans!
  • Explore the island on foot, including secluded beaches, panoramic ocean views and wildflower-filled meadows
  • Access the backcountry with just a short .5-mile hike from the ferry to the campground
  • Observe the Santa Cruz Island Fox and other wildlife in their natural habitat

Included With Every Shoestring Adventure

  • Learn from our Wilderness First Responder/CPR certified trip leaders, no matter your level of experience
  • Connect with our community of like-minded people through Meetups and happy hours
  • Join our free Ambassador-led group hikes to train for your adventure
  • Borrow gear at no cost if you don’t have your own
  • Enjoy gourmet camp mealseverything tastes better outdoors
  • Get professional photos to remember your adventure from our Triptographers
  • Get your Shoestring Warrior Adventure Kit with curated souvenirs
  • Leave the planning to uspermits, campground reservations and round-trip ferry tickets included

Shoestring Adventures operates with special use permits. A portion of your ticket goes toward protecting and preserving this park for future generations.

Your Journey

  • Day 1: Meet at Ventura Harbor for a 1-hour ferry ride to Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island. After camp set-up and orientation, we’ll head out on a 5-mile loop day hike to Cavern Point and Potato Harbor, featuring magnificent coastal views and seasonal whale watching.
  • Day 2: Pack up camp before a 7-mile round-trip hike to Smuggler’s Cove. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the secluded beach before heading back to Scorpion Anchorage to catch our ferry back to Ventura Harbor.

Total: Approx. 12 miles

Schedule subject to change due to weather, camper ability/injury, natural events or park restrictions. Shoestring Warriors should be in good physical shape, but we will hike at an easy pace and take breaks as needed.

Your Guides

Trip Leader Heather currently works as an Internship Coordinator at a university and is aspiring to work full time as a Life Coach, offering healing and rejuvenating outdoor activities to others. Heather has found that being in the outdoors provides people with an opportunity to slip away from the sounds of the city, exercise, release tension, gain clarity, find peace, and discover something new about yourself, among so many other things! One of her most meaningful trips was backpacking the John Muir Trail solo. She is so thankful to be a part of the Shoestring Adventures family and looks forward to getting to know you! LEARN MORE

Triptographer Stepfanie is an outdoor enthusiast, photographer, writer, and a lifelong learner. You can find her trying out a new craft or testing out how she can integrate things she enjoys. She loves connecting with adventurous and creative souls! LEARN MORE

Trip Level

While previous backpacking experience is not required, Shoestring Warriors must be physically fit and prepared to hike up to 7-miles. Check out our upcoming schedule of community hikes to train with us!

First Time Shoestring Warrior?

After registration, you will receive a Welcome Kit with a customized package list, introductions to your fellow campers, weather forecast and everything else you need to know to prepare for our trip.

Gear List

Provided by Shoestring Adventures

  • group first aid kit
  • group cooking gear
  • stoves and fuel
  • group bathroom trowel

Required Gear (provided at no additional cost if you don’t have your own)

  • backpack (60 liters or more) with rain cover
  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping pad
  • headlamp and spare batteries
  • tents (2 and 3-person tents will be shared with 1-2 other campers of the same gender)

Required Clothing

  • bandana
  • beanie
  • camp shoes
  • gloves
  • hat
  • sunglasses
  • insulating layer
  • rain shell
  • hiking pants or shorts
  • hiking shirt
  • hiking boots or shoes (broken in)
  • hiking socks
  • undergarments
  • long underwear/pajamas

Required Personal Items

  • backpacking cup, bowl, utensils
  • ID & health insurance card
  • water bladder or bottles with minimum 3L capacity
  • SPF chapstick and sunblock
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • unscented baby wipes
  • small towel
  • contacts/solution
  • comb/hair band
  • bug repellant
  • hand sanitizer
  • prescription medications
  • personal bathroom kit: toilet paper, ziplock bags, personal wipes, hand sanitizer


  • camera and accessories
  • trekking poles (highly recommended for balance and to help reduce strain on knees)
  • small pillow
  • small multi-tool
  • camp chair


While you are responsible for getting to and from Shoestring Adventures locations, we will help coordinate carpools for Shoestring Warriors leaving from Los Angeles. Passengers are expected to contribute to their driver for gas and wear & tear. Round trip ferry tickets are included.

Getting There

Traveling from out of town? The closest airport is Santa Barbara Airport—45 minutes from the Ventura Harbor. Los Angeles International and Hollywood Burbank Airports are about one and a half hours away.

If you plan to fly in Friday night, you can find a place to stay on Airbnb. We will meet bright and early on Saturday morning, around 7:00am. We will return to civilization around 5pm on Sunday, so plan your flight accordingly.


In general, the islands have a Mediterranean climate year-round. Temperatures are relatively stable, with highs averaging in the mid-60s (°F) and lows in the low-50s. Fog is common during the late spring. Click here for current weather forecast.

Health & Safety

We take extra measures to ensure your safety and maximum level of fun. All Shoestring Adventures trip leaders hold Wilderness First Responder/CPR, Leave No Trace and Food Handling certifications. In remote destinations, we carry a DeLorme inReach Explorer Satellite Messenger to contact authorities in case of emergency.

On the trail, we encourage campers to stay together, wear sun protection and stay hydrated. We minimize risk by keeping groups together while hiking, encouraging everyone to drink water and apply sunscreen, and making sure we’re prepared with gear appropriate to weather and our activities.

Not Included

  • Transportation is not included.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips for trip leader and photographer
  • Meal at local restaurant
  • Park entrance fee


Participants must complete our Registration Form and sign a Liability Waiver & Media Release. Please read our FAQ for more information and our cancellation policy.

Registration and Payment

We don’t want finances to be a barrier to the outdoors. To request a custom payment plan, email alyx@shoestringadventures.com.

  • Member Pre-Sale: $370
  • Early Bird: $410 (Begins January 26)
  • Regular: $450 (Begins March 23)

Ticket Section Title

Tickets are not available for sale any more for this event!


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