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Cavern Point Loop - Santa Cruz Island, CA

Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance Loop 2.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 119 feet
Elevation Gain 316 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 4.08
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
31  2017-05-13 Lucyan
12  2016-08-03
Potato Harbor Trail
9  2010-06-25 writelots
Author writelots
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 40
Photos 5,602
Trips 339 map ( 3,914 miles )
Age 48 Female Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jan, Mar, Dec, Apr
Seasons   Spring to Winter
Sun  4:47am - 7:12pm
0 Alternative

Amazing views just steps from the harbor
by writelots

From the NPS Guide to Hiking Eastern Santa Cruz Island:
Not to be missed. Magnificent costal vistas and whale viewing. To avoid a steep climb, hike clockwise, beginning from the lower campground and looping back to Scorpion Anchorage. From Cavern Point, you may also follow the North Bluff Trail west for 2 miles to Potato Harbor.

This is a quick, scenic walk which is an excellent way to become familiar with the lay of the coast and inland development of this very isolated and beautiful island park. Either way there is a steady climb up to the point, but the trail is always smooth, wide and relatively free of obstacles (with the exception of the other tourists). From Cavern Point, you can see not only the spread of the lower campground, the historic ranch and the pier at Scorpion Anchorage, but you can also look out over the ocean and see (when weather permits) the mountains on the California Coast some 10 miles to the west. Below you, beyond the circling seagulls, cormorants and grey pelicans, is the surf as it winds in and out of the labyrinth of sea caves that make this island most famous. If you're planning on kayaking in these caves, or if you've already been out, this is an excellent place to get perspective on how challenging that is compared to simply walking along the shore!

On a clear day, the water is sparkling blue and turquoise, and the views stretch out forever. However, if you visit in May or June, and you're there in the morning, be prepared for a shortened view, complimented by misty fog and clouds dancing across the rolling hills. Either way, you win!

I have added .5 miles to this trail from the Park's description to account for travel between the upper and lower trailheads - because it's unlikely that you'll have a car shuttle between them.

To reach the Channel Islands National Park and Scorpion Anchroage on Eastern Santa Cruz Island, you must take a ferry from the mainland (or arrange for your own channel passage via sailboat/fishing boat/life preserver). Island Packers operates regular ferries that leave from Ventura and Oxnard. To camp on the island, you must first obtain a ticket on the ferry, then you must reserve your space in advance through the NPS. Camping on the island is simple, but comfortable. Pit toilets, picnic tables and bear boxes definitely make life easier, and the spot is sheltered from the island's regular winds as well as the sun by soft hills and giant eucalyptus trees.

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2010-06-30 writelots
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    The upper trailhead is between upper and lower Scorpion Campground. The lower trailhead is just below the visitor center near the pier.

    To reach Eastern Santa Cruz Island requires a ferry ride across the Santa Barbara Channel. For additional information, you may contact the NPS or inquire at the visitor center on the Mainland at the end of Spinnaker Drive in Ventura Harbor.
    page created by writelots on Jun 30 2010 11:19 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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