Camping on Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz is the largest of the islands and is part of the National Park system. Check out this site for information. For camping it is necessary to catch an Island Packers boat out of Ventura.
Steps to plan camping trip:
1. Pick your date:
Check the schedule with Island Packers
(805) 642 1393; 1691 Spinnaker Ave.
$79 roundtrip to Santa Cruz Island.
If you are taking public transportation down to Ventura, you will want to pick a date that has a 12 noon departure to Santa Cruz East (Scorpion). If you are driving, you can take an earlier boat.
Depart: 12pm from Ventura to Santa Cruz East (Scorpion)
Return: 4pm or earlier (If you are driving your own car, you don't need to worry about which boat you reserve for the return).
2. Reserve a campsite at recreation.gov. $15 per night for up to 6 people.
3. Getting to Ventura:
9:00am - take Vista Coastal bus from Figueroa and Chapala Streets in Santa Barbara ($3).
9:51am - get off at Santa Clara and Oak Ave bus stop in Ventura.
There is no longer a Bus 12 that runs to the harbor so you must take a taxi to Island Packers.
4. Coming back to SB (weekends):
Take a taxi to Santa Clara and Oak Streets in downtown Ventura then at 5:31pm -catch Vista Coastal bus to Santa Barbara
If you miss the Vista Coastal, take the Amtrak at 9pm ($15). The Amtrak is at Harbor Boulevard and Figueroa Street in Ventura (walkable from downtown)
5. Go Kayaking while you are there:
Check with the boat first to be sure they still have space for a kayak, then call Channel Islands Kayak Center (805) 984-5995. $35 for single, $55 for double + $19 transport fee
6. Prepare your equipment and supplies
You must pack all your food for the trip as well as all your camping equipment. See our Camping Equipment page for details on the necessities that you will need.