Ventura, CA

Explore the Beauty of the Windswept Santa Rosa Island

Anne Bonfert
Channel Islands ViewpointPriya Karkare/ Unsplash

If you're looking for some new adventures this summer and are planning your holidays in California you should put the Channel Islands on your list. Their extraordinary location just off the Californian coast ensured a unique flora and fauna. Vegetation and wildlife which has been preserved for thousands of years. Pristine nature is what you'll find when arriving on the islands.

Santa Rosa Island is the second biggest one of them and has a lot to offer. Adventures on land and at sea but also isolation can be found here. Day trips aren't the best way to explore the island since it's a three-hour boat ride from the mainland to get to Santa Rosa. For those with more money in the pocket, a plane ride can be booked. For the rest, I'd recommend a sleepover on the island. Camping is basic but will allow you to experience the island in its full appearance.

A campsite is located near a 3-mile-long beach. You can pitch your tent at Water Canyon Camp and stay one night or longer. Showers, flush toilets, and wind shelters are available. Mentioning the wind, don't forget to tie down the tent properly since 30-knot winds are uncommon on the island.

If you're planning to stay for the night or longer on the island planning is essential since there are no goods and services offered on Santa Rosa. You have to bring your own food for the time of your stay. Drinking water, however, is available at two locations. At the camp in Water canyon and at the public bathrooms at the historic ranch.

The island is characterized by beautiful white sand beaches and steep and dramatic canyons. Lobo and Water Canyon being two of them. Two Mountains are relatively tall being 1298 ft (Black Mountain) and 1574 ft (Soledad Peak) in elevation.

For mountain lovers and adventure seekers, the island has many hiking trails to offer. Those hikes offer spectacular views across the ocean and the cliffs. Some trails and roads are rather flat and easy, others are more rugged and mountainous.

Due to the strong and persistent wind, water activities should only be done by experienced visitors. Activities such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are however possible. Surfing can be done but most surf spots are best accessed by private boat. For those less adventurous or less experienced there are beach walking options along the endless shores.

Please don't forget to check on the website for up-to-date information due to the coronavirus and National Park opening hours. Currently, all people who are not fully vaccinated have to wear masks indoors and outdoors only when social distancing can't be practiced.


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I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent. My stories go around travel, nature and all kinds of adventurous activities.


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