Weekend getaway to the Channel Islands
April 27th - April 29th 2018
Day 1: We left the Ventura port on the 9:30am Island Packers boat & headed towards the Santa Cruz Island. The winds were strong so it was a bumpy ride but we were fortunate to see 100s of dolphins during the one hour ride. We stopped first at Scorpian Anchorage (the dock for the other more populous campsite on the island) to drop off the majority of the boat passengers & then continued on to the Prisoners Harbor boat dock.
From Prisoners Harbor it was a 3.5 mile strenuous hike up to the campsite. We had to bring all our food & water for the duration of our stay, as well as our camping supplies, so it was a tough climb! We followed a dirt road for the first mile & then veered off onto a beautiful grassy trail that followed the coast of the islands. The flowers were in perfect bloom so every step was beautiful. When we got to the Del Norte Campsite, we unpacked our gear & settled into our home for the next two nights. Del Norte only has 4 campsites so it is super exclusive regardless, but because of the high winds, only one other group had ventured up to the site too. We booked campsite #1 because it has the best views but #4 is definitely the best for shelter.
After lunch & a little exploration of the area, we returned to the site for some relaxation. We played cards, shared stories, had a bottle of wine & then started to prepare dinner. During our dinner preparation, we got a visit from two Island Foxes which are native to the Channel Islands (they were super cute!). Dinner consisted of Patagonia Provisions kamut grains & salmon. The two other adventurers at the campsite joined us for dinner & told us endless stories about their fascinating journeys. The two guys were 75 & 65 years old & had been trekking together for the past 40 years! One played his harmonica for us while we finished our meal & then we headed to bed. We could see the ocean & the night stars from our tent which was amazing, but as the winds continued to pick up, we prepared ourselves for a loud night.
Day 2: The following day, we got up with the sunrise, made breakfast & then packed our day bags for an adventure down to Chinese Harbor which was a beautiful walk that ended at a cobble stone beach (10 miles round trip). We dipped our feet in the ocean & enjoyed our packed lunch sat by the beach. We took the opportunity to take a mid day snooze & then headed back up the campsite. Two new campers had joined the site that evening so we hung out with fellow adventurers & discussed our concerns as the winds continued to pick up.
By 7pm, the other campers had moved their tents to more sheltered areas surrounding the campsite but we wanted to make the most of the ocean views so we decided to stay put. We called the park services who let us know they would most likely be sending an early morning boat to pick us up because of the high winds effecting the boats ability to cross the ocean (our planned return was a 4pm pick up).
Day 3: We got an early night (which was VERY loud as the winds shook the tent) & then awoke early to pack up the site & head back down to the boat dock for pick up. The boat ride home wasn't as wavy as anticipated & we made it back in time to enjoy the rest of our Sunday... so it ended up being perfect!
Overall, it was an amazing Trail Babe experience! The Channel Islands provided a unique weekend getaway that we would highly recommend. It was definitely a relaxing trip & there wasn't too much to do but 2 nights was the perfect amount of time & we enjoyed every moment of the adventure.