SANTA ROSA ISLAND: Channel Islands National Park
“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or even with getting from point A to point B.
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful….” - Cheryl Strayed (from her book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
We went on a little adventure to SANTA ROSA ISLAND (part of Channel Islands National Park) this past weekend! My first time backpacking and it was ALL THE FUN! (I forgot my sunglasses, so I had to grab some from the gift shop before we left: ie those bright green ones I have on in some photos!)
We took a three hour ferry ride out to the island from Ventura, CA (including a stop at Santa Cruz island to drop off some people visiting that island for the day). On the boat ride out to the island, we saw two humpback whales and a pod of dolphins!! On our ride back, we saw another humpback whale AND a shark! Ha! (And we saw a few caves on Santa Cruz island too!) The ocean wildlife was really showing off for us and we were loving it! :)
Once on the island, we had to hike to camp, with all of our gear (including all of our food). There aren’t any restaurants or anywhere at all to get food. The island is pretty remote (it used to be a ranch) and only home to a couple of park staff workers and a park ranger. Along with hikers, some other campers and visitors during our trip included some anthropologists, a group of college students from CI, and a small group of boy scouts!
I gotta say, I'm a bit proud of myself on how well I did on our hike to and from camp with my gear (Dan did most of the heavy lifting though). :) He went to Santa Rosa island last year, so he was a bit familiar with the island already. Along with all of our camping gear, clothes, and food, Dan also brought his film camera for all of his shots!
Over the course of the next couple of days, we hiked and walked around 30 miles (Friday - Sunday)! A few spots we hiked to and saw were Black Rock, Torrey Pines, and Carrington Point (we found a little pond on our way up there surrounded by patches and patches of yellow and purple wildflowers)!! Next time, I'd like to get to Lobo Canyon — one of the longest trails (Dan went there his first time)!
We also saw sunrise both mornings, near and on the beach — oh those skies!! We caught sunset on our hike back to camp one night, and Dan photographed blue hour the next night! We also got in a little siesta during the day — Dan loves his hammock! I tried it out too! :)
The weather really worked in our favor the whole weekend. So beautiful!! We had some overcast during the first day, but we didn't get rained on at all! The sun was shining for most of the time we were there. Also, it was really windy throughout the trip (that’s very common on this island and in the canyon where camp is), but the cool wind was nice, especially during our hikes. It was a little chilly at night, but overall we had really nice weather — and I loooved all of the flowers EVERYWHERE!! :)
We had a great trip!! Although it may not be for every one, especially because of how secluded it is, I highly recommend visiting Santa Rosa island at least once! They even offer day trips (and check out Santa Cruz island if you want to do some ocean kayaking)! :)
*See our beautiful national parks — when you can, as often as you can! Oh, this beautiful world! :)