This week, I visited Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands off the coast of Ventura. Five of the eight islands are a National Park and often referred to as the Galapagos of North America since they have many indigenous species of flora and fauna.
The boat ride to the island is about an hour, complete with some rare blue whale sightings. Once the island came into view, we saw sheer cliffs and sea caves in every direction. We docked on a makeshift harbor called Scorpion Harbor where we got a quick orientation from the National Park Services. The island is completely bare, except for remnants of an old 1880's ranch house called Scorpion Ranch, a primitive campground, and some kayak rentals.
We hiked up Cavern Point Loop which offers magnificent views of the harbor and sea caves. It reminded me of what California must have looked like before it was developed. The coast was rugged and covered in native golden chaparral. The water was see-through and abundant with kelp beds. While in the campground, we spotted a few island foxes, which are on the endangered species list.
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