Raimer’s Set Sail… to the Channel Islands

When my girlfriend Chelsea left California, she had a voucher for Island Packers that she hadn’t been able to use, which I happily bought off of her. After over 10 years in California, much of that in Santa Barbara, I still hadn’t been out to the Channel Islands (other than Catalina). With the wedding, holidays, and life in general we almost we’re able to use the voucher, but we thankfully able to get away the last weekend it was good for.

We had excellent weather! And it was a perfect opportunity to try out our new backpacks, since you have to carry all of your camping gear from the beach to the campground (Scorpion), about a half-mile. We packed like we’d be backpacking, and just made one exception for a small cooler.

After setting up camp, we headed off to Smuggler’s Cove, where I read in the sun while Jon surf-fished.

Hike Details:
Distance: 7.6 miles round trip
Time: 2 hours 29 minutes (moving)
Elevation: 1,417′


Day 2 we were up and ready to go! This was my favorite day on the island, and we did some epic exploring! We headed off along Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail to Montanon Ridge Trail. The first section was through lush green fields, then we crossed a rock field, eventually making it to the ridge line that crosses the island. We did some ridge exploration, dropping down to the other side and exploring a bit more. We contemplated trying to make it to Del Norte, but it would have been no-longer-fun-far.

Hike Details:
Distance: 12.6 miles round trip
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes (moving)
Elevation: 3,356′

Although an awesome day, it was a long one! After resting a bit, Jon really wanted to get some more fishing in, so we hiked towards where the Marine Sanctuary ended (and fishing was allowed). We went off-trail, which ended up being very “over hill and dale”. I was tired, so I found a nice spot with a view to wait for Jon. Eventually, it was getting dark and I was getting worried but then I finally saw him coming! Phew!!

Hike Details (Jon went farther):
Distance: 1.51 miles round trip
Time: 38 minutes (moving)
Elevation: 433′

Day 3, and our last day on the island! Since Jon had been to the island before, he had already done a lot of the day hikes around Scorpion Harbor. Since I hadn’t, we split up and he went fishing while I hiked Cavern Point Trail and Potato Harbor Trail. Overall, pretty nice trails but a bit anti-climactic after the views from the last two days!

Hike Details:
Distance: 5.07 miles round trip
Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
Elevation: 643′


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