Posts Tagged ‘Santa Cruz’

Last weekend we went on a trip organized by my alma mater (Harvey Mudd College) to the Channel Islands.  These are a group of islands about 22 miles off the coast of Ventura.  We took an Island Packers boat trip to Santa Cruz island which is the largest of the islands and is about 20 miles by 6 miles and has the most varied terrain.  It is know as the “Galapagos of California”.


On the ride out to the island, we encountered a school of several thousand dolphins!  They were literally jumping all around the boat.   This was apparently a rare sighting of so many dolphins.


We landed at Prisoner’s Harbor and did a 4.5 mile hike to Pelican Bay on the The Nature Conservancy side of the property.  There were several steep canyons and about 750 feet of climbing.

There were quite a few native flowers in full bloom.  This is a natural “soap flower”  If you rub it between your hands, it has antiseptic properties.  We also saw (and tasted) the “lemonade berry” plant which is also native to just Santa Cruz.


Here is a picture of the kids enjoying the hike:


This is one of the scenic views from near the top of the island.


On the boat ride back, we saw a blow hole, caused by the low tide and the water being forced thru the tubes in the lava rocks.


The Channel Islands are definitely worth a trip.  The tour guides were very knowledgeable and the Island Packers boating outfit was very professional.  Note that The Nature Conservancy side of the island requires a special permit (which we had access to because of the HMC connection).

The National Park side of the island is available to the general public.


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