We had an amazing trip to Santa Rosa Island which is a part of the Channel Islands National Park for a weekend of camping, hiking and relaxation. After seeing a lot of the pictures, a lot of people I have talked to didn’t know that you can camp and explore there, well until recently I didn’t know you could either. So, one of the major parts of adventuring on this island is getting there…
Our buddy David planned this adventure and did an amazing job, like we say a lot of enjoying a trip is planning it well. One of the “long poles in the tent was getting there. Island Packers who run the ferry out of venture doesn’t run every day and, on a few days, its only picking up and dropping off once a day. One of the things you will have to check first is their schedule before planning your trip.
For us we were departing Friday morning at 0830, this meant for us in San Diego we needed to drive the three hours up the night before and get a room to allow for more time. We headed to the ferry terminal, and I suggest reading the requirements for your gear to save time and unpacking and repacking. You have a total weight for your pack, you also must pack your fuel in their box for the ride and any batteries like rechargeable need to go with you in your carry on.
After getting our gear in order we lined up along the dock and loaded on our gear then got back in line to board. This Saturday we had campers for Santa Rosa, day hikers and people headed to San Miguel Island. The boat was full but there was plenty of room to sit and areas on the deck to take in the views.
The views where amazing, between the marina and all the cool boats then heading out into the channel. It was great we could see the mainland become distance while we got some great views of the oil rigs. One of the highlights of the crossing was the pods of dolphins and whales. It turned into a whale watching tour and they took time to share the animals and information on the area.
It was a lively and enjoyable three our trip on a comfortable ferry, they even had a small galley with snacks drinks to include cold beer. It was a great way to start this adventure and when we could see Santa Rosa after coming around Santa Cruz Island. We could see the pier and the coast became clearer to us.
Even getting off the ferry is an experience as it noses into the pier to off load the passengers first. We staged on top of the pier while the crew offloaded our gear on the lower walkway. We were talking to the ranger, and he talked about how the seas where so rough the previous week that the ferry couldn’t pick people upon Sunday, and they had to wait until the Wednesday to leave. The moral of the story, we are at the mercy of the sea and there is a very real chance that you could have an extended sat and should plan on fuel and food accordingly…