Santa Rosa Basecamp Adventure
This basecamp adventure is the best way to experience Channel Island's Santa Rosa Island. It is home to endemic species of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on earth. While the coastline of southern California is highly developed, the Channel Islands remain undeveloped and wild.
On this trip, we'll set up a basecamp at the established campground, 1.5 miles from the pier. Once the boat leaves, you and the other campers will have the island to yourselves. Each day we'll do a unique hike in a different direction. You will experience solitude, wildlife found nowhere else in the world, incredible ocean views and remote beaches.
DAY BEFORE TRIP STARTS
We will meet at 5 pm the evening before our trip starts at a predetermined hotel in Ventura, California. This general orientation will cover introductions, trip itinerary, safety precautions, pack fitting and group gear distribution. Most importantly, this is a chance to meet with your guide to discuss the personal gear and clothes that you plan on bringing. Your guide will offer advice about what to bring and what to leave behind for a successful, comfortable trip. This meeting generally lasts one hour.
Boat ride from Ventura Harbor: 3 Hours
Destination: Torrey Pines
Distance: 6 Miles
We will board the ferry at the Ventura Harbor and ride three hours to the pier at Santa Rosa. Once unloaded, we will begin an easy 1.5 mile hike to the campground. Once we set up our tents, we will begin our first day hike! From the campground, we will head towards a small grove of Torrey Pines, one of the rarest pines in the world. This pine tree only grows native in two places in the world, on Santa Rosa Island and near San Diego. The hike will drop us down Water Canyon along one of the old ranch roads, perfect for walking and talking. Once we reach the grove, we’ll climb steeply up, into the heart of the pines. The climb offers a spectacular vantage point with views of the Pacific Ocean and the cliffs of Santa Rosa. We'll hike back to camp, enjoy a hearty dinner and gaze at the stars.
Destination: Skunk Point
Distance: 8 Miles
After a big breakfast, we'll leave camp set up and we'll hit the trail. We’ll start by following an old ranch road, another area perfect for walking and talking. Once we reach Skunk Point, we'll have opportunities to explore tide pools and surge pools, observe marine wildlife, and spend the day near an old ship wreck, soaking up the sun on a sandy beach. When we've seen as much as we like, we'll head back to the campground on the same trail.
Destination: Black Mountain
Distance: 6.5 Miles
This hike is steep but rewarding. From the top of Black Mountain we'll be able to see the wind-swept topography of this rugged island. Expect views of the Pacific Ocean, California’s mainland, as well as Santa Cruz and San Miguel. This is a great vantage point to take in all that you have accomplished so far, and get a glimpse of upcoming hikes. Once we're back at the campground, our guide will make a well-deserved dinner, and we can relax or play card games.
Destination: Lobo Canyon
Distance: 10 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
After a big breakfast, we'll hit the trail toward the pier. The trail leads us over a hill, onto a plateau with expansive views. From there, the trail descends into a canyon with amazing water-sculpted sandstone cliffs. Keep an eye out for Island foxes and birds along the way. Eventually the canyon opens into fantastic ocean views, where we can walk along tide pools and dramatic cliffs, with continuing views of sandstone formations. After eating lunch at the coast, we'll head back the way we came, continuing to look for wildlife. This is one of our favorite hikes on Santa Rosa!
Destination: Carrington Point
Distance: 8 Miles
Boat ride back to Ventura Harbor: 3 Hours
On our last morning we'll break down camp and head back to the pier to store our gear in lockers. We'll head to Carrington Point from there, starting the trail with a short, steep hill, followed by rolling hills scattered with windswept trees and spectacular ocean views. Once we get to Carrington Point, we'll spot seals, sea lions, pelicans, cormorants, and other marine wildlife below. This view is the best way to end the trip! Back at the pier we'll board the ferry back to the mainland, keeping an eye out for dolphins, and enjoying the crew's commentary.
Nomadic By Nature tries our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible, but there may be slight variations based on the National Park Service permit system and the ever-changing dynamics of the outdoors.
CHANNEL ISLANDS BIOSECURITY PROTECTION:
In 2014, Channel Islands National Park created a biosecurity program to "prevent, detect, and respond to nonnative species introductions." As visitors, we play a vital role to protect the park and its biodiversity. Please check out the Park Service's website: Protect Your Park Through Biosecurity
We want your experience to be unforgettable for the right reasons -- so let's make sure you have what you need! Click below to review the checklist of what is provided, and what you'll need to bring on your basecamp adventure in Channel Island's National Park.
GETTING TO AND FROM VENTURA:
The closest airports to Ventura are located in Los Angeles (1 hour 30 minutes away), Burbank (1 hour 10 minutes away) and Santa Barbara (40 minutes away). There are shuttle services from each airport to Ventura via Smart Shuttle and Ventura County Airporter Shuttle. (You can read more about how to get to Ventura from the city's website.)
Santa Rosa Basecamp Adventure will depart from Island Packers Cruises in Ventura, California. We ask all guests to arrive in Ventura the day before the trip starts, so they can attend the pre-trip meeting, which will be at 5 pm the night before. If your flight is delayed, please reach out to Nomadic By Nature.
We strongly recommend NOT flying out the same day that the trip ends. With long boat rides and unpredictable weather, it is hard to predict a precise time that we will arrive back at Ventura Harbor.
BOAT LOGISTICS AND TRANSPORTATION:
The price of this tour includes you round trip ferry ticket to Santa Rosa Island.
However, unfortunately at this time, we can not provide transportation to Ventura Harbor. That means all guest will need to have their own transportation from their hotel to Ventura Harbor before and after the trip.
The boat departs at 8 am, so we will meet at Island Packers at 6:50 am for passenger registration and boat loading. You will be able to leave your car in Island Packers' overnight parking lot, which is patrolled by security, at the harbor. We expect to arrive back in the harbor after the trip by *6 pm*.
(Note: Nomadic By Nature is not responsible for refunding late arrivals.)
Refund & Cancellation
Cancellation policy is per person.
Cancel 30 or more days prior to trip departure, refund less the $500 deposit.
Cancel less than 30 days prior to trip departure, receive a trip credit.
Trip credits are for the full trip amount and are good for two years.
For more information, please see Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page.
Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer are provided
All dishes will be cleaned using soap and bleach
All gear will be cleaned after each trip
Guests are asked to stay home if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms
Why Nomadic By Nature?
It's a lot of planning and a big commitment -- you don't want to choose just any outfitter or guide to take you into the wilderness for a several day stretch. Our experience is vast, personally and professionally, and we want you to be confident in choosing Nomadic By Nature. To learn more about our background and passion for backpacking and the outdoors, click below to read our story. We have much to share and show you -- so we hope you'll join us for an unforgettable experience!