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Cavern Point

Channel Islands National Park

April 17th, 2011

1.7 miles
310 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:08

Starting elevation
0 feet
Max elevation
300 feet

Rating: 7/10

Directions: To reach Santa Cruz Island, contact Island Packers for reservations for a boat ride from Ventura. The boat takes a little over an hour. From the boat dock, follow the dirt road up to the visitor's center; the trail for Cavern Point starts just before the visitor's center, on the right.   View Driving Map



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It was pleasant and sunny as we started off on a before-dinner hike from the lower campground. We started off by walking down the dirt road back toward the rusted cars. Once there, we saw some foxes scurrying about. What we didn't see was other people, a stark contrast to an hour earlier when there were at least a dozen people milling about, waiting for the boat to arrive to take them back to Ventura.

Next to a ramshackle shed and a bit to the right of the visitor's center, we found the trailhead. We immediately started climbing up the narrow trail, quickly gaining views of Scorpion Cove below. We could see a row of kayaks stacked near the shore, a wide trail climbing up the hill opposite from us to the south, and the rusted cars below us. We also saw that it was becoming quite windy.

Kayaks at the boat landing

Smuggler's Cove Road is clearly visible across the way

View of the boat landing area

The wind shook the grasses around us as we climbed a bit further still, gaining even better views of the cove and the ocean. We followed the trail as it contoured around the edge of the island in a counter-clockwise fashion. After that initial short climb, it's pretty much level for awhile.

Mainland California barely visible on the horizon

Rocks just off the coast

As we headed west, we saw what looked like feathery brushes amidst the grasses blowing wildly in the wind. Backlit by the sun, it was quite a pretty sight. As we continued along the trail, with the wind blowing right at us, I found similarities to Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island in Australia. There were rocks there and grasses here, but it was windy in both places, and the feel of each place just seemed the same.

Blowing in the wind

A rare picture of me taking pictures

Jean taking pictures

In the distance we saw a weather vane blowing straight out. We eventually came to a trail intersection. We turned left and headed downhill toward the campground. This is a narrow somewhat steep trail down a gully. Shortly we were back at the campground, albeit the opposite (western) end of it.

Heading down the sweeping trail back toward camp

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