Santa Cruz Island, Prisoner's Harbor
We left the whales and dolphins in the water and stepped ashore on Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands. Part of the island belongs to the Channel Islands National Park, while the greater part of it belongs to The Nature Conservancy, a private non-profit organization. To visit the Nature Conservancy part of the island, one needs to arrange a permit in advance. Fortunately, the Island Packers boat tour company provides guided hiking tours from Prisoner's Harbor to Pelican Bay, with no advance permit required - just sign the waiver. This turned out to be a very beautiful hike, and Captain Lee was an excellent guide who explained lots of interesting things about the island. Geology, history, flora and fauna. Islands are special, and this one isn't an exception. For a day trip, I'd warmly recommend Prisoner's Harbor and the guided hike. We came here to camp, but figured we'd join the hike before heading out to the Del Norte camp site, on the National Park side of the island.