Santa Cruz Island is a little more than 10% National Park and the rest is under the Nature Conservancy. This campground is on the northeastern shore of the island, a flat and easy walk from the landing site. There are 40 sites that are pretty close to each other if the campground is totally full, but hey, the more the merrier-- living on an island is definitely a bonding experience. Campfires are actually allowed here, but only duraflame logs can be burned. There are picnic tables and pit toilets and you’ll have to bring plenty of your own water! Backcountry camping is available here, see the backpacking section under activities.
Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans and truck campers, trailers, RVs
54 sites
Up to 6 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Potable water available
Picnic table available


Offered near the campground.


You can bring your own boat, but it’s highly recommended to go with a park authorized operator and contact park rangers before ...Read more


There are some massive fish over here…but if you’re paying to boat over to the Channel Islands, they had better be legendary! T...Read more


Trails vary on each island, from flat and maintained in Anacapa Island, to mountainous wilderness in Santa Rosa. Make sure you ...Read more


Kayaking the Channel Islands is probably one of the coolest and most exciting things you could do in your life, but be warned t...Read more


The best surf is found on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands, depending on the swell. Currents are variable so make ...Read more

Wildlife watching

There are thousands of species inhabiting these islands thanks to the diverse environments found here. The tidepools house a va...Read more


Natural features you'll find at Santa Cruz Scorpion Campground.

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The vibe at Santa Cruz Scorpion Campground

14 Reviews

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Drop some Santa Cruz Scorpion Campground knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Ezequiel
Ezequiel G.
didn't provide a recommendation.
June 17th, 2015

You'll have to secure transportation to the Island first before booking a campsite. It's very simple tho.

waterbeautiful native plans adorn the ridge line along the coastUpper CampgroundCavern Point
Hipcamper Aja
Aja P.
didn't provide a recommendation.
November 29th, 2015

You would never guess this much nature is so close to LA. Book your boat ride with Island Packers. Expensive, but there's no way around it without a helicopter connection.

Reserve one of two types of sites with NPS: the easy site .5 miles from the dock or the holy cow I have to climb THAT MOUNTAIN to get there site that is a minimum 10 mile hike across the island. Worth it.

A map is non negotiable. Using Nat Geo's map plus "A guide to eastern santa cruz island" I STILL got lost but that was 2 parts exhaustion and 1 part the sign had fallen down and I made the wrong gamble. Springs are marked on the maps, but don't expect actual water. Pack it all in! Prepare for cute foxes who WILL steal your food when your back is turned.

Hipcamper Davy
Davy G.
didn't provide a recommendation.
December 5th, 2016

What an adventure. We packed a big lunch and dinner for day one in a tote we could easily store into our backpacks. We each had a 4L camelback and 32oz water bottle. We started out the 2nd morning around 430am, chugging as mach water as we could. Then started off on our 5 hour hike to Del Norte Campground 12 miles in. It was breathtaking as the scenery changed drastically as we went. Del Norte has no water so save your juice and bring food that doesnt require much water to cook. Slept like a baby and arranged to be picked up from prisoners Harbor the following morning. Not an easy hike but worth every second. Can't wait to come back.

Hipcamper Nathalie
Nathalie M.
didn't provide a recommendation.
May 19th, 2015

Great base for exploring Santa Cruz island! Wonderful kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking nearby. Interesting wildlife around campsite as well- we saw an island spotted skunk and digger bees.

Hipcamper William
William C.
didn't provide a recommendation.
March 15th, 2017

I love camping on Santa Cruz Island. I've camped at both Del Norte, which is a long hike-in site, and the more popular Scorpion multiple times. I've been there in hot summer, stormy winter (we were evacuated 2 days before Christmas during a crazy rain/wind storm), and nice spring time. I'd say winter and spring time are the most beautiful. Hikes are amazing.

The foxes are really cute, but be super careful about leaving ANYTHING out of sight for even a second... my friend put a block of cheese on the picnic table and went back to the 'bear safe' for something else, and in that time a fox had jumped up on the table and ran away with the whole block. At night thousands of them run everywhere around the campsites like a rushing river.

Taking some photographs ... this was actually on the Del Norte campground side of the island. It rained on us, super beautiful.
Hipcamper Lucie
Lucie S.
didn't provide a recommendation.
May 31st, 2017

We camped in March and it was INCREDIBLE! We hiked through wildflowers taller than us, saw whales, dolphins, and the cutest baby seal sleeping on the beach. So much life and diversity.

Group sites at the upper loop can be a little windy. Lower loop looked a little more protected.

Securing transportation prior to booking a campsite is not required but recommended. The ferry can sell out and you just want to be sure you can get there before booking a campsite. However, if sites are available it's likely seats on the ferry will be too.

Santa Cruz Scorpion CampgroundSanta Cruz Scorpion CampgroundSanta Cruz Scorpion CampgroundSanta Cruz Scorpion Campground
Hipcamper Joshua
Joshua D.
recommends this listing.
July 27th, 2017

Upper loop has group sites which can get noisy, but also has three three most secluded non-group sites with incredible views. Toilets were well lit during the day, but though "maintained" by park staff daily, were pretty gross and in desperate need of pumping.

Hipcamper Craig
Craig T.
recommends this listing.
November 15th, 2017

This is a remote island where you will need to pack everything in as well as everything out. One of the things that makes it so beautiful is the remote nature you'll find such as the island fox. Beware of the Ravens, they have learned how to open zippers and unattended bags in parts of the island. If you feel extra adventurous you can explore the coast via kayak. The sea cave tours are incredible, and keep an eye out for seals.

Channel Islands National Park
United States
Phone Number
(805) 658-5730
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
34.049° N, 119.558° W
Unknown price
Tent Only: 25 Sites
(Up to 6 people per site)
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer - Group: 6 Sites
(Up to 15 people per site)
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer: 23 Sites
(Up to 8 people per site)

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