The Most Popular Place to Visit the Channel Islands National Park has reopened for recreation

Scorpion Anchorage is once again welcoming visitors to the east end of Santa Cruz Island.

VENTURA—Construction of a new pier at Scorpion Anchorage is finished and is accessible again for all who want to visit.

Construction of a new pier caused this popular spot to remain closed for visitation for 18 months, but it is now accessible by personal craft or the Island Packer ferryboats. Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the five islands that make up the national park—Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel islands—it is the most visited as well.

Scorpion Anchorage

During construction of the pier, neither ferryboats nor private craft were allowed to anchor at Scorpion or go ashore. Now boaters may use one of two ladders on the pier to drop off and pick up visitors. The Island Packer ferryboats are authorized to use the new lift ramp to land passengers. Private boaters may not use the lift as it requires park staff to operate the lift.

A fire broke out above Scorpion Canyon last fall, scorching about 1,400 acres. This area from Scorpion Valley to Smugglers Cove is open for hiking, as long as hikers stay on the marked trail, to help island flora to revegetate.

Camping is now open as well in Scorpion Canyon but currently limited to tent sites in the Upper Loop. The Lower Loop campground is undergoing tree and limb removal of damaged trees in the area. Crews are on-site to take care of any damaged trees and limbs and the park is expecting the campground to reopen in March.

Scorpion Anchorage is the most visited destination in the park, with about 65,000 people coming ashore each year to enjoy recreational activities such as hiking, picnicking, camping, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Wildflower season has begun on the island with the amazing bright yellow blooms of the giant Coreopsis know as tree sunflowers coming to life. Other island native plants and trees are beginning to bloom as well. It’s a great time to visit the east end of Santa Cruz Island.

For the latest information and status of the Channel Islands National Park, go to


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