New Campground to be Built this Year at Prisoners Harbor

This new site on Santa Cruz Island will be a great addition for wilderness camping.

CHANNEL ISLANDS—On April 4, Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley announced construction will begin this summer on a new rustic campground near Prisoners Harbor on the east end of Santa Cruz Island.

The modest size campground will increase visitor access to enjoy and explore this portion of the park.

“Visitors will be better able to explore the isthmus on Santa Cruz Island and the campground will provide options for hikers who want to backpack over the Montañon Ridge from Scorpion Ranch,” said McKinley.

The Park’s General Management Plan for 2015, called for a new campground to be built at this location. It will consist of seven tent campsites with a maximum of 24 people able to spend the night and is easily accessible from the pier and includes an outhouse/pit style toilet. The new site is located along a pre-existing unimproved road approximately a quarter mile from Prisoners Harbor Pier. An existing primitive campground at Del Norte is a 3.5-mile hike up from the Prisoners Pier.

The location for the new campground will not be visible from the ocean. The intention being to minimize the impact on the natural and cultural landscapes. Campers will need to carry all supplies and provisions to their reserved site as no potable water or other amenities are available. Campfires and smoking are strictly prohibited.

The project cost for the new campground is estimated at $140,000 and is made possible by “The Fund for People in Parks”. The campground is designed by the National Park Service and will be constructed by park staff.

“We are really excited to help the park and the Channel Islands Park Foundation make this new campground a reality,” said The Fund for People in Parks Executive Director Kevin Hendricks. “This exciting project will provide important new camping opportunities for future visitors to the island.”

“Channel Islands Park Foundation is thrilled with the opportunity to create a new campground and further enhance visitors’ experiences to Channel Islands National Park,” said Channel Islands Park Foundation Director of Development Vahagn Nahabedian. “We are hopeful that this will be the first of several joint projects with our friends at The Fund for People in Parks.”

Work is scheduled to begin this summer with an opening planned for late this year Upon completion, visitors may reserve a site through the website: Park updates on the projected schedule and other documents related to the development can be found on the park website:


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