Let the trip begins…
This is a new trip to one of the islands inside the Channel Island National Park. The trip from Ventura harbor to San Miguel Island takes approximately 4 hours including a quick stop at Santa Rosa Island to drop off the day/campers at the island. Along the way, we encountered a number of dolphin sightings. Getting off the catamaran was an exciting adventure by itself.
The climb to the top
Painful hike from the beach to the Campground with a fairly steep elevation of 492 feet and carrying about 70lbs of gears. The backpack alone was about 35lb with 19lb for the camera gear and about 16lb (Two quantity of 2 gallons of water). The island has no potable water or electricity which requires you to bring everything you need for camping with you. I ended up making two trips up and down the hill on the Niveder Canyon to split up my load.
The day of the long hike to Point Bennett
We met up at the Ranger station on Sunday, July 19th morning, and hiked all the way to Point Bennett with a couple of stops at Caliche Forest, San Miguel hill, Point Bennett Research Station Airstrip, and Research Facility. This is around a 7 miles hike one way with about 3-4 hours of hiking time.
The return trip back to the mainland
The return trip back to the mainland with the stop at Santa Rosa Island and also a stop at the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz island. With the high wind, the sea definitely picked up a lot of white caps and that also made our ride from the beach to the boat really wet. Pretty much everyone was soaked wet when they got on the Island Packer catamaran. When we reached the Ventura harbor, we found that all our backpacks were soaked with seawater. Luckily, I wrapped all my gears inside the bag with the garbage disposal liner which saved me a lot of cleaning time.
Camping and Hiking on San Miguel Island
What to pack?
- Before the trip
- Shoe and Sandal
- Sleeping, Bag and Mat
- Cooking Utensil
- Getting on and off San Miguel Island
- On the trails
Want to know what I actually brought with me…Check out my checklist with the link below
Where to Book Your Trip
- Book your seat on the boat for San Miguel Island
- Some Information about San Miguel
- NOAA Marine Protected Area
- Required signature for the Release Waiver form for the National Park Services
National Park Services
- Book your Campsite for San Miguel Island on recreation.gov
- San Miguel Island Trail Guide
- Exploring San Miguel Island Guide
- National Park Service San Miguel Island Facts
Link to other references
Ranga-Ram Chary has a nice write up about San Miguel
– Main Site: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~rchary/sanmiguel
– Camping: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~rchary/sanmiguel/camping.html
– Hiking: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~rchary/sanmiguel/hiking.html
– Pinnipeds: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~rchary/sanmiguel/pinnipe
Books on San Miguel
- San Miguel Island: Santa Barbara’s Fourth Island West
- The Life & Adventures of George Niveder
- The Legendary King of San Miguel
- San Miguel Island: My Childhood Memoir, 1930-1942
Google Map of San Miguel
Google Maps has a street view of the trails to the entire island. Make sure to click on the street guy to see the trails appear on the map.