hiking channel islands national park santa rosa island for the day

Hiking Gear for Channel Islands National Park

Hiking in California is full of beautiful views, we recently took a trip to Santa Rosa Island, which is part of the Channel Islands National Park. There is so much history with the Chumash Indian tribe, beautiful scenery, it’s a bucket list location to visit!

camelback with water and hiking snacks for channel islands national park

Hiking Gear for the Day

A few tips before you adventure to your day hike on the Channel Islands National Park, you will need to bring your own water and snacks for the day. Santa Rosa Island has various hikes that accommodate all hiking levels. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advance hiker, you will find something to explore that is within your comfort. Ernie and I went through Lobo Canyon, which had plenty of natural dessert style succulents and rolling hills. The island has plenty of signs that will direct your hike towards the destination. Lobo canyon is a 9 mile hike (round trip) from the starting point area. Keep in mind that there are only two restroom locations on the island, close to the pier drop off, use this before you begin your hike.

lobo canyon at santa rosa island

Water, Lots of Water!

We each took our own water, he used his Military Spec CamelBack (similar to this one I found on Amazon.com) and I took my Outdoor Products Hydration Pack. Our packs had their own hydration system, which is a bladder sleeve that we filled with water. My alternative recommendation is to bring powdered mix of an electrolyte beverage, such as Gatorade Mix Packets.

gatorade energy chews for hiking

Hiking Snacks that I brought with me:

The boat/vessel has a snack bar to enjoy chips, apples, drinks, or burritos while you arrive and depart from your day hiking adventure. However, those are an additional expense. Take enough to get through your day and you can enjoy the snack bar items on the ride back.

hiking boots for your next adventure

Hiking Boots and Wool Socks

Footwear is extremely important when you’re out hiking, I love going to REI.com for the Women’s Hiking Boots, plus, who doesn’t love browsing their awesome outdoor products?!

The Manly Budget featured the REI Wool Socks, which are affordable and very comfortable, reasonably priced under $15. Ernie uses these socks frequently, he loves that they’re odorless and quick drying.

Hike with a Hat for Skin Protection

A hat and sunblock with be your best skin protection for the day. You can definitely layer up with sun sleeves that have uv protection. The Island Packers website suggest that you take sunblock for the day, this will help you get through the hikes.

channel islands national park painted caves

Channel Islands National Park – Painted Caves

I loved this beautiful tour of the Painted Caves, you can read all about the Islands and Painted Caves on NPS.gov. If the weather is permitting, Island Packers will cruise through the caves and explore for a few minutes. The water is clear, blue and breathtaking views from the vessel.

Tip: You want to Call Island Packers in the morning to verify that the weather conditions are still permitting your visit to the Channel Islands National Park. Sometimes the weather may change the departure time or it may be cancelled.

channel islands painted caves with island packers

Relax on the Shore

After hiking the trails, you can enjoy the shoreline. Some people visit the Channel Islands to go kayaking, fishing, or simply enjoy the beautiful shore to relax. I’m definitely planning to go back and enjoy a kayaking trip, the weather has yet to disappoint. Each time we’ve gone, it’s been in the 70’s, the perfect California coastal weather.

channel islands national park shore on santa rosa island

A few other things…

When you hike the Channel Islands National Park the transport you by vessel to the island. Santa Rosa Island was a 2.5-3 hour ride that was relaxing and I would not recommend it with young children with lots of energy. If you decide to hike Santa Cruz Island, it’s only a 45 minute ride, and is much more family friendly. You can see my Santa Cruz Island blog post that highlights our trip to the largest of Channel Islands.

If you’re looking for a compact camera and portable compact vlogging or photography gear, check out my GoPro GearΒ  and the set up I have.

hiking the santa rosa channel islands national park

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