Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz

The beach that I chose to talk about is Pelican bay on Santa Cruz Island the Channel Islands. The lens I want to focus on is recreation. Pelican bay and Prisoners Harbor are two famous beaches on Santa Cruz Island with a hiking trail connecting them and it is moderately trafficked. The trail is used for hiking, trail running, back packing, educational training, and this trail is open all year round. I have personally done this hike three times and it isn’t too hard. It is a good work out however and I do suggest bringing plenty of water. There are areas where it gets steep and slippery and you have to use the side of the island to hold on to and on the other side of you is a steep cliff face that drops straight into the ocean. When I went on this hike I was with my oceanography class and was taught a lot about the islands and the history of the Chumash people as we hiked. Pelican bay is specifically my favorite because we found this huge beautiful mollusk or snail shells which I fell in love with. It is a very private beach and the cove is really peaceful and serene. We started our hike at Prisoners Harbor and ended at Pelican Bay. I liked Pelican Bay also because it was the end to a good hike and it was calming waiting on the beach to pack up and get back on the boat. Santa Cruz is also famous for its great fishing spots a lot the parameter and campgrounds like Scorpion Canyon campground which is fun for the whole family. On this island you can snorkel, hike, swim, dive, and look at wildlife and flowers. It is a short trip to this island and you can buy a ticket and get a ride with island packers, they are located in the Ventura Harbor and tickets aren’t very expensive. You can take a trip out here year round and it is a great experience for the whole family. There are countless trails and activities to do and with overnight camping allowed you can stay for a few days and enjoy the different beaches and all the island has to offer.

5 thoughts on “Pelican Bay, Santa Cruz

  1. christopher.kissler598 says:

    Hi Tessa,
    This seems like a great location for hikes and other outdoor activities, though from your picture it seems like there’s isn’t much of a sandy beach for typical beach recreation. Is swimming in the bay a reasonable activity there? It seems like a boat may be a necessary component of most aquatic recreational activities in this bay.

  2. erin.estrada770 says:

    Hi Tessa,
    Thanks for this very informative post! Pelican Bay seems like a great idea for a weekend trip to take. Do you have an estimate of cost for a weekend spent here? I would be interested in hiking and swimming here. Do you think spending a day is worth it, or would it be an over nighter trip?

  3. kayleen.velasquez960 says:

    Hi Tessa,
    I liked how you focused on the hiking recreational aspect of the beach. Can you get to that beach through other ways other than hiking? How long does it take you to hike to the beach on average?

  4. eric.cooke618 says:

    hello Tessa,
    great post and great picture! It is awesome to see so many recreational activities on one island. I hope to visit sometime and take up some fishing adventures. One question that comes to mind being a non-ERSM major.. We recently learned about erosion on our coasts, does it also happen on an island?
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. marcella.wilroy770 says:

    I have never been to the Santa Cruz Islands and this post is exactly what I needed. I had no idea there was much to do on the island other than forage for random creatures and plants. Though that does sound like a lot of fun, I had no idea there was much more to it. The hike sounds like a good adventure. On top of that, I can’t believe there’s overnight camping! I thought it was a lot more restricted for some reason. I’m so glad you posted this info because now I am definitely going to make a trip out there. Thanks for posting Tessa!

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