A Quick Hike to Potato Harbor Overlook

After our never-ending day hike to Mount Whitney Alex and I hightailed it to Ventura to check into a hotel and get some rest before waking up at 6am to head to the Ventura Harbor and catch the Island Packers ferry to Santa Cruz Island. Whew!

We spent the morning exploring the island's impressive sea caves by kayak. Santa Cruz is actually home to some of the largest sea caves in the world and it is mind-boggling to see the scale of some of the caves in person. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera out on the kayak trip with me and my iPhone, in it's plastic bag of a case, took really foggy photos so I don't have any to share besides this one of Seal Beach Cave! 

We were scheduled to depart the island on the 4:30pm Island Packers ferry and we got back from our kayak excursion at 1:30pm so we had very little time to spend hiking. We picked up a map and settled on the short but highly regarded Potato Harbor Overlook hike. It's a quick 5 mile hike along the island's picturesque coast and if you are pressed for time on the island or are looking for an easier trail I highly recommend this one!

The trail gains a couple hundred feet in elevation and immediately offers sweeping views of Scorpion Cove, Santa Cruz's coastline, Anacapaca Island, and Ventura in the distance. Despite the hike seeming like it would be crowded when we first set out we quickly found ourselves hiking alone, taking in the views, and the feeling the salty ocean breeze. Since the hike was so short we packed lightly and were able to cruise the 2.5 miles to the overlook in less than an hour. 

I could have stayed at the overlook all afternoon, just taking in and appreciating the sweeping views, but unfortunately we could only stay for 20 minutes before we had to head back so we wouldn't miss our ferry. 

Channel Islands National Park is definitely a place I want to spend more time. Next time I will definitely opt to camp on one of the islands so I won't be so pressed for time and rushing around so I don't miss the ferry back to the mainland!