The freighter Chickasaw, with its cargo of children's toys, ran aground on the south side of the island in a heavy storm in 1962. Since the time of this photo, the Chickasaw has further deteriorated leaving very little wreckage visible to visitors.
Without a land bridge ever connecting the Channel Islands to the mainland, only a few amphibians successfully have reached, and survived on, the islands. Pacific tree frogs are found only on Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Santa Catalina Islands.
Torrey pines occur naturally in only two locations throughout the world--on the cool, fog drenched northeastern slopes of Bechers Bay and just north of San Diego. Although there are no sheltered coves on the island, Becher's Bay does provide some relief from the wind and swell for small boats to anchor.
Santa Rosa Island was a working ranch from the mid 1800s to the late 1990s. In 1986, the island came under the ownership of the National Park Service. Although the former owners run a private hunting operation a few months of the year for introduced deer and elk under a special use permit, visitation is welcome throughout the year