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Many trails and roads traverse the islands, providing visitors with spectacular hiking opportunities. These trails and roads range from the maintained, relatively flat, signed trails of Anacapa to the unmaintained, rugged, mountainous, unsigned paths of Santa Rosa.

Please click on the links below for maps and descriptions of island trails. In addition, trail maps, guides, and topographic maps are available at park visitor centers and at island bulletin boards.


Hiking Safety
Hikers need to assume individual responsibility for planning their trips and hiking safely. To increase your odds of a safe hike, decrease your disturbance to wildlife, and lessen damage to resources, visitors should be in good physical condition and must follow the regulations and guidelines in Laws and Policies and Limiting Your Impact as well as those listed below:

  • Stay on trails and roads while hiking-avoid animal trails which are narrow, uneven, unstable and dangerous.
  • Cliff edges should be avoided at all times since they tend to be crumbly and unstable. Stay well back. Children should be supervised at all times by an adult.
  • Carry plenty of water-one quart for short walks, more for longer hikes.
  • Hikers should never hike alone-use the buddy system. This allows someone to go for help if you encounter trouble.
  • Be aware of poison oak, "jumping" cholla cactus, ticks, and scorpions. Poison oak can be identified by its clusters of three shiny leaflets. Some ticks carry disease; check your clothing and exposed skin after hiking. Learn how to prevent tick-borne illness at Ticks.
  • In order to help prevent wildfires, do not smoke on trails or in brush areas. Smoking is allowed only on beaches or other designated areas.
  • In departing from the islands, visitors are responsible for meeting the boat concessionaire on time. Be aware of departure time by asking the ranger or concessionaire employees.
  • Hantavirus is present in island deer mouse populations. This is a potentially fatal disease and some basic precautions should be taken. Visit Hantavirus for more information
  • During winter and spring, visitors need to be prepared for a wet creek crossing on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. After heavy rains, water in creeks can increase dramatically in a short period of time, becoming fast moving and over 2 feet deep. Learn more at Safe Creek Crossings.

Last updated: February 28, 2024

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