The Island Less Visited: 72 Hours of Adventure on Santa Rosa Island and Ventura

Unless you’re a National Parks aficionado or live in Southern California odds are you have not heard of the Channel Islands or the gorgeously remote and rarely-visited Santa Rosa Island some 30 miles off the coast of Ventura.

The island has a rich ecological and geological history, and is covered in vast sedimentary beds that have been eroded by wind and rain, carving steep canyons of breathtaking rock formations shrouded in fog and moss and lichen with the canyon walls containing fossils like the extinct Pygmy Mammoth. Elephant seals and sea lions are found on the beaches; the curious (and fearless) Island Fox can be seen racing up and down the canyons; and a grove of about a thousand endangered Torrey Pines tower above the northern shore.