Funyan005 wrote:Hey Elwood, after reading this trip report I finally decided to make the reservations after debating hiking Santa Cruz/Rosa the past couple months. Very easy to get the permit for the campsite midweek, I requested it a week in advance, and the reservation system they use shows you how many other people are at Del Norte campgrounds. For most of next(May 17-22)week, the whole campsite is completely empty.
One issue is getting transportation out there, from talking with the company(Island Packers) during the weekend its pretty packed so speak with them first before reserving any campgrounds, I was able to get the last boat out and it only had 15 or so spaces left.
As far as water is concerned there is water in some of the canyons on the island, but I plan on packing it all in as I'm not positive on how easy it'll be to get into said canyons.
Glad you liked the trip report. I always enjoy going back over pictures/videos, while helping other people out with any information that I've discovered.
As others have already posted, the key is really getting your transportation set up PRIOR to getting your campsite. If you're staying at Del Norte, more than likely (unless it's a popular weekend or something), you should be fine. It seems like most people only go to Scorpian and the vicinity around that area (maybe a 1-2 mile radius from Scorpian Harbor). Since Del Norte is around a 13 mile walk from there, it's pretty isolated and sees far fewer people. (I do know during whale watching season some boats fill up more than others, which can restrict limited space on boats).
However, because of fewer people, there are also far fewer ferries that head in the direction of Prisoner's Harbor. Both times I've been to Santa Cruz Island, Prisoner's Harbor is kind of the "2nd stop" after Scorpian. You just have to check with Island Packers and see what there schedule is like.
For times, it only took us about an hour (3 miles with full packs) from Prisoner's to Del Norte. And it took about 5 hours (10 miles) with LOTS of stopping to get over to Scorpian from Del Norte camp.
As for water on the island, all creeks have been dry both times I've been there in April. The lady I met from the Nature Conservancy said there was only one truly reliable water source on the island year round, and that was way over on the Nature Conservancy side (not accessible to the general public). I certainly wouldn't chance NOT taking water, even in the wetter months. And remember, you're only carrying your first day's water 3 miles!
As for the other areas of the island, I'm not sure what the water/camping situation is. I'm pretty sure if you check on recreation.gov when you make the reservation it will tell you if there is water available or not.
Lastly, I've been meaning to get around to my GPS software to mark the trail that no longer exists. It's on the Channel Island Map put out by National Geographic, and it also showed up on my GPS (Delorme PN-40). I'll see if I can get to it before the 17th.