Santa Cruz & Anacapa Islands: An Exclusive Discovery for Women

In the supportive company of women, experience two islands in “North America’s Galapagos” — Anacapa and Santa Cruz — learning about 145 plants and animals found nowhere else.
Program No. 23917RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Add depth to your life in the company of women exploring two extraordinary Channel Islands — Anacapa and Santa Cruz — off the coast of Southern California. In a lively, reassuring environment, go ashore on this educational adventure to hike “North America’s Galapagos,” where 145 plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Perhaps spot an island fox during a day walking beautiful Santa Cruz. Or with new women friends on glorious Anacapa, hear a naturalist’s insight into the lovely but pesky red-flowered iceplant. Experience a memorable adventure — and perhaps create a lifetime connection in one of America’s remarkable island landscapes.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on uneven terrain; elevation change of 300 feet. One-hour boat ride each way.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Join women adventurers and experts traveling by boat to experience Santa Cruz Island, the largest of five in Channel Islands National Park, and Anacapa Island, with its stunning coastal views.
  • Learn about the islands’ human history from the Chumash Indians to explorers, fur traders, ranchers, scientists and visitors of today.
  • Walk with a local expert experiencing Ventura and its welcoming locals, abundant green space, sunshine, Mission San Buenaventura (circa 1782), and its Southern California beach vibe.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Don Morris
Don Morris retired in 2001 after enjoying a forty-one year career as a National Park Service archeologist, the last 16 years of which he spent at Channel Islands National Park. There he investigated and reported upon subjects ranging from historic shipwrecks and farmhouses to what are currently the oldest known human remains in North America, the Arlington Woman. In 1994, he worked as the project archeologist on the excavation of the most complete (94% or thereabouts) pygmy mammoth ever located on the Channel Islands.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image
Keri Dearborn
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Margery Spielman
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Jennifer Perry
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Ken McAlpine
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Profile Image
Don Morris
View biography
<%= Bio %>
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A Guide to East Santa Cruz Island: Trails, Routes and What to Bring
by Don Morris
These tips for travelers to East Santa Cruz Island help them enjoy the island to the fullest.
Justinian Caire and Santa Cruz Island: The Rise and Fall of a California Dynasty
by Frederic Claire Chiles
This history of one of California’s Channel Islands covers everything from the island’s original Chumash population to its acquisition by the Nature Conservancy. Special attention is paid to the 50 years when the island was owned by Justinian Caire and family. The author, a descendant of the Caire family, uses family archives to flesh out his tale.
California's Channel Islands: A History
by Scott O'Dell
The Channel Islands, a string of eight islands off the coast of Southern California, are home to stunning landscapes and remarkable biodiversity. This scholarly work covers ecology as well as natural and human history.
Images of America: The California Channel Islands
by Marla Daily
This Images of America installment introduces all eight of the Channel Islands, located off the coast of Southern California. Features archival photographs.
Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization
by Ken McAlpine
McAlpine travels solo through Channel Islands National Park in California for week-long stretches while returning to the mainland intermittently. He mixes both experiences in this meditation on contemporary American life.
The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea
by David Helvarg
In this eminently readable and well-researched tribute, Helvarg, an environmental journalist and filmmaker, considers the crosscurrents of culture, history, economy and myth that come together on the state’s golden shores.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
by Peter Alden
A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.
California, A History
by Kevin Starr
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
Natural History of the Islands of California
by Allan A. Schoenherr, C. Robert Feldmeth, Michael J. Emerson (Illustrator), David Mooney (Illustrator)
A survey of the ecology, geology and human history of California's coastal islands.
Images of America: Ventura
by Glenda Jackson
Local historian Jackson covers the history of Ventura, California, from the dedication of Mission San Buenaventura to its present status as the Gateway to the Channel Islands and home to more than 100,000. Includes archival photos.
Santa Cruz Island: A History of Conflict and Diversity
by John Gherini
In this thorough history of the largest Channel Island, Gherini introduces the Chumash Indians who lived on the island in pre-Columbian times and details early European explorers and the Spanish-Mexican period, when the island became a haven for smugglers.
Channel Islands National Park
by National Geographic Maps
A National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of the Channel Islands at a scale of 1:25,000. Waterproof, durable and tear-resistant, it is the perfect map to take along to the islands.
California the Beautiful
by Galen Rowell (Photographer)
Rowell's exquisite photographs are accompanied by excerpts from Joan Didion, M.F.K. Fisher, Jack London, William Saroyan and many other luminaries in this celebration of the nature and spirit of California.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback