Santa Rosa Island

Ventura, CA
National Campground
  • Tent


Tucked away in a canyon to protect visitors from strong northwest winds, Water Canyon Campground offers exceptional island views, access to spectacular hiking opportunities and a nearby white sand beach. Located 40 nautical miles from the Channel Islands National Park visitor center in Ventura, Santa Rosa is the second largest island in California at approximately 53,000 acres in size. The island landforms support a diverse array of plant and animal species including six plant species found nowhere on earth but Santa Rosa Island. The island also hosts over 100 bird and three land mammal species, including the endemic island fox. Remains of an ancient species like the pygmy mammoth have been uncovered on Santa Rosa Island. These miniature mammoths, reaching just four to six feet tall, roamed the island’s grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene Age. The island has rich archeological resources as well. It is home to thousands of significant archeological sites of the Chumash Native Americans, who inhabited the island until 1820. Others have come to the island during more recent centuries to exploit its rich resources, sometimes making it their home. In addition to the native Chumash, European explorers, Aleut sea otter hunters, Chinese abalone fishermen, Spanish missionaries, Mexican and American ranchers, and the US military all have left their mark on the Santa Rosa landscape. Visitors can see relics of these occupations in remnants of fishing camps, water troughs and fence lines, the pier where cattle were loaded and unloaded, buildings and equipment of the historic Vail and Vickers ranch at Bechers Bay, and remains of the military installations. Santa Rosa Island may only be reached by boat or aircraft. Visitors are required to arrange transportation to the island before reserving a campsite. Contact Island Packers or Channel Islands Aviation the park’s authorized concessioners or bring your own private boat . Camping reservations are required prior to arriving on the island. There are NO walk-ups at this facility. There are 15 individual campsites. Max 5 people per site. A party or group of 46 or more may not reserve any sites through and must contact the park to obtain a special use permit: . Upon arrival, meet ranger at beach, landing dock or campground. However, park staff is not always available on the island. Please have confirmation letter, receipt, or campsite number with you. 1.5 mile from the pier to campground. 1/4 mile from airstrip to campground. Visitors must carry all their own gear. Primitive camping. Tent camping only, no electricity/water/sewer site hook-ups at this campground. Bring low profile tents and extra food for weather delays. Partial shade from wind shelter. Picnic table, food storage box, and drinking water provided. No stores or services. Quiet time is enforced at 10:00 p.m. Proper food and trash storage is required. Food/trash storage lockers are provided at each site. Recommend hard-sided container (i.e., action packer) to further protect food/garbage from animals. Visitors are required to pack out what they pack in, including garbage. No campfires or charcoal fires. Only enclosed gas camp stoves are allowed. Smoking is only allowed on beach area at Bechers Bay. Avoid contact with deer mice. Hantavirus has been found in island deer mice. For more information visit: . To help prevent the introduction of nonnative species the following items may not be brought to the park: pets; live or potted plants; soil; cut flowers; firewood or any untreated, unfinished wood (including hiking sticks); corrugated boxes; tools or equipment with attached soil; motorized vehicles; bicycles; and single-use plastic grocery bags. No fishing in marine reserves. California fishing license and ocean enhancement sticker required to fish outside marine reserves. Watersports: Due to the strong, persistent wind, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are limited and recommended for the experienced visitor only. Ocean conditions can rapidly change, requiring expert abilities. Ocean kayaking is an inherently dangerous activity. Always check weather and do not kayak beyond your experience level.


  • Boat Launch
  • Camp Store
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Picnic Table
  • Potable Water
  • Restroom


  • Pet Friendly

RV Rentals

Santa Rosa Island


1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California, 93001