Cancel Search
  • Search by

    Smugglers Road

    Channel Islands National Park, California
    Elevation Gain1,623ft
    Trailhead Elevation17ft
    Elevation Min/Max12/686ft
    Elevation Start/End17/17ft

    Smugglers Road

    Smugglers Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Santa Cruz Island, California. It is within Channel Islands National Park. It is 3.6 miles long and begins at 17 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,623 feet. The trail ends near the Vault Toilet Lower Campground and Smugglers Vault Toilet restroom.
    Share photos of Smugglers Road Trail

    Smugglers Road Trail Trip Reports

    Start your trip report for Smugglers Road Trail
    Attach photos from your trip.
    Please Select a star rating.
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    icon1 Total
    San Diego, CA
    Explorer | 30 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    Steep climb on maintained dirt road, although there are a couple of shortcuts. Hot and humid this time of year and little shade. Be prepared with all the water you can carry and plenty of food. Interesting to be hiking on an island and see evidence of decades of ranching. Great views of the island canyons and terraces, Anacapa Island, and the ocean, but trail itself is not picturesque. You need to be familiar with and enamored with southern California coastal hiking. Bring suit to cool off in Smuggler's Cove, where you will find fun snorkling and small waves. Beach is rocky at high tide but sandy at low tide. Appears to be several off-shoot non-listed trails for the more adventurous. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours each way, depending on your skill. Don't let my less-than-sparkling comments keep you from coming here--the entire experience, from the ferry ride in, to the great visitor's center, to the hike and snorkling, was WELL worth the trip.

    Smugglers Road Professional Guides

    Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

    Allen Riedel
    "Smugglers Cove is a beautiful sandy bay on the eastern edge of Santa Cruz Island, away from the ocean winds and tumult of the open Pacific Ocean. Originally the inlet was named for a group of “pirates” who used the natural shelter of the cove to protect their merchandise. In the late 1800s it seemed a perfect place for a ranch, complete with self-sustaining agricultural pursuits, an extensive sheep operation, and a winery. The olive grove still stands, along with some fruit and nut trees by the old ranch house." Read more

    Trail Information

    Channel Islands National Park
    Nearby City
    Channel Islands National Park
    Trail Guides

    100 Classic Hikes in Southern California

    Skill Level
    Channel Islands National Park
    Local Contacts
    USGS Santa Cruz Island D
    Local Maps

    1 Member Completed

    I've done this

    Trail Log