The 1808ft summit of El Montañon is the highest point on the east side of Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park. The hike to El Montañon Peak starts out at Scorpion Ranch and gains more than 2,000ft of elevation over 4 miles to the summit. In this guide for El Montañon, I’ll provide gpx files, maps, photos, and a hike description.
If you’re a hiker visiting Santa Cruz Island, this hike to Smuggler’s Cove has to be on your itinerary. This 8.2 mile hike gains a modest 1500ft of elevation gain, but provides some incredible ocean views in the process. Most hikers reach Smuggler’s Cove via an out-and-back route on Smuggler’s Rd, but in this guide I’ll provide directions for a more scenic loop route through Scorpion Canyon.