Channel Islands National Park: Lobo Canyon Trail - Backpacker

Channel Islands National Park: Lobo Canyon Trail

Discover ancient archaeology and island isolation (playful sea lions excepted) on this 5.2-mile loop through Santa Rosa's steep canyons and sandy beaches.
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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.9



Location: 34.0204391479492, -120.105400085449

Turn R; climb to continue loop


Location: 34.017448425293, -120.105201721191

Head S up natural rock stairway; look back at ocean from up high


Location: 34.0165100097656, -120.100997924805

Trail intersects with 2-track road. Veer S, keeping
Lobo Canyon slightly L. Continue to WPT 3; return to trailhead


Location: 34.0042381286621, -120.089698791504

Head WSW along Smiths Hwy.; descend into gorge, junction with Lobo Canyon Trail


Location: 34.0027198791504, -120.089202880859

R @ ridgeline; head to Lobo Canyon Trail from road. See volcanic rock formations and windswept gorge


Location: 34.0031318664551, -120.091102600098

Start of Lobo Canyon Trail. Picnic area dominated by poisonous datura plants, sacred to Chumash Indians. Oaks line S view of descent into canyon


Location: 34.0062294006348, -120.091499328613

Cross small bridge; watch for endemic island fox foraging for food


Location: 34.0081596374512, -120.092399597168

Wavelike, wind-sculpted rock formations frame views of path ahead


Location: 34.0146598815918, -120.094688415527

Dead-end in cave with sky ceilings surrounded by huge volcanic boulders sprouting plants; return to WPT 6


Location: 34.0198516845703, -120.098999023438

Shoreline. Lunch spot with sweeping views; turn L toward Cow Canyon


Location: 34.0196914672852, -120.106300354004

Mouth of Cow Canyon. Mist from waterfall spills into rocky intertidal pools and ocean beyond; backtrack .1 mi.


Location: 34.0138130187988, -120.096885681152

Trail intersects with tributary canyon; veer R in canyon


Location: 33.9589042663574, -119.775985717773

Misty, secluded cove on Santa Cruz Island ©Gail and Harry Steele-Moyer

View of Santa Cruz en route to Santa Rosa

Location: 33.9838714599609, -119.906379699707

Heading out past Sant Cruz Island, fins of rock extend from the water. ©Gail and Harry Steele-Moyer


Location: 34.0196800231934, -120.107513427734

Waterfall at edge of ocean. ©Gail and Harry Steele-Moyer


Location: 34.0204582214356, -120.09814453125

The end of line. Sheer cliffs drop into the surf. ©Gail and Harry Steele-Moyer

The walls of a tributary of Lobo Canyon

Location: 34.0147819519043, -120.094268798828

Within Lobo Canyon are a few small side canyon, this one deadends at a terraced overhanging wall. ©Gail and Harry Steele-Moyer

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