Santa Cruz Island, the Galapagos of the US


Potato Harbor.

According to the National Park Service, Santa Cruz Island is over 154 square kilometers in size and the largest island in California. The island contains two rugged mountain ranges; a large central valley/fault system; deep canyons with year-round springs and streams; and 124 kilometers of coastline cliffs, sea caves, tidepools and beaches. These varied landforms support more than 750 species (600 plant and 150 animal).

The Santa Cruz Island of today is the product of years of isolation and changes caused by human impact, varying geologic shifts and weathering. Many distinctive plant and animal species have adapted to the island’s changing environment. Location: Channel Islands National Park (Santa Cruz Island). Author: Karl Spencer.