The indigenous Chumash people called Santa Rosa ‘Wima’ (driftwood) because of the redwood logs that often came ashore here, with which they built plank canoes called tomols. This 84-sq-mile island has rare Torrey pines, sandy beaches and hundreds of plant and bird species. Beach, canyon and grasslands hiking trails abound, but high winds can make swimming, diving and kayaking tough for anyone but experts.

Evidence of prehistoric life on the island comes in the form of thousands of Chumash sites, dating back some 13,000 years, while the most complete skeleton of the ancient, extinct pygmy mammoth was found here in 1994.

Santa Rosa can be accessed by both Island Packers boat services and Channel Islands Aviation planes.

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