Explore the best trails near Avalon with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.




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trail locations for Avalon, California

Great to use as a return trail from Parsons landing to Two Harbors.

Easy stroll on a improved trail/road. Views throughout, Parsons cove is a terrific spot to spend the night, never saw another person during out December hike around the island.

1 month ago

My favorite backpacking trail in Southern California. It's my annual birthday trip (free roundtrip on the Catalina Express if you arrive on your birthday, must register beforehand).

To get the most out of your trip. Take it slow.

I like arrive early and make camp at Avalon's Hermit Gulch Campground for our first night. This way we can kayak, SUP, snorkel, etc for a whole day before we start our hike.

Wonderful coastal views until you get deeper into the island and are greeted by herds of Bison and the endless sight of Catalina's rolling hills.

Our most favorite spot on the island is Little Harbor. If your time window allows, spend a night there and do some rock jumping into the ocean.

2 months ago

As others have mentioned in previous reviews, the Trans Catalina Trail is 37.2 miles according to the conservancy. Though, I would say we hiked about 50 miles total on this trip.

5 days to complete
Day 1: Hiked to Blackjack campground
Day 2: Blackjack to Airport in the Sky to get a buffalo burger and stock up on water. Continued hiking to Little Harbors. *Stay at campground #12, the best! Closest to water
Day 3: Little Harbors to Two Harbors (only passed through this city to recharge, ate at the restaurant, had
drank buffalo milk, and replenished our bladders) Hiked to Parsons Landing. *If you think day 1
was hard, wait for this 6mile hike.. up and down, bring trekking poles if possible).
Day 4: Camped at Parsons Landing in campground #1, the best one since you're secluded from the
others. Hiked at Starlight Beach and back, enjoyed a fire and a dip in the ocean. 2 nights here
Day 5: Hiked to two harbors, taking the trail hugging the ocean, easier. From Two harbors we took a
safari bus to Avalon, which was nice to see where we've been). From Avalon took the boat out.

2 months ago

Stopped at Catalina Island on a cruise. Walked the town and went on a tour of the island

Nice easy hike on a fire road. A few steep areas and great views on both sides of the island. Worth the walk.

4 months ago

I had to give this 5 stars Even though I wanted to give it 3 HAHA!!! I Backpacked this trail in four days!
Avalon to Blackjack... Blackjack to Two Harbors... Two Harbors To Parsons Landing... Parsons Landing Back To Two Harbors.

First things first at least the mistakes and mishaps I made.
-BRING TREKKING POLES!!!! please just trust me on this one. I will never go anywhere with out them now because of this trip!! HAHA
-We did not realize that Avalon to blackjack would be about 17.5 miles.not including walking around avalon to check into the campsites... Almost everyone we talked to that had completed the TCT include the shortcut near the golf course that takes about 6 or 7 miles off the first day so PLEASE BE READY FOR AN INSANE FIRST DAY if you start from mile 1!!!!It was a lot with full packs
-On the First Day We ran out of water and luckily found water at a little playground near the reservoir not AT the reservoir. It really saved us but we wasted about 30 min looking for a spout at the viewing area and around the reservoir.
-Make sure to have a map and a compass we where pushed off trail a couple times because of an "Occupy TCT" by the bison and having basic compass and map skills really came in handy.

Day1 Avalon TO BJ
-17.5 miles.
-Awesome Views
-Toilets Smell... But are better than packing out waste!!!

Day 2 BJ to TH
13.6 miles
-Get lunch at the airport!!! Great pick me up!
-Wished we had stayed an extra day at Little Harbor
-AMAZING VIEWS probably the best of the trip

Day 3 TH to Parsons
-We Did not add the extra 9 miles RT to Starlight due to injury =( but Parsons is worth it so =)
-Big inclines bring trekking poles
-Amazing ridgeline views
-Fenceline trail is Crazy
-Parsons is So Beautiful

Day 4
- Take the coastline trail back towards emerald bay boy scout camp
-So Much Easier than Fenceline Trail and awesome coves and harbors

on Black Jack Trail

5 months ago

Wow! Beautiful, challenging-BISON!!! This trail is forever etched in my brain.

5 months ago

Wow! Beautiful, challenging-BISON!!! This trail is forever etched in my brain.

First and foremost this trail is listed at 37.2 miles, not 16. I would describe this trail as between difficult and moderate depending on the shape your in and time of year your hiking it. That being said, this trail is awesome. The views and camp sites are hard to beat here in SoCal. Me and my friend did the trail in 4 days in April. What makes the trail so hard is there are next to zero switchbacks, and the elevation gain and loss is pretty gnarly. I wouldn't recommend doing this trail in the summer because there's almost no shade either. I plan to do this trail at least once a year because it's so cool.

6 months ago

Totally worth it! Two hours round trip stopping for pictures. We enjoyed it; good way to start your day in Avalon. For someone that never exercise, I think this trail, even though is considered easy, it may be too much of an incline for some people. Other than that; the views are great!

After reading the other reviews, we had prepped ourselves to climb on our hands and knees to avoid falling. That was pointless. There were some steep climbs, but they were short enough we did not even know they were over. Once we got to the end of the trail, we we semi disappointed that the tree was missing. There was not a single lone tree. All in all, this hike gave for some great cardio and spectacular views.

amazing hike .. start at the campsite .

1 year ago

This is not a hike just a city visit. To see the beauty of the island please escape all the idiots on their golf carts and go explore the real hiking trails, where animals aren't scared away by noise, drunk tourists and loud golf carts. The city is cute but you have seen it in an hour. Go up the hills or in the water and the real beauty reveals.

Gorgeous views. Felt safe by myself as I wasn't too far away at any point from the "civil world". No phone connection so couldn't make a recording. Saw a huge deer and some birds. Nice variation in the path. Loved it.

1 year ago

Garden to Sky can be done as an out and back, or it can be combined with 2 other trails (Memorial Road to Divide Road and then to Hermit Gulch Trail) to create a 4.2 mile loop. We did the loop. Starting at the Wrigley Botanical Gardens, you purchase entrance to the Gardens ($7/person) and sign up for a hiking pass (free). I suppose you could start from the Hermit Gulch campground and avoid the fees, but the trail is maintained and marked, so I would encourage supporting the Conservancy. The information desk personnel go through a basic hiking checklist, suggesting water and asking not to touch or feed the animals. We started around 1pm and finished around 5pm. The city of Avalon faces east, and there are some spectacular views of both East and West when you get to the top. I would have loved to see the sunset from there, but it would have been much too dark to make our way back. Memorial Road and Divide Road are wide roads that tour vehicles also travel on. Hermit Gulch is a bit more rugged and you need to be careful of loose rocks.

scenic driving
1 year ago

I like to call Catalina Island the Key West of the West Coast. It's a great weekend or day trip via cruiseline out of San Pedro or Long Beach, CA. I took the bus tour that explores the island and there are some great views. I also enjoyed the glass bottom boat tour. Very fun experience.

This was an amazing hike and backpacking trip I started out in Avalon and hiked to two harbors in three days there's plenty of water along the trail and the campsites are very well-maintained and beautiful! While on the trail I saw deer, bison, Fox and many different birds.

I backpacked this in 4 days.
Day 1: Avalon to Blackjack
Day 2: Blackjack to LIttle Harbor
Day 3: Little Harbor to Parson's Landing
Day 4: Parson's Landing to Starlight Beach and back
Day 5: Parson's to Two Harbors

It was amazing!