Explore the best trails near Avalon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Great hike. I did this loop counter-clockwise, but I think it would be slightly easier to go clockwise. Seemed a little steeper the way I went up. NOTE: can avoid paying the fee to enter going this direction, but I went back and paid them when I finished. Great hike and good to support those who are maintaining the trails. Views are crazy cool.
Disclaimer: This hike was about one week after a crazy rainstorm in January.
I had hiked up via the Garden to Sky trail and thought it might be fun to take Hermit Gulch down... bad idea. Hermit Gulch was no longer a trail, it was a tiny, pebbly ditch. Because it was so steep the first mile (or last mile if you're coming up), I kept sliding around because the ground was so loose. Much of the trail was blocked by small mud slides and some of the trail had completely given out leaving me to scale the mountainside.
When I reached the last part of the trail at the bottom, it had completely turned into a babbling brook. No more trail. Just water.
It was quite an adventure, and the views were spectacular! But lesson learned: Don't hike this trail in the winter!
Mark H. on Trans-Catalina Trail
Met some great people on the trail, both locals, hikers and tourists.
I walked it round trip in five hours. Really enjoyed it. Lots of open scenery and a beautiful beach at Parsons's Landing.
I did this solo very early the morning after St Patrick's day in 2006 when my brother got married on Catalina. I woke up at daylight and couldn't get my son to go so just took off on Pebbly rd until I found a trail. Strangely no one around until I got to the Trans Catalina Trail and then there were lots of people running. Unknown before I started my little journey I had hiked into a Marathon Route. I gave all the runners plenty of room so no one minded. I eventually came upon some race officials but there was simply nowhere else to go. It was a fantastic hike with incredible breath taking views and difficult climbs. I actually ended up with a participants medallion later that night that I won in a pool game at one of the little local bars. Strange but true. My son really got a kick out of that one...
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.
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.
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.