Explore Catalina - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Challenging but very beautiful. There’s some pretty steep bits and there’s very little shade cover, so be sure to bring lots of water. We had a dog with us and she made it but the rocks were pretty rough on her paws - if you’re bringing a dog, bring plenty of extra water and consider booties or dog socks.

There are wild bison around Little Harbor. They will walk right through the campsites. Very cool to see but be careful around them and give them space. We learned after we left that someone had recently been gored after getting too close.

Steep and rewarding. Quick hike up to see both sides of the island.

Pretty steep hills, but a very rewarding view of the island and ocean. Loved it

Steep climb, very rewarding views at the end! Would hike again.

Easy and relaxing loved it

Relaxed walk. Check the tide so you get there around low tide to take advantage of the tide pools.

Peaceful and easy beach stroll!

Beautiful & peaceful! And lunch @ the date shake shake a tasty bonus!

Starting at the Hermits Gulch campground it is 1.75 miles of constant uphill until you reach the gazebo with the Lone Bush ( not a tree). If you take the left fork you head down towards the Wrigley Memorial which is in the Botanical Garden. This makes for about a 4.5 mile loop. Free access to the Botanical Garden this way, although the Garden is not much to see. Not fun for kids unless they are into stair stepping at a young age.

walking
4 months ago

Beautiful views of the ocean, but also the street. Nice easy walk great for kids.

Easy beautiful trail, part goes on a paved road, the other part is on the beach which is a good balance. Parking rate Mon-Fri after 5 pm - $3.

I didn't do quite this exact trails, but very similar. We started at the Los Trancos parking lot ($15), crossed PCH and took the paved path down to the side of the golf course. This part of the hike up on the cliff has some pretty views and lots of bathrooms along the way. There are plenty of spots to head down to the beach, but if you keep walking until you get to the golf course before you head down, you can see the cool Monterey Formation geological features and explore your first batch of tidepools! From there, we walked along the beach, peering into tidepools and crossing over some rocks along the way. Make sure you go at low tide to be able to cross all of this, or you may have to head back up to the cliffside and take a different beach access point down. We head down the beach until we just passed the Historic District and Beachcombers, stopped to look at the tidepools there, but honestly, got annoyed with the OC crowd (everyone was complaining really loudly about absolutely everything!), so we headed up the stairs in the Historic District, walked back along the cliffs back to Los Trancos.

A nice little beach walk, not strenuous at all. Got sweaty at the end as the morning started to heat up, but overall a very easy hike! (No dogs allowed! We saw one lady with her dog up top, but there are signs at all the beach access points that say no dogs.)

We enjoyed this hike on 8/16/18. We started the hike at the campsite which turned out to be great. It is steep but you will constantly stop and gaze at the views so I promise you won’t even realize how far you’ve hiked. The way down is easy and trail itself is very easy to follow.
I do recommend starting at the campsite trail; if you start at the garden expect to hike down to be potentially difficult.

I did this trail in the late morning into the afternoon with plans to stop at the Beachcomber for lunch halfway through. It definitely took longer than expected to get midway but well worth the wait. If you want to do the same bring a back pack with a bathing suit and cover up and a credit card, so you can enjoy the restaurant/bar and lay on the beach.
However I should have ate less at the restaurant because the steep hill shortcut back to where we parked the car was not ideal on a full stomach. We ran out of time and had to cut the rest of the hike short.
Overall, gorgeous views and a nice breeze. But definitely not “easy.” I would say easy/moderate.
I didn’t realize the lower part of the trail is on the actual sand. Walking on the sand isn’t easy in my opinion. But a nice change of pace from your run of the mill dirt road trail.
Also there are plenty of bathrooms which is nice.

trail running
5 months ago

Beautiful view! I went yesterday with my husband to see the sunrise around )5:20am) and was worth it. Quit, peaceful and with a great great view. I also enjoyed staying down the beach after jogging in the trail, was so romantic.
Best time to go is before the sun come out to avoid the hit !
Highly recommended

Nice views. Very warm on the trails and on the beach.

The beach was very pretty and there was a lot of interesting rocks at the reef point area that resembled the millennium falcon. In the tide pool area there were an abundance of crabs, alive and dead. It’s a good walk for people who like the beach and some history.

hiking
6 months ago

Had a great time on this trail yesterday midday (July 1st). Hiked up from the campsite trailhead, it’s pretty steep with little shade until you get to the peak at 1.7 miles, sometimes cool sea breezes and sometimes not, so you’ll get hot. Cute little gazebo type structure at the top, again with great views.

Bring plenty of water (I drank two liters), hat, and sunscreen, but poles are not necessary. The trail is on the narrower side and has a few steep switchbacks as you head up the hills. Lots of beautiful views as you head up, including several where you can see the ocean on both sides.

The way down is much wider (a ranger truck passed us at one point) and an easier grade - all the way down to Wrigley Memorial. Going this way you get to enter the botanic gardens for free ($8 admission otherwise), which we hadn’t realized. Anyways, great perk on a great hike — the outdoors, some culture/history, and lots of cool cacti. If you are looking for an easier hike, perhaps start at the gardens/Wrigley and do it as an out and back from there to the peak, also known as the “Garden to the Sky” trail.

We also walked in from Avalon, so it’s a flat 1.5 miles in to the trailhead. Otherwise there is a shuttle which is $2 and runs every 20 min, but if you’re going to do a moderate hike like this you probably don’t need to shuttle. We only saw two other groups while hiking which surprised us, had assumed there would be more on a Sunday.

I think this is a great option if you are a moderately fit hiker who doesn’t have a ton of time in Avalon but wants to experience some of the grandeur of the TCT with a couple extra hours to hang out in town (we were there on a day trip, first ferry in and last ferry out).

walking
7 months ago

This is a long walk, top half is paved or wood planks. Bottom is the beach.. sand and at the end of the loop rocks. I enjoyed myself and it was not challenging. Parking is $5 an hour or $15 for the day. For the four miles with a few stops it was just under two hours. I think of myself as a slow walker. Oh and there are three spots of stairs.

The kids love this trail because we always go down to the tide pools but down by the beach there are no restrooms and the walk up back to the blacktop trail is steep so prepare ahead.

Overall great moderate hike. Stunning views of Avalon while you ascend Hermit Gulch. The lone tree trail also offers incredible views of the other peaks and canyons on the island, as well as the pacific and San Clemente Island to the south. The hike culminates on the edge of the palisades with another spectacular view, although if there was a lone tree at the end of the trail, it is no longer the case now. Recommend to take the trans-Catalina trail south on the way down in order to take the offshoot trail through the Wrigley botanical gardens.

Beautiful beach and coastline views-

Very easy trail with a beautiful view of the beach.

backpacking
10 months ago

Gorgeous beautiful and spectacular hike. We backpacked this last weekend and saw whales breaching, a fox, a bison, a bald eagle, an Osprey ( not the backpack, haha). This hike was perfect for a first time backpacker, me, as it was mostly flat the entire way. If you do camp at the campground we preferred campground 2 over 1. Our group reserved both, but campground 1 was quite rocky. There were 3 spots on 1 that we're cleared, but campground 2 had lots of sandy spots to pitch a tent.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Great hike with great views once at the top. I am not an avid hiker but with plenty of water, some snacks and few stops on the way up it was very manageable.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Simple hike yet gorgeous walking along the ocean. No crowds on Christmas made it even better. We brought my 3-month old niece along for the walk and she as zero complaints.

$15 for parking is a little steep, but I guess it helps keep the park clean and crowds a little smaller.

hiking
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Very relaxing hike!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Nice walk, beach and nature, followed by lunch at the beachcomber restaurant.

hiking
Sunday, November 26, 2017

This was a great hike. Unfortunately fog rolled in at the end of Lone Tree trail.

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