Hermit Gulch Trail to Lone Tree Point is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Avalon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Up for a short hike with a big payoff? Try the Garden to Sky Hike using the Memorial Road and Hermit Gulch trail. You can make the round trip in just a couple of hours and be back in time for whatever your Avalon plans may be. The trail head can be accessed via the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden located at the top of Avalon Canyon, a 1.75 mile walk up the road from town. You can also catch a ride on the city's trolley or the Catalina Island Conservancy's Wilderness Express (310-510-0143) from the Transportation Plaza for only a few bucks per person. Entering via the garden gives individuals in your group with different goals or needs the option to hike the graded road to the top or simply relax at the garden and wait for their party to return. Or you can do the loop and meet up with the gang at the Hermit Gulch Campground on the way back to town. The trail is one of the best entry-level hikes on the island with phenomenal views being your reward for a moderate level of effort.
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!
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.
Great hike until the last mile. Some of the steepest hills I've ever seen. Constantly feeling like I'm going to fall off. I'd recommend just turning back and going the original way up.
Tough and fun hills on the 'last mile' and a great intro to the landscape outside Avalon!
Catalina Island is so beautiful, great views anywhere you go. This trail has a few steep up and down parts- a couple so steep I was nervous I was going to tumble down. I moved to the grass on side on trail that wasn't as slippery as the sand/gravel. Started in Avalon and went UP and to end of trail - view of the other side is amazing. Definitely want to carry water - it was hot when we were there and not much shade on the trail.
If you are like me, and not a seasoned hiker, it is wise to start your hike in the Botanic Garden. The service road is steep, but not as steep as the Hermit Gulch trail that you can take from the campground. Just saying... Wow! The hike is worth it! On the top of the mountain, you can look down a Avalon waaaay down in the distance. It was a clear day, so I could see the mainland from Malibu almost all the way to San Diego! Looking out over the Pacific, I could see San Clemente Island that cannot be seen from the mainland.