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Hermit Gulch Trail to Lone Tree Point

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Avalon, California

Hermit Gulch Trail to Lone Tree Point is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Avalon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 5.9 mi Elevation gain 1,509 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running Views Wild flowers Wildlife Scramble
Description
Waypoints (13)
Contact
Tips

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.

Obtain your Hiking Permit online. Also, be sure to review Cautions and Policies before heading out on your adventure.

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Reviews (142)
Photos (429)
Recordings (145)
Completed (273)
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Steve Lindsay
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Running

Amazing viewpoint!!!

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Jared Stephenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

Pretty tough in the heat of August, not gonna lie. Great views once you get to the top. I recommend doing the hike late afternoon once the sun is setting to the west so you can have some shade on the hike and then enjoy the sunset at the top.

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Christina Shon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

All uphill trail for the first half and pretty hot along the way up. Great views back to Avalon and some shade stops along the way. A nice sitting area at the top where the trails meet up. Then onto the dirt road leveling off with great views of both sides of the island and a nice cool breeze, then to the downhill road to the memorial.

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Bertrand Chevalier
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Hiking
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Milton Fang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Tough slough straight uphill about 2.5 miles 1500ft elevation then a hill program for 2 miles round trip. Worth it for the views though.

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Jeff McGrath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
Hiking

Steady up 1st half very glad did this vs only the garden to sky. Great views both sides island at top.

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Michael Goudchaux
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Hiking

Great trail, very hot even on a 70 degree day. Bring plenty of water

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Brooks Perry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 8, 2020
HikingNo shade

Beatiful blue pacific views. Very few people for a Saturday. Recommend taking this trail from the campground and going counterclockwise so you end the hike at the memorial/garden (skip the gate fee).

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Jackie Glazebrook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2019
HikingRocky

Very hilly and rocky trail. Lots of sage, beautiful blue sky and ocean view.

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Linden Mueller
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HikingBlowdown
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Artem Kutikov
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HikingNo shade

Hot hot hot! But amazing views. Great hike

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Greg Rossiter
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HikingGreat!
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Tammy Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2019
Hiking

Breath taking views from beginning to end, short moderate hike, suggest to start this loop trail counter clockwise, and ending at botanical garden. Bring enough water as this trail is 75% expose. Highly recommended.

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DeeDee LaTurtle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 1, 2019
HikingNo shade

Trail 2 Stars. Visitor Center 5 Stars. All Trails didn’t save my review of the actual route, so in short, the route is okay with too much on fire roads and 6.6 miles not 5.9 miles PLuS another 1.7 mile walk to the trailhead from town. Oh and there’s no lone tree at the end of Lone Tree Point. Whaat? Here is my Relive if you want to see my journey as an aerial video: https://www.relive.cc/view/2493783830 Now onto something that is really cool! I want to call out the new Catalina Conservancy Trailhead Visitor Center, which as of June 2019, is only two months old. This is now where hikers sign in using iPads to get their free trail permits - this is so rangers know you went up on the trails and also presumably to collect trail use information. Through the back of the center and outside is the nicest bathroom on the island with a drinking fountain along with a filtered water bottle filler - I used it to easily fill up my Camelback. This is a GREAT amenity and even the volunteer inside the center wasn’t aware it was there. There are maps and an interactive 3D map of the island so you can map out your hike, or confirm where you are going before you set out. In short, it’s an amazing place to visit and they did a great job!

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Colin Heffernan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2019
Hiking

Fantastic views, can definitely be a challenge if you're not used to hiking in an arid climate with little tree cover. Bring lots of water!

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Colin Gray
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Hiking

Great way to start the day.

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

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Alyssa T
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2019
Hiking

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

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Sebastian Fisher
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Hiking

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

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Joan Abrams
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Wonderful!

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Moonman Ztaz
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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.

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Jacqy Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Kent Hippler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 28, 2018
Hiking

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.

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Charl Sr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 26, 2017
Hiking

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

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Sarah Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2017
Hiking

I just went to the top where the bench is. TAKE WATER AND WEAR SUN SCREEN. This goes on my list as one of my all time favorite hikes. Beautiful views, what an experience!!!

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Steve DeCoite
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Hiking

Spectacular views! Hot and dry, bring plenty of water

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Keith Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 23, 2017
Hiking

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.

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Jamianne Verkade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 4, 2017
Hiking

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!

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Amber Julian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 22, 2015
Hiking

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.

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Dylan Andersen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2015
Hiking

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.

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