Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(107)
Avalon, California

Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Avalon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, 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 5.6 mi Elevation gain 1,486 ft Route type Point to Point

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Beach

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (5)
Contact
Tips

Two of the Islands most exotic locals, Little Harbor and its twin, Shark Harbor Shark and Little Harbors are Catalina Island favorites; a must-see for first-timers. Due to the layout of the surrounding coast, Little Harbor is nearly always calm, while Shark is nearly always churning. In the right weather, you might even spot a few surfers taking advantage of the waves. You can also arrange for kayak rentals from town, before you begin your hike, so that you'll have use of the boats stored on shore, just waiting for you when you arrive. Contact Catalina Backcountry for more information. You can hike here on the Trans Catalina Trail or you can schedule a ride on the Safari Bus from either Avalon or Two Harbors.

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

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (109)
Photos (213)
Recordings (109)
Completed (190)
Shanon Sisson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingNo shade

Quite steep for the first two miles out of the isthmus. We didn’t make it as far as planned but enjoyed the great views anyway. Ocean breeze made the heat bearable.

View Shanon's Recording
Joe Rapp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Joe's Recording
Peyton Tebon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeRocky

Awesome experience with several stops with sweeping ocean views. Careful with the bison, they like their space. Great bathrooms throughout the trail and well kept campgrounds. Stay in shark harbor when looking for campgrounds at Little harbor, it’s nice to be right on the beach with awesome ocean views.

View Peyton's Recording
Cullen Lobe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2020
Hiking

Little harbor to two harbor with Bella!

View Cullen's Recording
Cullen Lobe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 15, 2020
Hiking

Amazing... two harbor to little harbor campground with mom dad and Bella. A little muddy but PERFECT weather. Came close to a line bison half a mile into the hike... campsite is incredible. Shark harbor is a good surf spot!

View Cullen's Recording
Jay Alvy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 1, 2020
HikingRocky

Good 2 miles of steep inclines but absolutely worth it..beautiful hike. We took it slow, enjoyed the view and took plenty of brakes! It took us 3 hours 40 minutes, each way.

View Jay's Recording
AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2020
Hiking

Super awesome 3 day backpacking

View AllTrails's Recording
Rosalina Hansen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 16, 2019
Hiking

Part of this trail is different from the all trails map, they changed a section going to little harbor. Follow the actual map from the conservancy. You need to account for trying to go around bison in your way as well. It wasn’t easy, challenging at times but enjoyable. Some parts have no shade for long periods of time. If you aren’t fast, do two harbors and parsons separately. I tried to but ended up staying in two harbors... little harbor to two harbors took longer and was more challenging than expected in some ways. You could take a short cut but it was a rewarding part of the hike I’m glad I did. I’m a slow hiker.

View Rosalina's Recording
Bill S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2019
HikingNo shade

Really strenuous stretch. We did it in 1/2 day before taking the boat back from two harbors. 1500 elevation gain in 2 miles. but great views and good exercise. highly recommend.

Gabriel Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2019
Hiking

Insane! I suggest staying at little harbor from black jack. The elevation gain from little harbor to two harbor is a killer. Day 2 of our trip. Still a toss up if day 1 was harder. Had an awesome buffalo burger at the airport in the sky.

View Gabriel's Recording
Justyne Catacutan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2019
HikingNo shade
Terry Strait
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2019
No shadeRocky

Fantastic hike last weekend. Definitely gets the blood pumping in a 40lb pack.

Anna Perkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 18, 2019
HikingNo shadeRocky

Great trail to get from Two Harbors over to the Little Harbor area. Pretty much all of the way up until you get halfway, then all of the way down. Definitely a good workout, but not unmanageable by any means. Gorgeous views of the coastline and an awesome picnic stop in the middle.

View Anna's Recording
Bryan Lett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 13, 2019
Hiking

Awesome trail! Long steep climb right out of Two Harbors. The day we went it rained. Lots of mud and fog which made the hike even more difficult. We got to Little Harbor in about 3.5 hours. We stayed 2 nights. Nice campground with beautiful scenery. The hike back was super nice. Took us 2.5 hours. Beautiful views!

Isaac Yang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 8, 2019
Hiking

Great hike.

View Isaac's Recording
Jessica N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 8, 2019
Backpacking

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.

Tyler Makin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2018
BackpackingNo shade
Laura Lyn AllDay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 14, 2017
Hiking

The hike starts in Two Harbors, ascending up an elevation change of 1,400ft in 1.8 miles via the Banning House Road. You pass a radio station on your left and continue along the ridge for about 4.5 miles. The views are spectacular! It was very hot and dry along the trail so bring enough water (we had about 1.5-2L each person) and sun protection. We reached the Little Harbor Campground and found our campsite. It had running potable water, food locker, 2 fire pits, an awning, and 2 camp tables. Nearby, you have access to beach showers and chemical toilets for your camping luxury! We spent 2 nights here and hiked back to Two Harbors on the third day. On our free day in Little Harbor, we kayaked RT to Ben Winston Beach and beached it on a small secluded beach (Middle Beach) which is a short hike over “Whale’s Tail”. You can catch an amazing sunset while perched atop Whale’s Tail as well, and for all you feeling a bit dare-devilish, there are a few cliff diving spots you can jump off of. But whatever it is you decide to do, always practice SAFETY FIRST! At night, it gets quite chilly so we donned sweaters/pants before bundling up in our sleeping bags. Some tips: arrange kayak rentals with “Wet Spot Rentals” and they’ll set it up for you there at Little Harbor Beach; firewood delivery is a must so you can enjoy the beautiful fire pits ($10/bundle)!

colin delaney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2017
Backpacking

Did this trail over Memorial Day weekend. My Garmin tracked the distance closer to 6.2 miles, and the high point was about 1250'. It took about 4.5 hours. The opening trail is a huge climb straight out of Two Harbors. This is just one leg of the TCT. We did one day from Two Harbors to Little Harbors, then stayed and hiked in the LH area for a day, then on day 3, we went from Little Harbors to Parson's Landing. Overall, phenomenal experience, but depending on weather (it was pretty sunny and hot) it can be a demanding hike.

Berton Manning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 7, 2017
Backpacking
First to Review

This is a fun hike that traverses a ridge line from Two-Harbors to Little Harbor. You climb 1200 feet in the first 1.8 miles to a radio relay station along Banning House road then hug the ridgeline trail to Little Harbor. The views are spectacular. Unfortunately, I elected to continue on the Banning House road to the main road in the valley from the relay station because the winds were to high. It was hard to keep my balance with a 35lb backpack. Safety First!

Josh Kvavle
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking
View Josh 's Recording
Callie Schmitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
View Callie's Recording
Mae Alabanza
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
View Mae's Recording
Joe Eleshio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking
View Joe's Recording
Javier Jung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking
View Javier's Recording
Showing results 1 - 25 of 109