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Little Harbor and Shark Harbor Trail

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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.

Distance: 5.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,486 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
12 days ago

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.

Little harbor to two harbor with Bella!

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!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

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.

Super awesome 3 day backpacking

hiking
7 months ago

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.

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

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.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

no shade
rocky
Tue Jun 11 2019

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

hiking
no shade
rocky
Sat May 18 2019

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.

hiking
Mon May 13 2019

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!

Great hike.

backpacking
Tue Jan 08 2019

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.

backpacking
no shade
Wed Feb 28 2018

hiking
Sat Oct 14 2017

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)!

backpacking
Fri Jun 02 2017

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.

backpacking
Sun May 07 2017

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!

hiking
16 days ago

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