Trans-Catalina Trail

HARD 33 reviews

Trans-Catalina Trail is a 16.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Avalon, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.

DISTANCE
16.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4307 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

9 days ago

Beautiful scenery (five star worthy). Downside are the sections of really unfun grades with loose/gravelly terrain. Would not attempt this trail without trekking poles. I usually wear trail runners on multi day hikes and found myself wishing I had something with more ankle support on this trail. Would stop by the Catalina Conservancy in Avalon to pickup one of their great maps. I did the Avalon trailhead to Black Jack on day one, Black Jack to Two Harbors day two, Two Harbors to Parsons (set up camp/dropped some gear) to Starlight back to Parsons day three, then walked the West End Road back to Two Harbors (about 8 miles along the island coast) and got the ferry day four.

14 days ago

Hard hike...54 miles if you start in Avalon and hike to mile 0 and then hike the whole trail to Starlight and then back to Two Harbors to ride the boat home. Great experience...Get a breakfast burrito at the airport if you can!

17 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Great experience! Camped right up front in Little Harbor for the beach experience and then in Blackjack for a forestry escape. The up and downs in 80 degree weather was a bit of a challenge, but lots of rewarding views!

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This entire trail from Avalon to Starlight Beach was PHENOMENAL! It was hard too so make sure you're conditioned for steep grades both up and down with almost NO switchbacks. The Trans-Catalina is officially 37.2m however there is also the hike to the actual trail head, the hike at the end from Starlight back to your camp and from there to the harbor to catch your ferry back to the mainland. This turned out to be roughly a 55m week for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat

2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

6 months ago

Met some great people on the trail, both locals, hikers and tourists.

backpacking
8 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

As others have mentioned in previous reviews, the Trans Catalina Trail is 37.2 miles according to the conservancy. Though, I would say we hiked about 50 miles total on this trip.

5 days to complete
Day 1: Hiked to Blackjack campground
Day 2: Blackjack to Airport in the Sky to get a buffalo burger and stock up on water. Continued hiking to Little Harbors. *Stay at campground #12, the best! Closest to water
Day 3: Little Harbors to Two Harbors (only passed through this city to recharge, ate at the restaurant, had
drank buffalo milk, and replenished our bladders) Hiked to Parsons Landing. *If you think day 1
was hard, wait for this 6mile hike.. up and down, bring trekking poles if possible).
Day 4: Camped at Parsons Landing in campground #1, the best one since you're secluded from the
others. Hiked at Starlight Beach and back, enjoyed a fire and a dip in the ocean. 2 nights here
Day 5: Hiked to two harbors, taking the trail hugging the ocean, easier. From Two harbors we took a
safari bus to Avalon, which was nice to see where we've been). From Avalon took the boat out.

backpacking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

I had to give this 5 stars Even though I wanted to give it 3 HAHA!!! I Backpacked this trail in four days!
Avalon to Blackjack... Blackjack to Two Harbors... Two Harbors To Parsons Landing... Parsons Landing Back To Two Harbors.

First things first at least the mistakes and mishaps I made.
-BRING TREKKING POLES!!!! please just trust me on this one. I will never go anywhere with out them now because of this trip!! HAHA
-We did not realize that Avalon to blackjack would be about 17.5 miles.not including walking around avalon to check into the campsites... Almost everyone we talked to that had completed the TCT include the shortcut near the golf course that takes about 6 or 7 miles off the first day so PLEASE BE READY FOR AN INSANE FIRST DAY if you start from mile 1!!!!It was a lot with full packs
-On the First Day We ran out of water and luckily found water at a little playground near the reservoir not AT the reservoir. It really saved us but we wasted about 30 min looking for a spout at the viewing area and around the reservoir.
-Make sure to have a map and a compass we where pushed off trail a couple times because of an "Occupy TCT" by the bison and having basic compass and map skills really came in handy.

Day1 Avalon TO BJ
-17.5 miles.
-Awesome Views
-Toilets Smell... But are better than packing out waste!!!

Day 2 BJ to TH
13.6 miles
-Get lunch at the airport!!! Great pick me up!
-Wished we had stayed an extra day at Little Harbor
-AMAZING VIEWS probably the best of the trip

Day 3 TH to Parsons
-We Did not add the extra 9 miles RT to Starlight due to injury =( but Parsons is worth it so =)
-Big inclines bring trekking poles
-Big Declines BRING TREKKING POLES
-Amazing ridgeline views
-Fenceline trail is Crazy
-Parsons is So Beautiful

Day 4
8.1miles
- Take the coastline trail back towards emerald bay boy scout camp
-So Much Easier than Fenceline Trail and awesome coves and harbors

hiking
Thursday, May 26, 2016

backpacking
Friday, May 20, 2016

Wow! Beautiful, challenging-BISON!!! This trail is forever etched in my brain.

camping
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

First and foremost this trail is listed at 37.2 miles, not 16. I would describe this trail as between difficult and moderate depending on the shape your in and time of year your hiking it. That being said, this trail is awesome. The views and camp sites are hard to beat here in SoCal. Me and my friend did the trail in 4 days in April. What makes the trail so hard is there are next to zero switchbacks, and the elevation gain and loss is pretty gnarly. I wouldn't recommend doing this trail in the summer because there's almost no shade either. I plan to do this trail at least once a year because it's so cool.