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Trans-Catalina Trail

HARD 9 reviews

Trans-Catalina Trail is a 34.5 mile point-to-point trail located near Avalon, California that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
34.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
8953 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

rocky

This is a long, strenuous trek across the entirety of Catalina Island. But the views are amazing. Beautiful blue ocean views in every direction in the morning, and incredible solitude, serenity and interior island views in the afternoon. Most backpackers do this over four days and depart from Twin Harbors.

backpacking
1 day ago

Did this trail at the end of April, which was just about too late in the season since the whole trail is exposed and it was getting hot. The scenery was absolutely stunning! I started at the mile 1 trailhead and didn't see another soul until mile 7. Very difficult elevation gain and loss, but totally worth it. Camped the first night at Blackjack and it was super windy; second night at Little Harbor which was a great site next to the ocean, seemed to be a favorite by boaters; night 3 was at Parsons, and by far the best campsite! It felt like it took forever to get there, but a serene place on the sand. The most amazing views were about two miles outside of Little Harbor on the trek out. Worst moments were the 3 mile stretch into Little Harbor. The trail was straight down! But overall, a wonderful experience.

4 months ago

DO NOTuse the downloaded map on the site to navigate from blackjack to Little Harbor it veers off of the trans Catalina trail and takes you through a very difficult trail that takes you from mountain tops to riverbeds constantly. stay on the official trans Catalina trail !!!!! You will also encounter Buffalo at numerous points on this detour including herds of 30 to 50 in number, quite concerning at times.!Other than that ,the downloaded map is awesome! When you see the wooden sign saying trans Catalina trail as you leave blackjack for little harbor take it !!!!!!!!!!!!! Conversely leaving from Little Harbor going to black jack stay on the ridge top which is the trans Catalina trail DO NOT take the highlighted portion on the downloaded map that takes you down to the right By a bunch of worksheds and industrial equipment go straight up the ridge which is not highlighted in red this is the trans Catalina official trail that will take you to the airport. The detour that is highlighted in red looks much shorter do not take the bait !!!!!!!!!! You can make it from Black Jack to the isthmus in one hike but is not recommended, do yourself a favor and spend an overnight at little harbor. you will get there around 3 o'clock with plenty of time to set up take a swim in the ocean and enjoy the beach!!! pre-ordering would for any of the sites is a huge plus and recommended. Fantastic trail definitely in my top three things to do in California!

4 months ago

Backpacked from Hermits Gulch to Blackjack- one nite. BlackJack to Little Harbor. - one nite. Watch out for Buffalo on the trail to Little Harbor. We had to bushwack around the buffalo standing on three trail. Also some hikers with a dog spooked the bufflo5 and the hikers ended up in cactus. From Little Harborbwe hiked to 2 Harbors- one nite. Took a shower there. 2 Harbors also has washer and dryer. From 2 Harbors to Parsons for 2 nites. Be sure to order your water and wood for Parsons when you book the campsite. There is no drinking water there. Don't miss out on a hike to Starlite Beach - 6 miles from Parsons. A Beautiful secluded Beach.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hike with great views but at times long steep uphill. The signage is not obvious in some parts of the trail- so take a map. We missed the trail twice and had to backtrack. Once at Wriggly park and the other before airport.

backpacking
6 months ago

Instead of heading all the way to the north tip, we cut down to Two Harbors and packed kayaks for a 2 day 1 night return to Avalon. Stayed at Goat Harbor and it is by far the best boat in site. We have done this trip (TCT + kayaking) a few times and always had a great experience. Must book boat in campsites ahead of time as well as kayaks as the company which operates out of Descanso Beach will drop them off at two harbors and take any extra gear back to Avalon via the kayak delivery truck.

backpacking
11 months ago

backpacking
Thursday, September 08, 2016

My favorite backpacking trail in Southern California. It's my annual birthday trip (free roundtrip on the Catalina Express if you arrive on your birthday, must register beforehand).

To get the most out of your trip. Take it slow.

I like arrive early and make camp at Avalon's Hermit Gulch Campground for our first night. This way we can kayak, SUP, snorkel, etc for a whole day before we start our hike.

Wonderful coastal views until you get deeper into the island and are greeted by herds of Bison and the endless sight of Catalina's rolling hills.

Our most favorite spot on the island is Little Harbor. If your time window allows, spend a night there and do some rock jumping into the ocean.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black Jack campground is about as far away from "Catalina" that you can be. It feels like you are up in the mountains! There are pine trees everywhere, planted, I guess at a time that no one cared about planting non-native trees. There is a cool barbeque pit that has been there what looks like forever!
Just be careful...when you wake up in the morning, there just may be a bison standing in front of your tent!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Awesome picturs, Jeff!