Explore the best beach trails near Avalon with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Mark H. on Trans-Catalina Trail
Met some great people on the trail, both locals, hikers and tourists.
I walked it round trip in five hours. Really enjoyed it. Lots of open scenery and a beautiful beach at Parsons's Landing.
I did this solo very early the morning after St Patrick's day in 2006 when my brother got married on Catalina. I woke up at daylight and couldn't get my son to go so just took off on Pebbly rd until I found a trail. Strangely no one around until I got to the Trans Catalina Trail and then there were lots of people running. Unknown before I started my little journey I had hiked into a Marathon Route. I gave all the runners plenty of room so no one minded. I eventually came upon some race officials but there was simply nowhere else to go. It was a fantastic hike with incredible breath taking views and difficult climbs. I actually ended up with a participants medallion later that night that I won in a pool game at one of the little local bars. Strange but true. My son really got a kick out of that one...
Easy stroll on a improved trail/road. Views throughout, Parsons cove is a terrific spot to spend the night, never saw another person during out December hike around the island.
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.
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.
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
-Toilets Smell... But are better than packing out waste!!!
Day 2 BJ to TH
-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
- Take the coastline trail back towards emerald bay boy scout camp
-So Much Easier than Fenceline Trail and awesome coves and harbors
Mabel P. on Trans-Catalina Trail
Wow! Beautiful, challenging-BISON!!! This trail is forever etched in my brain.
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.