Explore the best trail running 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.
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.
Great hike. I did this loop counter-clockwise, but I think it would be slightly easier to go clockwise. Seemed a little steeper the way I went up. NOTE: can avoid paying the fee to enter going this direction, but I went back and paid them when I finished. Great hike and good to support those who are maintaining the trails. Views are crazy cool.
Disclaimer: This hike was about one week after a crazy rainstorm in January.
I had hiked up via the Garden to Sky trail and thought it might be fun to take Hermit Gulch down... bad idea. Hermit Gulch was no longer a trail, it was a tiny, pebbly ditch. Because it was so steep the first mile (or last mile if you're coming up), I kept sliding around because the ground was so loose. Much of the trail was blocked by small mud slides and some of the trail had completely given out leaving me to scale the mountainside.
When I reached the last part of the trail at the bottom, it had completely turned into a babbling brook. No more trail. Just water.
It was quite an adventure, and the views were spectacular! But lesson learned: Don't hike this trail in the winter!
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...
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.
Mabel P. on Black Jack Trail
Wow! Beautiful, challenging-BISON!!! This trail is forever etched in my brain.
After reading the other reviews, we had prepped ourselves to climb on our hands and knees to avoid falling. That was pointless. There were some steep climbs, but they were short enough we did not even know they were over. Once we got to the end of the trail, we we semi disappointed that the tree was missing. There was not a single lone tree. All in all, this hike gave for some great cardio and spectacular views.