hiking
16 days ago

Had a great time on this trail yesterday midday (July 1st). Hiked up from the campsite trailhead, it’s pretty steep with little shade until you get to the peak at 1.7 miles, sometimes cool sea breezes and sometimes not, so you’ll get hot. Cute little gazebo type structure at the top, again with great views.

Bring plenty of water (I drank two liters), hat, and sunscreen, but poles are not necessary. The trail is on the narrower side and has a few steep switchbacks as you head up the hills. Lots of beautiful views as you head up, including several where you can see the ocean on both sides.

The way down is much wider (a ranger truck passed us at one point) and an easier grade - all the way down to Wrigley Memorial. Going this way you get to enter the botanic gardens for free ($8 admission otherwise), which we hadn’t realized. Anyways, great perk on a great hike — the outdoors, some culture/history, and lots of cool cacti. If you are looking for an easier hike, perhaps start at the gardens/Wrigley and do it as an out and back from there to the peak, also known as the “Garden to the Sky” trail.

We also walked in from Avalon, so it’s a flat 1.5 miles in to the trailhead. Otherwise there is a shuttle which is $2 and runs every 20 min, but if you’re going to do a moderate hike like this you probably don’t need to shuttle. We only saw two other groups while hiking which surprised us, had assumed there would be more on a Sunday.

I think this is a great option if you are a moderately fit hiker who doesn’t have a ton of time in Avalon but wants to experience some of the grandeur of the TCT with a couple extra hours to hang out in town (we were there on a day trip, first ferry in and last ferry out).