Looking for a great trail near Avalon, California? AllTrails has 21 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Crystal Cove State Park or Bolsa Chica State Beach, we've got you covered. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 10 hard trails in Avalon ranging from 5.6 to 37.7 miles and from 9 to 1,768 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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Avalon, California Map
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This is a really good backpacking trip. This is the best way to do the trip: Day 1: Avalon to Blackjack campground Day 2: Blackjack campground to Little Harbor campground Day 3: Little Harbor campground to Parsons Landing campground Day 4: Parsons landing to Two Harbors

Straight up and straight down! Amazing views. Try to go a little later in the day so the haze can burn off so, you can see the ocean on the other side of the island. You are exports the sun the entire time so take plenty of water and good hiking shoes.

hiking
no shade
8 days ago

Just got back from finishing the TCT! We backpacked it from July 11-13 and it was so beautiful. My friend and I hiked it “backwards”, from Two Harbors to Avalon. I see why this trail is rated as hard and why many people hike this trail in the winter time though. For night one, we stayed in Two Harbors and began our first day hiking out from Two Harbors to Parson’s Lansing (which was swarmed with boy scouts), then up the steep climb out of Parsons Landing to the ridge right along Silver Peak. Silver Peak and Starlight Beach are, from my understanding, not officially a part of the TCT so we did not do it. It was just too much to add in the extra miles/climb on such a hot day. Although All Trails shows that Starlight Beach is a part of the trail, it’s not. The map that you can get from the Catalina Conservancy does not show that it is part of it and neither do the trail signs. We then took the ridge and completed the loop all the way back to Two Harbors and stayed the night there again. Our second day we packed everything up and headed out from Two Harbors, to Little Harbor for an hour break, then all the way to Black Jack Campground. This was a LONG, HOT day. However, this was in my personal opinion, the most rewarding day. The views were insane! The biggest climb out of Two Harbors to Little Harbor had some of the best views on trail. From Little Harbor to the Airport (and Black Jack) do NOT take the sheep chute road! All Trails tells you to go that way but that is not the official trail at all. It’s shorter, but the road walks are just long and hot and provide no shade. At least on the trail you’ll get the occasional picnic table with the shade canopy. Stop for food and drinks at the Airport In The Sky and you will not be disappointed. Finally we got to Black Jack and loved the pine forest. It was so unexpected and such a beautiful campground! Beware of the foxes, they were ripping through people’s tents to steal food. Make sure you put all of your food in the bear boxes. For our third/final day we had the hottest day from Black Jack to Avalon. We finally ran into 5-6 buffalo on this stretch and had to backtrack several times to let the buffalo pass! Stay a safe distance away from them as they are pretty well known for charging. This was the hottest and most dry section in my opinion. Once we finally reached a shade canopy just a half mile above the playground, we took the looooong road all the way down to Avalon (which isn’t official trail). We clocked in at 49.5 miles total although the official trail is supposedly 38.5. We felt very fulfilled and enjoyed allll the food once we got to Avalon! For anyone who’s planning on this trip, I say it’s 100% worth it. Even in the middle of summer. Make sure you carry 3-4 liters of water. I was fine with just 3 as there are plenty of water sources. The trail is very easy to follow and there are mile markers for every mile. Do not take the sheep chute road in between the airport and Little Harbor that All Trails says to take. Follow the trail signs! Lastly, pack sunscreen, a hat, and a swimsuit. There are plenty of opportunities to jump in the ocean and take outdoor showers so the swimsuit comes in handy. Practice all precautions when coming across a buffalo and be ready for tons of steep hill climbs! It’s very rewarding and it’s so worth it. :)

Breath taking views from beginning to end, short moderate hike, suggest to start this loop trail counter clockwise, and ending at botanical garden. Bring enough water as this trail is 75% expose. Highly recommended.

Trail 2 Stars. Visitor Center 5 Stars. All Trails didn’t save my review of the actual route, so in short, the route is okay with too much on fire roads and 6.6 miles not 5.9 miles PLuS another 1.7 mile walk to the trailhead from town. Oh and there’s no lone tree at the end of Lone Tree Point. Whaat? Here is my Relive if you want to see my journey as an aerial video: https://www.relive.cc/view/2493783830 Now onto something that is really cool! I want to call out the new Catalina Conservancy Trailhead Visitor Center, which as of June 2019, is only two months old. This is now where hikers sign in using iPads to get their free trail permits - this is so rangers know you went up on the trails and also presumably to collect trail use information. Through the back of the center and outside is the nicest bathroom on the island with a drinking fountain along with a filtered water bottle filler - I used it to easily fill up my Camelback. This is a GREAT amenity and even the volunteer inside the center wasn’t aware it was there. There are maps and an interactive 3D map of the island so you can map out your hike, or confirm where you are going before you set out. In short, it’s an amazing place to visit and they did a great job!

Hard AF to run it, but super radical also. Make sure and have a crew to fill you at each camp site. I ran it slow, took about 11 hours. From two harbors and around to parsons landing via the isthmus is straight up and straight down almost. Painful.

Fantastic views, can definitely be a challenge if you're not used to hiking in an arid climate with little tree cover. Bring lots of water!

Good trail for hiking, however pick your time thoughtfully. The marine layer was around most the ridge.

Fantastic hike last weekend. Definitely gets the blood pumping in a 40lb pack.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

I only did the Avalon to Hermit Gulch portion (10 miles). I came onto the island off one of the ferry boats. The walk to the starting point of the trail is 1.5 miles uphill via Wrigley Rd. You'll already be winded before you even get to the trailhead. The beginning of the Trans-Cat trail is a series of dirt roads. They're wide, easy to follow, uphill, and there is no shade. I, unfortunately, went on a super cloudy day, but there would have been panoramic ocean views. I imagine it would have been amazing. The first 4 miles from the trailhead are completely uphill, but it is very doable for a reasonable hiker. It's pretty much downhill from the 4 mile mark to the junction with the Garden to the Sky trail. If you continue the Trans-Cat past Garden to the Sky and go to Hermit Gulch (I did), it's uphill again. I then took the Hermit Gulch trail down to the campground and eventually headed back to Avalon. The part of the Trans-Cat I did boasted views from the top of the island and a very easy to follow and hike trail. I highly recommend this trail (dirt road). I would love to do the whole 38 miles someday! If you're into hiking/backpacking, this will be perfect for you!

This is a pretty great trail. I came onto the island off one of the ferry boats. The walk to the starting point of the trail is 1.5 miles uphill via Wrigley Rd. You'll already be winded before you even get to the trailhead. The beginning of the Trans-Cat trail is a series of dirt roads. They're wide, easy to follow, uphill, and there is no shade. I, unfortunately, went on a super cloudy day, but there would have been panoramic ocean views. I imagine it would have been amazing. The first 4 miles from the trailhead are completely uphill, but it is very doable for a reasonable hiker. It's pretty much downhill from the 4 mile mark to the junction with the Garden to the Sky trail. If you continue the Trans-Cat past Garden to the Sky and go to Hermit Gulch (I did), it's uphill again. I then took the Hermit Gulch trail down to the campground and eventually headed back to Avalon. The Hermit Gulch trail (1.7 mi) is the only "real" trail and it's entirely downhill if you're heading down to the campground. Including my walk to the trailhead, and finishing at the Hermit Gulch campground, my hike was 10 miles. It's a great hike with views from the top of the island. I highly recommend this trail (dirt road). I will do it again!

Fun trail! Steady incline.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail to get from Two Harbors over to the Little Harbor area. Pretty much all of the way up until you get halfway, then all of the way down. Definitely a good workout, but not unmanageable by any means. Gorgeous views of the coastline and an awesome picnic stop in the middle.

Awesome trail! Long steep climb right out of Two Harbors. The day we went it rained. Lots of mud and fog which made the hike even more difficult. We got to Little Harbor in about 3.5 hours. We stayed 2 nights. Nice campground with beautiful scenery. The hike back was super nice. Took us 2.5 hours. Beautiful views!

Most of the way was on a wide fire road and sometimes golf carts would drive by but otherwise we didn’t see anyone on the trail :) lots of wildflowers, some good elevation gain but not overly steep at any one point. Hope to do more of the trans-Catalina trail soon!

Great way to start the day.

Just finished hiking the trail from Avalon and really enjoyed it The island is beautiful. Lots of friendly fun fellow hikers were around. We hiked from Avalon and camped at blackjack, little harbor, and two nights at two harbors. Don’t miss a beer and buffalo burger at the airport! We did the west end loop as a day hike, with the flat return from Parsons landing a bit anticlimactic. A very nice hike. AllTrails please update the current route of the TCT on the map!

on Garden to Sky Trail

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Beautiful view at the top!

Great views! Gets warm so starting early is best

hiking
3 months ago

VIEWS!!!! Ocean air mixed with vegetation. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a moderate hike on the Trans Catalina trail. It is mostly old fire break and dirt road. It’s beautiful this time of year. Summer can be very hot and dry.

backpacking
3 months ago

Backpacked Monday 18 through Friday 22 March 2019. Gorgeous weather with some rain. Fun meeting people doing TCT from Canada, Wisconsin, Texas, and then seeing them through out TCT. Hiked the TCT based on signage only. Single one track trail easy to follow. Usually use AllTrails, but trail not available. TCT absolutely gorgeous. Tons of ocean views from hiking on mountain ridges. Camped at Hermit Gulch, Black Jack, Little Harbor, and Parsons Landing. Water and bathrooms at each campsite. Restaurant options available at airport on way to Little Harbor and again on way to Parsons Landing. Food plentiful and excellent! Recommend Bison burrito. Campsite Reservations required!!! There was a chain effect based on campers taking already reserved sites. Make reservations! If someone in your Campsite, then boot them. Each hike segment hard based on altitude gain. Harder with backpack. Hiking poles critical based on quick ascent and descent. Saw Bison, Bald Eagle 礪and lots of flit.

Amazing views! We did this trail in 3 nights. Forgot to start recording from Avalon to hermit gulch which would add about another mile and a half. Close encounters with bison on our way to Blackjack. Day 1 Hermit to Blackjack (could have kept going). Day 2 Blackjack to Two harbors. Got and early start and had breakfast at the airport. The views are the best on this part of the trail. Day 3 Two harbors to Parsons(drop off pack) then Starlight beach(very isolated-no access from roads if you need rescued) and back to Parsons. Very long, very steep, lots of slippery gravel. Poles are a must! The views from the top are crazy and Parsons beach camping is unreal! Day 4 was the easiest, made it back to Two harbors in about 3 hours.

Bison. So many bison. Bring poles. Plenty of potable water on this trail.

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