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Trans Catalina Island

We did the Trans Catalina trail during 2021 Memorial Day weekend. The trip was planned long time ago. Finally, we were able to book all the campsites for the long weekend. Comparing strenuousness to backpacking and summitting on Eastern Sierra mountains, this trip was nowhere near that. The hike was moderate and relaxing. Scenery wise, it was nice but not breath taking. This trip was more of experience and relax.

My GPS tracks can be downloaded here: Trans Catalina.gpx

Day 1 (May 28, 2021). We drove to San Pedro in early morning. Parked the car at Catalina Express parking lot. Parking spaces were plenty. The boat took more than an hour to Avalon. We explored the town and stayed at Hermit Gulch campground. The campground had shower rooms. The hot shower was operated by quarters. I did not see a coin dispenser though.

Day 2. This is longest hike, 9.88 miles on my GPS, in the entire trip from Hermit Gulch to Black Jack. It had some elevation gain initially. After that, the rest of hike were mostly flat. We carried 2 litters of water for each person, which was more than enough. We also found there was a water tap at a picnic area (N33° 21.317' W118° 21.626' ). There was a cold shower at Black Jack. Note that it was free but absolutely no privacy. You might want to bring swimsuit if you want to use it.

Day 3. The hike from Black Jack to Little Harbor, 8.23 miles on my GPS, was a little shorter than yesterday. The highlight of this hike was a restaurant at airport. We hang around there for a couple hours to have lunch and coffee before getting back to the trail. It was very enjoyable. The Little Harbor was quite crowded when we were there, probably because it was a long weekend. Again, there were a couple cold showers but no privacy.

Day 4. The view started to get better as most of the hike were on ridges from Little Harbor to Two Harbor. It was a short hike, 6.45 miles on my GPS. Two Harbor was a busy small town. We visited the office near the dock to check-in the campsite and got the key for water at Parsons Landing. Important! Be sure to reserve the water at Parsons Landing and don’t forget to pick up the key. The town had a restaurant where we had dinner and an ice cream. The campsite was busy. When we were there, there was a party at night and laud music did not stop until 11 pm. There was a cold shower at campsite, again, no privacy. In the town, the public bathroom has coin operated hot showers. It has coin dispensing machine also. We ended taking a shower there.

Day 5. We had a breakfast at restaurant before the hike. The hike from Two Harbor to Parsons Landing was a little steep. It was 6.82 miles on my GPS with 1805 feet gain on the hill up. The views were nice a long the hike. Parsons Landing had the best campground in the entire trip. It was solitude on the beach. The key we picked up previous day was used to open a locker, in which there were two gallons of water, fire wood and a fire starter. Having a camp fire at end of the day while watching sunset was a very enjoyable experience.

Day 6. The hike was all flat along the coast line back to Two Harbor, 7.48 miles on my GPS. The views were nice. At Two Harbor, we had a lunch at the restaurant and an ice cream before taking the 4:45 PM boat back to Los Angeles.

Sunset at Parson’s Landing, Trans Catalina Island

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Sunset at Parson’s Landing


Bison near my tent at Little Harbor Campground, Trans Catalina Island

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Bison near my tent at Little Harbor Campground

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