A Comprehensive Guide on the New and Famous Trans Catalina Trail.
Everything you need to know about packing, planning, weather, sights, campsites, things to see, and other fun adventures on the 37 mile backpacking trail.
|Perhaps the country's only backpacking trail with GUARANTEED good weather!|
The Trans Catalina Backpacking Trail
The Trans Catalina Trail is a relatively new Backpacking-friendly Hiking Trail build in 2008. Its a 37 mile trail running from Avalon on Catalina's East End, to the remote Starlight Beach on the the West End. Catalina Island is a wonderfully preserved island 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles with a temperate Mediterranean climate and desert-like features. It is perhaps the most accessible and well-preserved islands of California's Channel Islands and is a true natural gem. Interestingly enough, most people from Los Angeles have never heard of it!
The major benefit of the Trans Catalina Trail is that it takes the hiker through the several major features of the island- the coast, the dense southern interior, the high peaks, the town of Two Harbors and the cliffy, rugged West End. Here is a map. Although it never travels above 2,000ft, it is an intense roller coaster of elevation changes! The trail is both challenging and rewarding!
Sections of the Trans Catalina Trail
1. The East End: Begining at the rather touristy Pepply Beach, the trail immediately begins ascending the eastern mountains of the island as you follow the jeep trail. Fortunantely your ascending is rewarded with stunning views of Avalon and the East End. A side trail will take you to the 1,536ft East Peak, the highest on this part of the island. This part has wonderful views, but is very exposed. Eventually you will loop back around to the road out of Avalon.
3. Airport in the Sky and Little Harbor: This part of the trail is perhaps the highlight of the Eastern Portion. Airport in the Sky is only a mile and a half past Blackjack where you can order a legitimate Buffalo Burger! From here, you have a long decent into Little Harbor with a view of the seldom visted ocean side of the island. It is picturesque and a slice of paradise. After several days in the interior, you'll be happy to bask in the shade of the palm trees and take a swim!
I hope this has given you the gist of what's offered on the Trans Catalina Trail. Each section has a different flavor and hiking the whole trail will give you a wonderful understanding of Catalina's unique environment. From end to end, the trail is 37 miles but the western terminous is still far (11 miles) from any exit point. So in reality, if you would like to hike the whole thing, its a trip closer to 50 miles.
|The seldom visited Starlight Beach, Catalina Island|
Backpacking the Trans-Catalina Trail: Part 2
Read. Plan. Get Out There!