Meet your guides and fellow traveling companions at the San Pedro ferry terminal early this morning in preparation for our 1.25-hour sail to Catalina Island. We enjoy a relaxing ferry ride across the channel before arriving in Avalon, on the east side of the island. Once in Avalon we load all the group’s luggage into a gear shuttle vehicle, which transports it to our first campsite at Black Jack Campground. Our guides provide a short orientation and introduce the group to our lunch bar, where each hiker makes a tasty trail sandwich to enjoy later this afternoon. Once on trail our route to Black Jack camp offers an invigorating introduction to the days ahead. Wildflowers, cacti, grassy canyons, and sweeping views of the Pacific offer plentiful rewards along the challenging route. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 10.7 miles on established trails with prolonged steep ascents and descents along a hot and exposed arid trail with little if any shade, Elevation gain/loss: +3,432’ / -1,936
After a hearty backcountry breakfast, we hit the trail for our next amazing camp. A good uphill jaunt brings us to the aptly named Airport in the Sky, which sits atop a 1,602’ mountain in the center of the island. After a chance to rejuvenate here we set out on our trek across the sky as we make our way to our Little Harbor campsite. Along the way we search for resident wildlife, including the island’s famous bison, which are common along this stretch of trail. We round out the day nestled into our site amid the palm trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean and finally lay our heads down to the peaceful sounds of the surf. All meals included.
Hiking: 8.3 miles on established trails with some steep ascents and descents. Although not a great deal of shade, hiking along this crest trail has amazing expansive views! Elevation gain/loss: +1,023’ / -2,505’
A gradual ascent out of camp has us looking down on White Bluff, Fish Hook and the majesty that is the Pacific Ocean, as we continue our way along this epic ridge trail. Still on the lookout for the islands many indigenous residents, we pause to appreciate our effort and take in the 360 degrees of vistas that will dance in our imagination and fuel our wanderlust for many years to come. Traversing back across the island we once again catch glimpses of the east side of the island and a bit of civilization as we make our way down to our Two Harbors campsite. Enjoying the amazing guide prepared food and camaraderie of our new friends around a roaring campfire is a perfect end to the day. All meals included.
Hiking: 5.6 miles on established trails and roads, Elevation gain/loss: +1,550/-1,563
Today’s hike travels along a spine winding through the west side of the island. The trail cuts through some of the most remote and peaceful terrain on Catalina Island. With 61 endemic species and human habitation dating over 7,000 years ago, Catalina Island is rich in both natural and human history. Our route today offers plentiful opportunities to learn about both. Home for the night is the secluded Parson’s Landing beach campground, where we enjoy our final oceanside dinner and sunset together. All meals included.
Hiking: 6.6 miles on established trails with prolonged steep ascents and descents along a hot and exposed arid trail with little if any shade, Elevation gain/loss: +2,071’ / -2,071’
We enjoy our final hearty trail breakfast in preparation for our last miles along the Trans-Catalina Trail. Our route to Two Harbors lies exclusively along the coast, where we enjoy nonstop shoreline views. We celebrate in Two Harbors with a delicious catered barbecue shared among new friends. Before catching our ferry back to San Pedro, we have time to swim, shower or hang out at the Patio Bar. Finally, we bid Catalina Island farewell as we hop aboard our ferry for the ride back. We estimate being back to San Pedro at 7pm. However, please be aware that available ferry times out of San Pedro vary significantly and are beyond the control of REI. As a result, you may find that you arrive back to San Pedro earlier than our estimated arrival time. Please plan your travel from San Pedro accordingly. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 7.7 miles on established trails with prolonged steep ascents and descents along a hot and exposed arid trail with little if any shade, Elevation gain/loss: +742' / -742; Ferry Transfer: 1.25–2 hours