Click on photos for larger images. Sometimes you have to refresh the page to re-activate this feature. Hide Slide Show (you will have to refresh the page to see it again)

Trans-Catalina Trail, CA

May 22 - May 29, 2022 -- $1450 ★★

Off the coast of California lies a surprisingly sparse wilderness called Catalina Island. Catalina Island is extremely close to Los Angeles physically but worlds away in temperament. We will be backpacking the entire 38.5 miles of a hiking route called the "Trans-Catalina Trail" which traverses the entire island and features all-day views out to the Pacific Ocean.

The island is full of wildlife, some of it unexpected such as bison. Others like the Island Fox are common on other nearby islands such as Santa Cruz in the Channel Islands. Plus there are the usual charismatic megafauna like Eagles, California Sea Lions and Mule Deer along with more than 40 species of birds.

Our trek will visit Two Harbors (Catalina Harbor, Isthmus Cove), Parsons Landing, Little Harbor, Airport in the Sky, Black Jack Campground, Haypress Recreation Area and Avalon. You're right, nobody has heard of these.

What a great way to get away just before Summer begins. If you have ever wanted to hike on Catalina Island, this is the trip for you. Why not join us for an unforgettable week?


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. The Pacific Ocean moderates the temperature. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the high 70s / low 80s with nighttime temperatures in the 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures as high the 90s, with a chance of passing afternoon thunderstorms. Here is a site that displays historical weather for the island. Make sure to bring sun protection and water containers that add up to 6 liters of capacity.

Probable Trip Leaders

Danielle Piscatelli
Kara Siglin


$1450 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Los Angeles (LAX), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail (including one meal at Airport in the Sky) and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, round trip ground and water transportation from Los Angeles to San Pedro to Catalina Island, 6 days of trail meals (except for 1 dinner), permits, campground fees and awesome guides.

Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.

Important Notes

May can be hot on the island! There are few trees along the interior of the island so we may hike many hours in direct sunlight with temperatures in the 90s. Bring a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeve sun protection. Along the coasts, expect it to be much cooler because of the proximity to the Pacific and its ocean breezes.

Back to top


Packing List
Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
Sign up Now!


Sunday, May 22, 2022

Fly into Los Angeles Airport (LAX). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving at say, 11AM or 5PM, then do so.

Take the free airport shuttle to local hotel Wingate by Wyndham LAX, 10300 S La Cienega Blvd, Inglewood, CA,90304

Equipment shakedown. We go through all your stuff to make sure you're properly outfitted.

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Trail mix distribution

Trip to REI, 1800 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 727-0728, for forgotten or last minute equipment. Hours 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Go out for welcome / introductory dinner (Dinner not included in trip cost)

Monday, May 23, 2022

Early (5AM?) wake-up, we must be at the ferry terminal today by 7:45AM

Second set of "before" body composition measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage. Try to keep this to a small amount of stuff or at least consolidate it into 1 bag.

Ground shuttle to San Pedro to the Catalina Express, 95 Berth, San Pedro, CA 90731, 310-519-1212

We will either eat guide provied breakfast in the shuttle vehicle(s) or have a free hotel breakfast

Board the 8:45AM ferry for Two Harbors, Catalina Island.

Arrive at Isthmus Cove, Two Harbors, Catalina Island around 11:30AM, elevation sea level

Stow food for the last 3 nights in critter-proof "fox-boxes" so that we don't have to carry it all an extra 14.3 miles. As the campground is out-of-the-way in the wrong direction, we may find an alternate "in-town" place to stash food.

Today's mileage is relatively flat and primarily goes along a dirt road. There are some great views, but the occasional traffic is annoying.

Start Hiking at Two Harbors, elevation sea level

Hike 0.2 miles to the Trans-Catalina Trail

Hike 2.8 miles to Lion Head, elevation 200'

Hike 4.7 miles to Parsons Landing, elevation sea level

Camp at Parsons Campground, elevation sea level. There is no water here, but we will place an order to have it brought in by island staff so it should be waiting for us.

Miles today: 7.7. Total miles: 7.7

Possible Bail-Out: Two Harbors

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Day-Hiking only today, leave tents set up at Parsons Landing

Day-Hike 4.3 undulating miles to Starlight Beach, elevation Sea Level

Day-Hike 4.0 undulating miles along a slightly different route to Parsons Landing, elevation Sea Level

Camp at Parsons Campground, elevation sea level. There is no water here, but we will place an order to have it brought in by island staff so it should be waiting for us.

Miles today: 8.3. Total miles: 16.0

Possible Bail-Out: Two Harbors

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

There are two options today.

Option 1

Hike a steep and grueling 1800' climb up and over Silver Peak. This is the preferred route with the most scenic route but is also by far the more difficult way.

Hike 6.6 miles up and over Silver Peak to Two Harbors Campground. The elevation along the way is formidable: almost 1900'


Option 2

Return to Two Harbors on the exact same trail (road) that we hiked on the first day.

Hike 7.7 miles along West End Road to Two Harbors Campground, elevation Sea Level

Camp at Two Harbors Campground, elevation sea level. There is reliable water here

Miles today: 6.6 / 7.7. Total miles: 22.6 / 23.7

Possible Bail-Out: Two Harbors

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hike 5.3 miles to Little Harbor Campground. The elevation along the way goes up and over 1200'

Little Harbor is an isolated, picturesque oasis campsite with lots of opportunity to explore and swim in the ocean on our "short day"

Camp at Little Harbor Campground, elevation sea level. There is reliable water here

Miles today: 5.3. Total miles: 27.9 / 29.0

Possible Bail-Out: Little Harbor

Friday, May 27, 2022

Hike 6.1 uphill miles to Airport in the Sky, elevation 1550'

Airport in the Sky has a restaurant called DC-3 Gifts and Grill, which currently features this menu,

DC-3 Gifts and Grill closes at 4PM. We fully expect to arrive by 2PM so we will eat our dinner here. Dinner is not included in trip cost.

Note: We will provide and prepare lunch-type items tonight, along with hot drinks and dessert.

Hike 2.1 miles to Black Jack Campground, elevation 1500'. Along the way, the trail will dip to about 1150' and climb up and over 1650'.

Camp at Black Jack Campground, elevation 1500'

Miles today: 8.2. Total miles: 36.1 / 37.2

Possible Bail-Out: Airport in the Sky

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Hike 5.1 up and down miles to Haypress Recreation Area, elevation 1350'

Have lunch at the playground

Hike 4.1 downhill miles to Hermit Gulch, elevation 250'.

Hike 1.5 downhill miles to Avalon, elevation sea level

End of hiking. Congratulations, you have just thru-hiked the Trans-Catalina Trail!

Miles today: 10.7. Total miles: 46.8 / 47.9

Possible Bail-Out: Avalon

Avalon is pretty touristy so you can hang around in-town or do a bonus 2.6 mile round-trip day-hike (no pack) to Pebbly Beach if there is time

Take the 6:00PM ferry back to San Pedro, arrives around 7:15

Shuttle back to Los Angeles

Check back into local hotel Wingate by Wyndham LAX, 10300 S La Cienega Blvd, Inglewood, CA,90304

After measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony. Dinner not included in trip cost.

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Take Free Airport Shuttle

Back to top