Camp at Hermit Gulch on Catalina Island

Rate this Adventure 3.9 miles 1206 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Cameron Martino

"But when I climb up to my island peak, escape awhile the madding world of strife, I envy not an earthly thing. This life, which sometimes galls, is swept clean of its cares by friendly winds, and once again I smile. Ay. Truly, life seems sweet – a thing worthwhile."  - Capt. Eddie Harrison 

The Avalon port in Catalina is most easily accessed through the Catalina Express leaving from Dana Point, Newport Beach or Long Beach. The Hermit Gulch campsite is only a 20 min walk from the boat and is well run with restrooms, showers... etc. They also sell anything you might have forgotten for camping from the rangers station but it is slightly expensive (they will literally let you rent a tent, they rent everything) . The hiking trail is right behind the campsite and the permit for the hike comes free if you camp there. The hike itself can be changed to fit how long you want to hike. There are a few popular routes all very steep but differing in length:

  • Hermit Gulch Trail loop (3.9 miles) 
  • Hermit Gulch to Lone Tree Point (6.2 miles) 
  • Hermit Gulch Trail - Trans-Catalina Trail Loop (11.75 miles)

All of these trails offer their own great rewards those who finish with spectacular views of the island. This is a good first camping experience for anyone who may not have time or fitness for other backpacking or camping trips and offers many options from snorkeling, fishing, swimming, hiking or just chilling on the island. 

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