Camping on Catalina Island
Camping on Catalina Island means… sleeping out under the stars, kayaking along the coastline with your tent to the next secluded cove, hiking the Trans Catalina Trail into remote valleys, and natural beauty almost too much too imagine.
There are several campgrounds on Catalina Island, mostly concentrated around the smaller town of Two Harbors. Avalon has only one campground – Hermit Gulch, and for those of you with kayaks, sailboats, and motorboats, there are about 22 private boat-in only campgrounds located between Avalon and Two Harbors. On this page – we are going to give you low down on prices, booking, availability, locations, and rules and regulations for camping on Catalina Island.
Oh, and let’s not forget – camping is cheap! So, if you are looking for some adventure and you’re ready to say goodbye to amenities for a few days, camping on Catalina Island is a great way to go. It’s easy to get there, and the infrastructure has been built up over the years simply because it is such a popular activity with outdoor enthusiasts. On this page we are going to show you some of our favorite places, provide maps, and let you know what regulations apply at each location.
A great activity for families. Nothing brings families together like a few days spent in the outdoors under the stars. Some of my best memories as a child were camping with my dad back on the East Coast of Canada, where I’m originally from. Now, as an adult, I still feel that same boyhood sense of excitement and close family bond when my own family visits the island for hiking and camping.
Catalina Island Campsites Near Avalon
Hermit Gulch Campground
There is just one campground near Avalon, the Hermit Gulch Campground. Located just off Avalon Canyon Road above the town of Avalon. It’s actually a pretty great location – close to the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens, The Catalina Golf Course, Catalina Country Club (when you get tired of roughing it and want a fancy meal!) and just a short 20 minute walk into town where you can access all of the activities, shops, and restaurants in Avalon. Hermit Gulch campground is open year round.
Hermit Gulch Campground offers coin-op hot showers, flush toilets, fresh water, barbecue stands where you can cook your meals, and picnic tables. You can either bring your own tent, or rent one of their tent cabins. They also rent all manner of smaller tents for couples, one-man tents, and so on. There are a series of vending machines on site for snacks and cold drinks. They also offer coin operated lockers for your valuables (don’t leave your valuables in your tent, silly), and The rangers there will sell you ice, fire logs, and propane.
About the only important rule you must observe is that no open wood fires are allowed.
Hermit Gulch Campground is located on Avalon Canyon Road, P.O. Box 737, Avalon, CA 90704. For more information and reservations, visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com or call (310) 510 TENT.
Click here to visit our page on the Hermit Gulch campground on Catalina Island.
Catalina Island Two Harbors Camping
While most of the action on Catalina Island is in and around the town of Avalon, Two Harbors is where people love to camp. I think in general, camping is for people who love to commune with nature, enjoy a peaceful and tranquil setting, and leave behind busy lives for a few days. Two harbors is a much smaller town, but most people will tell you that it’s natural beauty far surpasses Avalon, and it’s juts plain less boisterous and touristy.
Two Harbors Campground
The Two Harbors Campground sits on a bluff overlooking Catalina’s Isthmus, about a 1/4 mile outside the town of Two Harbors. There are 42 individual campsites and tent cabins, and three group camping areas. On the premises you’ll have access to showers, lockers, chemical toilets, fresh water, fire pits and picnic tables. Rangers will sell you fire logs, propane, and charcoal if needed.
Two Harbors Campground is located at P.O. Box 5086 Two Harbors, CA 90704. For more information visit www.VisitTwoHarbors.com or call (310) 510 TENT.
Click here to visit our page on the Two Harbors Campground on Catalina Island.
Other Campsites on Catalina Island
Two Harbors Campground and Hermit Gulch Campground have all the amenities like toilets and vending machines, but for the more adventurous types there are a few spectacular camping locations on Catalina we just have to share with you. Little Harbor Campground (rated one of the best in the West by Sunset Magazine), Parsons Landing (about 7 miles west of Two Harbors), and Blackjack Campground (nestled int the trees at 1600ft, just in the shadow of the 2097ft Mt. Orizaba).
Little Harbor Campground
Little Harbor Campground is pretty much paradise for those of you who love secluded beaches, swimming, kayaking, and playing in the water. It is accessible by kayak, a rather difficult hike, or by Safari Bus from Two Harbors. The campground offers 23 campsites, including eight group areas. Amenities available include chemical toilets, showers, fresh water, lockers for valuables, barbeque and fire ring, and picnic tables.
Click here to visit our page on the Little Harbor Campground on Catalina Island.
Parsons Landing Campground
Parsons Landing campground is another stunningly beautiful and remote campsite with a beautiful beach, and access to swimming and snorkeling areas. The eight campsites are a bit more primitive than Little Harbor, Two Harbors, or Hermit Gulch. Still, there are chemical toilets on site, picnic tables, and barbeque and fire ring. It’s important to note that one bundle of firewood and 2.5 gallons of water are included with your campsite fees, and if you require more – make sure you purchase in advance at the time of reservation.
Click here to visit our page on the Parsons Landing Campground on Catalina Island.
OK. Enough with the beach camping! The Blackjack Campground is located towards the center of the island, 1600ft above sea level, and several miles from both Avalon and Two Harbors. It sits nestled in the pine and eucalyptus trees just next to Catalina Island highest peak, Mt. Orizaba. There are eleven campsites, each with sweeping views of the rolling interior and out to sea.
It’s quite easy to get there by Safari Bus, the Airport shuttle from Avalon, or by hiking. The hike to the trail head from Avalon is about 9 miles, and from Two Harbors it’s almost 12 miles. Once at the trail head, it’s another one and half miles into the campground.
The campsites offer decent amenities like chemical toilets, showers, fresh water, lockers for your valuables, barbeque and fire ring, as well as picnic tables.
Click here to visit our page on the Blackjack Campground on Catalina Island.
Remote Boat-in only Campsites on Catalina Island
Click here to visit our page on the Remote Boat-in Camping on Catalina Island.
Catalina Island Camping Map