Parsons Landing Campground
Parsons Landing campgrounds are about seven miles west of Two Harbors on Catalina’s leeward side. The site for campgrounds is basically a long sandy beach, with good water for swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking. The location is remote and beautiful, accessible by hiking or kayak only. The seven mile hike from Two Harbors is fairly strenuous, but you can do a much shorter 2 mile hike from Emerald Bay.
If you want to get in touch with nature and rough it a little bit, far away from visible signs of civilization, this is a great location. The campground does offer some amenities including a chemical toilet, and lockers for your valuables ($12.00), on a raised area behind campsites #3, #4, and #5.
Please Note: Anything you’ll need for your camping trip must be packed in. There are no gear rental places here, and no Park Ranger on hand to sell you additional supplies.
Parsons Landing Campsites
There are eight campsites, capable of sleeping roughly six people each. The campsites are spread out across the beach, with nothing but space separating them. There are no trees, and no sunshades of any kind here, so take this into consideration. Campsite #1 does offers the best privacy and swimming, tucked in behind a rocky outcropping, as well as campsite #2, but to a lesser degree. If you can reserve campsite #1, you’re golden, the only consideration is that #1 and #2 don’t have a lot of sand at certain times, so bring an adequate sleeping pad. For swimming, campsites #3,4,5 have a lot of rocks in the water just in front, so not as good. The sand gets stonier towards #7 and #8, so not as nice on the feet. That being said – all the campsites here are perfectly fine, and you are likely to run into like-minded travelers here, so privacy isn’t so much of an issue, and most people are happy to share the best parts of the beach.
Each campsite has a barbecue stand and fire ring, and a picnic table. With each campsite you’ll get 2.5 gallons of water, and one bundle of firewood. If you think you’ll need more firewood and water, make sure you purchase in advance at the time of reservation.
Parsons Landing Campground Fees and Reservations
Prices vary depending on seasons and time of week.
Summer Season: 6/12 through 9/5
Midweek is $14.00/night for adults and $7.00/night for children. Weekends are $16/night for adults and $8.00/night for children.
Winter Season: 1/1 through 3/11 and 10/16 through 3/10
Midweek is $12.00/night for adults and $6.00/night for children. Weekends are $12/night for adults and $6.00/night for children.
Spring Season: 3/12 through 6/11 and 9/6 through 10/15
Midweek is $12.00/night for adults and $6.00/night for children. Weekends are $14/night for adults and $7.00/night for children.
Call (310) 510 TENT to book your reservation. You may specify which campsite you’d like to reserve. Groups of 20 or more should call (310) 510 8368 ext. 1414. Please note that reservations booked over the phone are subject to a $25.00 administration fee. You can also book online (free!) at www.visitcatalinaisland.com.
Video: Parsons Landing Campground – Shows Campsite #1
Parsons Landing Campgrounds Reviews
Apart from the preferences for which sites are the best (talked about above), I’ve read about, heard and personally witnessed that the chemical toilets here are pretty nasty sometimes, or rather most of the time it would seem. If you can’t stomach stinky, unsightly potties, so plan accordingly.
I’ve had several reports of rattlesnakes in the area, although I’ve never encountered one here myself. It’s a good idea to pack a snake bite kit with you, and watch where you step. The last sighting I heard about was near campsite #2 in the shade of the rocky outcropping.
Squirrels are fast here, so – watch your food and take care not to leave items on the picnic tables that can be snatched easily. they will not only snatch food left out – but will go as far as to chew through bags – so be warned and plan your defenses! Foxes in the area will grab your food as well.
The landing in a kayak can get a little rough on days where the surf is a bit higher. Make sure you are prepared for a wet landing.
One couple complained that they landed their kayaks on the beach (after having booked 2 months in advance mind you) only to find out that the campground was overrun by Boy Scouts and their parents. As many as 15 kids per site, ruining the quiet, calm vibe of the place. Their own campsite #2 had been taken and they had to ask the camp counselors to move the tents. I can’t corroborate this report or say with confidence that this will or won’t happen to you, but it’s the first report of it’s kind..
Parsons Landing Campground Map
Other Campgrounds on Catalina Island
There are a total of 5 campgrounds on Catalina Island, and 9 boat-in only campsites. Use the links below to find out about fees, reservations, rules, and some of Catalina’s best kept secret camping spots!
- Blackjack Campground Catalina Island
- Hermit Gulch Campground Catalina Island
- Little Harbor Campground Catalina Island
- Parsons Landing Campground Catalina Island
- Two Harbors Campground Catalina Island
- Boat-in Only Campsites on Catalina Island