Frequently asked questions
How much are your services?
The cost for our services vary depending on the number in your party and distance we need to travel. Please contact us directly via phone or email to discuss the cost.
Do you have campsite availability?
To check on campsite availability please visit ReserveAmerica.com or call (310) 510-4205.
Can I make camping reservations with Catalina Backcountry?
Catalina Backcountry does not manage and book campsites unless you are booking one of our comfort camping packages, where we will book your sites as part of our concierge services. If you need to make basic camping reservations for hiking the Trans Catalina Trail please call (310) 510-4205. Once campsites are booked and you would like to inquire about our unique gear haul services please call us at (310) 913-9036.
How many days does it take to hike the Trans-Catalina Trail
Most backpackers choose to do the trail in 3 nights 4 days but if you want to go at a more relaxed pace we recommend 4 nights 5 days.
What airport should I fly into to get to Catalina?
The closest and most convenient airport is Long Beach, but you can also fly into John Wayne in Orange County or to Los Angeles International.
Is there running water along the trail and at the campsites?
There is running water at Hermit Gulch Campground, Haypress rest stop (mile marker 5.5), Black Jack Campground, the Airport in the Sky (mile marker 13), Little Harbor Campground and Two Harbors Campground. There is no running water at Parsons Campground, but 2.5 gallons of water comes with a campsite reservation with an option to add extra water.
What campsites can I snorkel and kayak at?
For snorkeling, the best campsites are Two Harbors Campground and Hermit Gulch Campground. These locations also offer great kayaking with Two Harbors being more remote and Hermit Gulch being located within the populated main city of Avalon. Little Harbor and Parsons are remote beach sites that also offer great snorkeling. You can kayak if you stay at Hermit Gulch, Two Harbors and Little Harbor.
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are allowed at Parsons, Little Harbor and Black Jack. We do not recommend hiking the Trans Catalina Trail with a dog unless your dog regularly does long backpacking trails with you. It is very rough trail on even the fittest of dogs. We recommend staying at Little Harbor if you were interested in just camping on the Island with a dog
Can younger children do the trail?
The trail has been completed by many young backpackers and is doable for kids if they are prepared correctly. We recommend utilizing our gear haul services on at least a leg or two to make the trail more enjoyable for younger ones.
What do I do if we encounter a bison?
The Catalina Conservancy has several specific recommendations. For details, review their bison safety sheet.
What is the trail like?
The Trans Catalina Trail is an advanced trail with lots of elevation changes creating some magnificent ocean views. Trekking poles are highly recommend. It is 38.5 miles long with plenty of wildlife to see. The majority of the campgrounds are right on the ocean with lots of opportunities to jump in the water after a long day of hiking.
When is the best time of year to hike the TCT?
We think that the spring-time is the best time to hike the TCT. After a good winter the spring is filled with green rolling hills, wild flowers and wonderful spring time smells. The late fall is also a great time to hike because the water is still warm enough for a quick dip after a hot sunny hiking day.
What happens if it's raining and I have already booked my trip?
We have the gear for you to camp -- and hike -- on Catalina Island rain or shine.
What is the best campground?
That's up to you. Our favorite campground is Little Harbor, especially in the summer.
I have campground reservations at Little Harbor. How do I get there with my gear?
We offer our gear haul service for up to five people from Avalon to Little Harbor. Please click here for information on pricing.
How are your costs determined?
Gear haul costs are determined by the trip, not by the bag or the amount of gear. Gas on the island ranges from $7 to $8 per gallon. The island's 25 mph speed limit makes everything a leisurely drive. Parsons Landing, which is 25.8 miles away from Avalon, is about five hours round trip.