One of my favorite ways to travel (which is actually not saying much, as any way is my favorite travel method!) is hiking/camping, more so when I camp in to a destination over car camping where you can drive into a campsite, park, and party. I really like being able to hike and observe scenery around me at my own pace, rather than whizzing by it in a tour bus or cab. It’s also more economical since campsites tend to be cheaper than hotels, you pack your own food rather than go to restaurants, and transport is free since it’s yourself. Plus, not a lot of people tend to like hiking,
which is great if you don’t really like most people so you end up going in less congested areas where you can truly have some peace and relaxation through challenging, but fun, trails.
A few years ago, I hiked most of the Trans-Catalina Trail during a long weekend. Catalina is a little island less than an hour away from California, and though it is known for very bourgie areas where people yacht and relax on the beach, there’s a ton of nature spots that are fun to hike, kayak, and explore at. I went with a friend from one port, Two Harbors, to another, Avalon, during Fourth of July weekend, and though there were some parts that were pretty hot, a lot of it was gorgeous, peaceful, and rejuvenating. We stayed in two campsites – first night at Little Harbor and the second night at Black Jack – and both sites were equally clean, spacious, and fun.
There’s a lot of rolling hills so it’s definitely an intermediate hike, but a couple of our friends opted to take the shuttle from Two Harbor to Little Harbor the first day/night so there’s a way to curb the hike if you wanted to. If you’re taking a pack, I would recommend taking some walking sticks with you to ease the load on your knees since there’s a lot of hills. The campsites are comparable to most other campsites in Cali, but Little Harbor in particular books quickly since you can kayak and fish there, so be sure to book early. Firewood can be purchased ahead of time and it will be there at the campsite, but definitely bring your own water for drinking (the very negative side of camping is lack of showers for the most part, but it comes with the territory). Also, not every port in Cali goes to both Two Harbors and Avalon (i.e., Dana Point is closer to us but it only goes to one of the ports, which was a bummer since Groupons for that port are offered consistently), so definitely check to make sure. In this case, we used the Long Beach port.
For any nature lover, Catalina definitely can’t be beat in terms of great views on the trail! Even if you don’t camp and go to relax and enjoy the scenery, the restaurants are delicious and everyone is generally friendly. It’s a cool area to visit and I’m sure I’ll be back again for some kayaking.