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Hiking on Catalina Island to Parsons Landing Campsite

In This Information
  • Choosing & Booking Your Campsite
  • How to Get to Parsons Landing and Catalina
  • Parsons Landing Trail Maps
  • Flip by Turn Hike Directions & Video
Distance15.2 miles (24.5 km)Hike TimeOvernight – 4 Hours Each Means (Complete)ProblemStraightforwardComplete Ascent (?)1,320 ft (402m)Highest Elevation222 ft (68m)Fees & PermitsTenting Allow & Ferry FareDog PleasantNoPark Web siteCatalina Island FirmPark Telephone877-778-1487

Hiking on Catalina Island gives some lovely options, but I feel the hike to and in a single day at Parsons Landing campsite is the most effective. Parsons Landing campsite sits on a secluded seashore, with the sounds of the waves as your tenting soundtrack. There are solely 8 campsites, the hike isn’t too robust, and the surroundings is breathtaking. Do it. Do it. Do it.

Planning for the Parsons Landing Hike & Camp

Reserving the Parsons Landing Campsite

Earlier than you do something, you must make a reservation for a campground. In case you don’t have one, you’ll be able to’t camp. Parsons Landing campsite is distant, however a couple of years ago it was featured in Sundown Journal, so it’s turn into more widespread. And there are a number of wrinkles to navigate.

Parsons Landing campsite mapRight here’s a tough map of the place the campsites truly are. My favorite is website eight, however 1 and a couple of supply some seclusion as nicely. When you can only get one of many center ones, don’t stress, they’re all lovely and you’ll be closer to the loos.

What I like to recommend is this:

  • Find a couple of open dates that you really want on the Reserve America page.
    • Weekdays are simpler than weekends.
    • Weekends are robust to guide, however it’s an awesome weekend hike. A superb choice is to take Friday off and begin your hike then, returning Saturday. Or do Sunday to Monday.
    • Guide as far out as potential, but maintain your eye open for last minute cancellations.
  • Call the Catalina Island Firm.
    • Make sure that there are not any massive groups staying there throughout your date. I do know people who have been there with massive Boy Scout teams and it’s not as peaceful as you want to.
    • Ask about anticipated extreme high tides, which can make tenting unimaginable.
    • There could be a two night time minimal depending on if you arrive and who you speak to. I might safe the location on the decision and simply pay double for two nights (about $20 extra), even in case you are solely staying for one. Or you possibly can attempt to ebook on the website, which permits one night time bookings.

There’s also a compulsory “locker fee” which it’s essential to pay, nevertheless it’s a great thing. Once you get to the campsite, a locker with a bundle of firewood, a fireplace starter, and a 2.5 gallon water jug can be ready for you. If you’d like extra wooden or water, you’ll be able to simply purchase a number of lockers.

Staying on the Parsons Landing Campsite

Parsons Landing hike campIf you would like anything apart from what you see on this table, you need to carry it in your self. That is what will probably be ready for you in your locker.

Parsons Landing is a primitive campsite, which means that there’s not much there. Right here’s what to anticipate once you stay there (and the hike directions later will present some examples).

  • The campsites often have a stone wall constructed by other campers to block the wind.
  • The bottom is sand and pretty degree. You can in all probability get away and not using a sleeping pad, however I used one.
  • Each campsite has a picket picnic table.
  • Every campsite has a fireplace pit.
  • Each campsite has a critter field giant sufficient to store two packs and different gear, water, and so forth.
  • There’s a chemical rest room in the midst of the campground.
  • There’s NO operating water, however your locker payment will embrace a 2.5 gallon jug.
  • You get a bunch of firewood, which is ok for a couple of hours. There’s additionally driftwood that folks burn.

Cristter Boxes At Parsons LandingYou’ll be able to see the critter packing containers at each campsite. I highly advocate using them; animals will find a method into you pack and have been recognized to pull zippers and chew threw nylon. Thanks to Bev G. for the photograph.

How to Get to the Parsons Landing Trailhead on Catalina

Parsons Landing ferryHere I’m in San Pedro ready for the ferry to Two Harbors. The ferry has plenty of room on your gear, and there’s a massive pay parking zone on the ferry terminal. Once you add all of it up, it’s not low cost, however was value it.

The hike begins in Two Harbors, which is a very small town on the north aspect of the island. Avalon, which is additional south, is the primary vacationer vacation spot on the island. You have got a couple of options to get to Two Harbors. The schedule and repair modifications based mostly on the season, so it’s a should to verify the ferry websites out and guide prematurely.

  • You’ll be able to take a direct ferry from San Pedro (by Lengthy Seashore) to Two Harbors on the Catalina Categorical.
  • There are extra ferry choices to Avalon, with Long Seashore and Dana Point served by the Catalina Categorical and Newport Seashore served by the Catalina Flyer. Once you’re in Avalon, you possibly can take the Safari Bus to Two Harbors. Generally, it’s a lot simpler to drive to San Pedro on the mainland aspect and take the ferry immediately to Two Harbors.
  • If you would like to get fancy, you’ll be able to take a helicopter to Avalon after which take the bus.

That is the tackle for the beginning of the hike: Two Harbors Harbor Division, Avalon, CA, 90704, USA.

Gear For Tenting and Hiking at Parsons Landing

Parsons Landing campsite

You’ll need gear for an in a single day keep, if that wasn’t apparent already. The one factor that you simply don’t want to carry into Parsons Landing is water, wooden, and hearth starting material. In any other case you’ve to carry it in your pack.

You will get limited meals provides on the common retailer in Two Harbors. Catalina is an enormous vacation spot for drinkers, particularly school youngsters, so the overall store has numerous booze. You can even decide up disposable lighters for those who forgot them (I did).

Additionally notice, cellular phone coverage is nearly non-existant. The paths are fairly nicely marked and it’s extremely unlikely that you would want to hearth an SOS on this hike, however you would convey your emergency beacon just in case.

Watch Out For Animals All Over

Parsons Landing campsite Once you get your water at Parsons Landing, ensure you hold a sharp eye on your pack. I left mine for a minute whereas I handled my locker and two ravens had managed to unzip my pack and find my meals.

The animals on Catalina might be aggressive when it comes to stealing your meals. The worst (or greatest) at it are the Ravens, which may open the zippers on a pack without drawback. There are additionally squirrels, mice, and foxes, which can sprint out to grab unattended food. This happens not only at Parsons Landing, however throughout Catalina, with the snack bar at Two Harbors being notably lively.

To avoid getting pilfered, hold your pack with you always. If you camp, use the critter field to retailer all of your gear, particularly meals and something with a scent. Throw your trash out in the animal-proof trash space at Parsons Landing.

Parsons Landing Path Maps

Hiking on Catalina Island to Parsons Landing Campsite Map Downloads

Obtain the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Right here’s How I Navigate The Hike

Individuals ask me all the time, so here you go. I have a couple of backups you can see on my gear web page, but usually I exploit a mixture of those tools.

Fenix 5x Hiking Nav

Garmin Fenix Map Watch

This factor does every thing: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart fee, blood oxygen, fitness monitoring, sleep monitoring, and the record goes on. I maintain a GPX route on the watch so I can shortly glance down and ensure I’m in the appropriate place.

Fenix Costs & Critiques

My In-Depth Evaluate

Gaia Gps

Gaia GPS

I load a number of varieties of offline maps onto my smartphone once I need to work together with the map in detail. I also use it earlier than my hikes as a planning software for all types of issues, including discovering free government land to camp on. The benefits are many, I highly advocate it.

Gaia GPS Advantages

HikingGuy Low cost

Don’t just rely on a cellphone, particularly in case you are climbing in the backcountry.

Parsons Landing hike campYou begin within the small town of Two Harbors and then wind your approach alongside the coast until you reach Parsons Landing. Numerous beautiful ocean views.

Catalina is part of the Channel Islands (however not the National Park), and Two Harbors is the 2nd largest city (after Avalon) with 150 permanent inhabitants. There’s a one room faculty house that youngsters who stay there use. If in case you have time on the best way back, you possibly can have a look across the small town. Normally this finish of Catalina is more rugged and undeveloped.

Most hikers on Catalina Island do the Trans-Catalina Trail, taking 3-4 days to cover the entire route. This hike to Parsons Landing Campsite isn’t part of that hike, however does hit the Trans-Catalina path for a small portion of the hike.

A lot of the hike is on a large filth street that has unimaginable views because it hugs seaside cliffs. You may see a automotive or ATV along the best way, but generally, it’s pretty mellow. Automotive registration on the island could be very limited with a 14 yr ready record.

Parsons Landing hike camp elevationThere’s lots of up and down, however no main climbs on the hike. The gradients are all affordable and straightforward to do with a backpack on.Catalina FoxThere are lots of the diminutive Island Foxes round, but they’re exhausting to spot. Photograph from USFWS.

Hold your eyes open for the Island Fox, which is just found on the Channel Islands. I’ve seen them, however perhaps I used to be simply lucky. There are additionally bison on the island, a non-native species imported for a 1924 film and then let loose. The heard is up to 150 now, and even when you don’t see them, you’ll in all probability see their tracks or crap.

Hike Directions to Parsons Landing

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Flip By Flip Directions

Parsons Landing parkingWhen you take the ferry from San Pedro, there’s plenty of protected parking (for a payment) at the ferry terminal.Parsons Landing ferryEnsure you buy a ticket on-line if you plan the journey. Take your receipt to the counter within the terminal in your ticket. There’s espresso and snacks here.Parsons Landing ferryThe ferry is pretty massive and may get crowded relying on the day.Parsons Landing ferryOn board the ferry there’s lots of room, and you may verify your backpack with the other luggage. The experience is about 90 minutes to Two Harbors, and you will get snacks and drinks on the boat.Two HarborsDepending on the schedule, your boat might stop in Avalon first, so heads up. Both approach, get off at Two Harbors. It’s a very small place.Two HarborsIMPORTANT: On the finish of the ferry pier is a sales space the place you want to examine in. Deliver your receipt and decide up your permit and locker key here.Two HarborsIf you need to buy anything, the overall store by the pier is your solely choice. There’s additionally a restaurant for burgers and snacks. They’re often open around the ferry arrivals and departures.Two HarborsWhenever you’re prepared to start the hike, head proper (north) off the pier and reduce throughout the seashore.Parsons Landing trailA mud street at the end of the seashore heads up the hill.Parsons Landing trailOn the prime of the hill, make the correct and start heading on the path to West End.Parsons Landing trailYou’ll instantly get great ocean views from the path.Parsons Landing trailBe vigilant of fires, especially when tenting. Catalina is remote and you may imagine the logistics concerned with putting out a fireplace right here.Parsons Landing trailContinue on the path because it hugs the aspect of the island.Parsons Landing trailYou’re going to be heading within the path of West End. The Isthmus is the native moniker for Two Harbors.Parsons Landing trailAt around 0.9 miles, stay left on the primary trail. Usually, as you do the hike, you’ll see turn-offs that head down to the coves. All the coves and camps within them are personal property.Parsons Landing trailMost of Catalina is run by the Catalina Island Conservancy, who be certain that the land is protected and correctly managed.Parsons Landing trailAgain, keep away from any aspect trails down into coves or personal property.Parsons Landing trailYou’ll cross an deserted silver mine. Mining was massive right here in the 1860s.Parsons Landing trailWhen you went in a straight line from Two Harbors to Parsons Landing, it might in all probability solely be about 2 miles. But the trail twists and turns round every cove. You’ll cross above camps and retreats from numerous personal groups as you hike.Parsons Landing trailAt about 2.6 miles hold going straight on the primary trail, avoiding the aspect Goat Whiskers Trail.Parsons Landing trailThe water is crystal clear and the path provides you with many alternatives to look down at the shore line. Maintain your eyes open for dolphin, seals, sea lions, and whales.Parsons Landing trailYou may see some bison tracks or scat on the trail.Parsons Landing trailAt about 4.2 miles continue straight, avoiding Watertank Street to the left.Parsons Landing trailAt about Four.Four miles, one other cove, one other camp. Keep on the primary street. This is good point to take a snack break.Parsons Landing trailAt about 4.8 miles, keep away from the turnoff for Howlands Landing and continue on the street to West End.Parsons Landing trailOn the prime of the subsequent hill, at about 5.4 miles, you possibly can go either approach. Stay right to hug the coast, or do the steep cutoff to the left to shorten the hike and visit the bench with the overlook. Each trails rejoin one another shortly.Parsons Landing trailAt about 6.2 miles you reach the Boy Scout Camp. Continue straight on the primary path.Parsons Landing trailThere are a number of trails here. Stay on the primary one. Most aspect trails have signs to point you in the appropriate path.Parsons Landing trailThe path gets somewhat tough as you allow the Boy Scout camp. Head left and inland on the primary street.Parsons Landing trailYou’ve now handed all the personal camps, and the path has more of a back-country really feel. Cross over the gate and hold following the large path. You’ll be heading inland a bit right here, leaving the ocean behind.Parsons Landing trailStay on West Finish Street.Trans-Catalina TrailAt round 7 miles, you’re going to cut up off proper onto the Trans-Catalina Trail.Trans-Catalina TrailHere’s a closeup of the sign at the cut up.Trans-Catalina TrailThe vast dust path is gone, and now you’re on a extra traditional single-track as you head by way of the valley to the ocean.Trans-Catalina TrailAt about 7.1 miles, make the appropriate.Trans-Catalina TrailJust up over one last rise and also you’re there!Parsons Landing campsite You’ll see the seashore and Parsons Landing campsite down under.Parsons Landing campsite Parsons Landing campsite is as distant because it will get.Parsons Landing campsite In order you enter Parsons Landing campsite, the loos and communal areas are in the middle.Parsons Landing campsite Eliminate all of your trash in these bear packing containers (for the foxes and ravens principally).Parsons Landing campsite Additionally, don’t eat any mussels or clams from the seashore.Parsons Landing campsite Take your locker key that you simply acquired if you checked in, and find the locker quantity on the key. The lockers are right by the loos.Parsons Landing campsite Simply put the important thing in and switch. Rangers drive up each day and stock the lockers. Simply depart the key in there after you acquire your wood and water.Parsons Landing campsite This is what you get within the locker: wood, hearth starter, and a couple of.5 gallons of water.Parsons Landing campsite Find your campsite and setup. On this present day I used to be staying at website eight, on the top.Parsons Landing campsite Website 1 presents a secluded cove, but you’re a bit back from the ocean.Parsons Landing campsite All of the websites have stone partitions to shield your tent from the winds. That’s website 6 within the distance.Parsons Landing campsite If you would like to lay out on the seashore and tan, you could have some neighbors.Parsons Landing campsite Here’s another view of my setup at website 8. I might look out my tent door on the ocean.Fire Pit At Parsons LandingHere’s what the hearth pits appear to be now. They’ve upgraded them to this mannequin within the final yr. Thanks to Bev G for the photograph!Parsons Landing campsite The benches are a nice place to chill out after climbing with the pack.Parsons Landing campsite I used driftwood as kindling to start my hearth.Parsons Landing campsite Enjoying a campfire on the seashore.Parsons Landing campsite After you camp, merely head back the best way you got here to your ferry in Two Harbors. Give yourself a while to get again, in the event you miss the ferry, you’ll in all probability be on Catalina for an additional day.

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