Little Harbor Campground is located on the west side of Southern California’s Catalina Island in a palm tree covered sandy cove. The campground is fairly flat, unlike the other campgrounds on the island, and has access to a couple of sandy beaches, one of which is good for snorkling, swimming, and standup paddle boarding, while the other has good waves for boogie boarding. Along with Parsons Landing Campground, Little Harbor Campground is one of the more remote campgrounds on Catalina Island, with no direct access to camping supplies that are not reserved in advance.
Getting to Little Harbor Campground requires a ferry ride from Long Beach, Dana Point, or San Pedro and either picking up a once daily shuttle trip to the campground, or hiking in from Avalon or Two Harbors.
One of the big attractions to Catalina Island is the buffalo (well, really they are bison, not buffalo) that roam the island. As you are walking around Catalina Island, you will see large hoof prints in the dirt and mud from the bison, but don’t worry they likely will steer clear of you and will not come to visit you in your tent at night.
Each of the campsites at Little Harbor Campground comes with a picnic table, fire ring, and possibly a shade structure. Access to port-a-potties and cold, outdoor showers is also available. Firewood and propane can be reserved in advance when reserving your campsite, along with kayaks and other water toys.
Little Harbor Campground Bottom Line
Little Harbor Campground is a cool backpacking destination on Catalina Island and is our favorite campground on the island. The campground is fairly wide-open space with campsites located near the large palm trees that cover the campground. The beach is easily accessible from all of the campsites at Little Harbor and some of them are only 10-20 feet from the sand, which is a fantastic place to watch the sunset.
Winter is the best time to visit Catalina Island and Little Harbor Campground as the campground and island in general is deserted. It is fairly easy when backpacking Catalina Island in the winter time to walk ten miles across the island and not see another soul the entire time, providing you the ultimate in privacy and seclusion.
The best campsites at Little Harbor Campground are the ones closest to the water these are spread farther apart and give you the best view of the beach.
Oh, and by the way don’t mess with the bison. They just want to go about their bison lives; east some grass and play with their bison friends. If you do mess with them, they may charge at you at speeds of 35 miles per hour or more.
Little Harbor Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||23 Campsites|
|Cost:||Summer (March 9th through October 27th) – Adults $21, Children $12 Winter (October 28th & December 31st through January 2) – Adults $16, Children $8|
|Toilets:||Yes – Port-a-potties|
|Showers:||Yes – Cold Showers|
|Hiking Access:||Yes – Hiking Trails nearby|
|Cell Phone Service:||Possible – Some Carriers|
|Operating Season:||Open Year-round|
If you encounter one of Catalina Island’s buffalo in Little Harbor Campground, or while hiking, give them plenty of space. The buffalo are normally docile and do not bother with people, however they can charge at you if they feel threatened.
|Geo Coordinates:||33.386512, -118.473733|
|Nearest City/Town:||Avalon, California|
|Location:||Los Angeles County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||No|
|Proximity to Stores:||16 miles to Avalon, California|
|Directions:||The best way to get to Catalina Island and Little Harbor Campground is via the Catalina Express ferry from San Pedro, Dana Point, or Long Beach.|
|Phone:||310.510.TENT (8368)||Facebook:||Catalina Island Conservancy Facebook Page|
|Web:||Santa Catalina Island Company||Twitter:||Catalina Island Conservancy Twitter Feed|
|Reservations:||Santa Catalina Island Company|
When To Go
Winter – Weather on Catalina Island is pretty mild and the campgrounds are empty in the winter. Highs in the summer can exceed 90 degrees.
Saturday 08/19 20%
High 70° / Low 62°
Mostly cloudy. Lows overnight in the low 60s.
Sunday 08/20 10%
High 71° / Low 62°
Morning clouds will give way to sunshine for the afternoon. High 71F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Monday 08/21 10%
High 71° / Low 63°
Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 71F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Tuesday 08/22 10%
High 74° / Low 65°
Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 74F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Wednesday 08/23 10%
High 74° / Low 64°
Abundant sunshine. High 74F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday 08/24 10%
High 74° / Low 66°
A few clouds early, otherwise mostly sunny. High 74F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
What To Do
Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail, which is runs the entire length of the island and connects all of the campgrounds.
You may be able to catch a glimpse of one of Catalina Island’s many bison. The bison were brought to Catalina for a movie shoot in the 1920’s and have been inhabiting the island ever since.
Little Harbor Campground Photos
Image Credits: Justin Wilson