Two Harbors Campground is located on a hill overlooking the ocean and Los Angeles. The campground is just outside of the town on Catalina Island by the same name. Two Harbors Campground is one of six campgrounds on Catalina Island, and is one of the easiest to access since it is only a quarter mile away from the ferry terminal. The ferry from Los Angeles can be picked up at the San Pedro Ferry Terminal. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Long Beach or Dana Point to Avalon, the main town on Catalina Island, and then take the once-per-day shuttle 20 miles to the campground.
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.
The campground is situated on a grassy hill that is dotted with some palm trees. Each of the campsites at Two Harbors Campground come with a picnic table, fire ring, and a shade structure and access to bathrooms and drinking water. Camping supplies, including tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping mats can be rented at the ranger station May through Labor Day. The Ranger Station also sells firewood and propane. Camping supplies can also be reserved in advance when reserving your campsite. The town of Two Harbors also has a small market and saloon, as well as beach rentals such as paddle boards and kayaks.
Two Harbors Campground Bottom Line
Two Harbors Campground is a fairly unique camping experience. Depending on what time of year you go, camping here can be a little like camping on a mixture of the sets of Gilligan’s Island and Dances With Wolves (yeah, we know it sounds weird). Either way, the campground is fairly accessible from the Los Angeles area, and has great views of the city’s skyline at night, as well as the ocean. In the winter the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains, including Big Bear are visible in the distance as well.
The campground also makes a great jumping off point for backpacking the rest of Catalina Island. From Two Harbors Campground you can proceed onto Little Harbor Campground, Blackjack Campground, and then on into Avalon over the course of a few days for a relatively easy backpacking trip. Or you can extend your backpacking experience and increase the difficulty by heading north to Parson’s Landing and then heading back to Little Harbor.
Camping at Two Harbors Campground and on Catalina Island in general is best in the winter, as there is no one else out there with you. While this may sound weird to you, we are talking about the mild temperatures of Southern California. 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 Two Harbors Campground are closest to the water these are spread farther apart and give you the best view of the beach below.
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.
Two Harbors Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||42 Campsites|
|Hiking Access:||Yes – Hiking Trails nearby|
|Cell Phone Service:||Possible – All Carriers|
|Operating Season:||Open Year-round|
If you encounter one of Catalina Island’s buffalo in Two Harbors 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:||33.440291, -118.491751|
|Nearest City/Town:||Two Harbors, California|
|Location:||Los Angeles County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||No|
|Proximity to Stores:||0.25 miles to Two Harbors, California|
|Directions:||The best way to get to Catalina Island and Two Harbors Campground is via the Catalina Express ferry from San Pedro. The campground is 0.25 miles from the ferry terminal.|
|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.
Tuesday 10/16 0%
High 80° / Low 65°
Clear. Lows overnight in the mid 60s.
Wednesday 10/17 0%
High 77° / Low 65°
Sunny skies. High 77F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday 10/18 0%
High 78° / Low 67°
Mainly sunny. High 78F. NNE winds shifting to W at 10 to 15 mph.
Friday 10/19 0%
High 78° / Low 68°
Mainly sunny. High 78F. NNE winds shifting to WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday 10/20 0%
High 78° / Low 67°
Sunny. High 78F. NE winds shifting to WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Sunday 10/21 0%
High 73° / Low 64°
Mainly sunny. High 73F. Winds SSW 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.
Head into Two Harbors and visit the saloon, which has a nice view of the ocean and harbor. They serve a drink here called Buffalo Milk, which is worth trying once.
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.
Two Harbors Campground Pictures
Image Credits: Justin Wilson