Boat-in camping is available at 17 beach campsites spread across 9 remote locations on Southern California’s Catalina Island. All of the campsites are on the beach and only accessible by boat or kayak. The boat-in campsites are located on the leeward coast of the island, which is the same side that Avalon and Two Harbors is located on. Since there are no boat rental services on the island you will need to have your own boat to reach these campsites. Check-in is handled by a ranger that visits each campsite daily via boat.

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.

Since the campsites are very remote you will need to pack in all of your own supplies, as well as a portable camping toilet. Campfires are not allowed at the boat-in campsites. There are no moorings at the boat-in campsites.

Catalina Island Boat-In Camping Features

Campground Type: Organized, Primitive
Number of Campsites: 17 Campsites at 9 Locations
Cost: Nightly camping fee with prior reservation are $16 for adults; $8 for children. Without reservation $20 for adult; $10 for children per person per day.
Use Level: Low
Dogs Allowed: No
Fire Rings: None
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: None
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: None
Hiking Access: Yes – Hiking Trails nearby
Beach/Lake Access: Yes
RV/Trailer Length: N/A
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: Possible – Some Carriers
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Open Year-round
Other: Los Angeles County fire rules and Catalina Island Conservancy rules are strictly enforced. There is a coastal ranger who will make daily visits to each boat-in site. It is strongly suggested that campers come equipped with a VHF radio for medical emergency calls.

 If you encounter one of Catalina Island’s buffalo while camping or 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.

Getting There

Geo Coordinates:
Nearest City/Town: Two Harbors, California
Elevation: 10 Feet
Location: Los Angeles County, California
Paved Road Access: No
Proximity to Stores:  
Directions: Directions to each boat-in campsite will be provided with your reservations.


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.

The location could not be found.

What To Do

Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail, which is runs the entire length of the island and connects all of the campgrounds.

Fun Facts

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.

Image Credits: David McCracken

Previous articleParsons Landing Campground – Catalina Island
Next articleHermit Gulch Campground – Catalina Island
Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog, and the mobile device-focused blog


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here