Hermit Gulch Campground is the closest of the 6 campgrounds on Catalina Island to Avalon, the main town on the island. The hike-in campground located just 1.5 miles from town and in Avalon Canyon near the Nature Center and The Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens. Hermit Gulch Campground has great views and plenty of space for families. Hermit Gulch Trail is accessible in the campground. There is also access to other hiking trails nearby, including the Trans-Catalina Trail. Free hiking permits are required. Hermit Gulch is close enough to Avalon that you can leave the campground for shopping, restaurants, tours, and nightlife.
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.
Getting to Hermit Gulch Campground requires a ferry ride from Long Beach, Dana Point, or San Pedro to Avalon, and then hiking into the campground. Alternatively you can take the shuttle or a taxi to the campground from the ferry terminal.
There are 42 campsites at Hermit Gulch Campground, as well as 9 tent cabins. Each campsite at Hermit Gulch has access to picnic tables, bathrooms, coin operated showers, drinking water, ice, vending machines, and coin operated microwaves. Campfires are not allowed.
Hermit Gulch Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||42 Campsites|
|Cost:||Adult $21.00 per night / Child (ages 2-11) $12.00 per night Weekend Two Night Minimum Applies|
|Showers:||Yes – Coin Operated|
|Hiking Access:||Yes – Hiking Trails nearby|
|Cell Phone Service:||Possible – Most Carriers|
|Operating Season:||Open Year-round|
|Other:||Early check-in is recommended if available. All guests must check-in prior to 9pm. Please use the note section when making a reservation if planning a late arrival or to alert camp staff of additional information. If arriving after office hours obey all rules and check-in first thing in the morning.|
If you encounter one of Catalina Island’s buffalo 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:||33.330901, -118.338350|
|Nearest City/Town:||Avalon, California|
|Location:||Los Angeles County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||None|
|Proximity to Stores:||1.5 miles to Avalon, California|
|Directions:||Hermit Gulch Campground is located uphill on Avalon Canyon Road just 1.5 miles from the Avalon boat landing. The campground can be reached either by foot on the paved road or by Avalon Transportation Services (310) 510-0025, which provides both taxi and city trolley service accessible directly from the boat landing. Baggage service is also available.|
|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.
What To Do
Hiking – Hike the Trans-Catalina Trail, which is runs the entire length of the island and connects all of the campgrounds.
Zip Line – There is a zip line just on the other side of Avalon
Golf – A golf course is adjacent to the campground
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: Jmehre