Anyone up for a camping trip to Catalina this summer? I would like to go camping for two nights (Friday through Sunday).
You have two options for getting to the island:
Catalina Flyer: Leaves Newport Beach at 9 am; leaves Avalon to go back at 4:30 pm. Cost is 69.00, but now they have a $10 coupon on their website, so the cost is 59.00.
Catalina Express: They depart from several ports: Dana Point, Long Beach, San Pedro or Downtown Landing. The closest to San Diego is Dana Point. They have several departure times each day.
I plan on taking the 11:55 boat from Dana Point to Avalon on Friday and returning on either the 2 pm or 7 pm boat from Avalon on Sunday.
It takes about 1.5 hours to get to Catalina.
I'm reserving two sites at Hermit Gulch campground. Each will hold up to 4 small tents and up to 4 people. The campground has all the amenities - flush toilets, hot showers, and even vending machines. NO WOOD FIRES ALLOWED.
The campground is about 1.5 miles away from the Avalon harbor. You can walk up to take a taxi if you don't want to walk up with all your gear. Taxis are $13.80 for 1 or 2 people.
The cost for camping is $40 per person.
Avalon has lots of restaurants and stores, so if you don't want to eat camp food, you don't have to. I plan on bringing snacks and food for breakfast and lunch, but I probably won't be doing any cooking at the campsite. You are welcome to do that through if you would like.
On Friday after I set up camp, I plan on going snorkeling at the Lovers Cove, close to Avalon harbor. This is supposed to be the best place to snorkel on the island, with lots of fish that aren't shy. You can feed the fish too. The water on Catalina is much clearer than here, so it's a better snorkeling experience than say La Jolla Cove.
On Saturday we'll rent kayaks for the day and paddle along the coastline. I've done this before, and it's great because you can actually see the fish swimming in the ocean right from your kayak. We'll stop as we need to for breaks and lunch, and maybe snorkel some more if you want to. The cost for daily kayak rental is $50.
On Sunday we pack up and check out by 11 am. We can store our gear in a locker at Catalina Dive Shop. They have lockers approximately 1.5x1.5 feet and 3 feet wide, so it will fit a backpacking pack as long as it's not too large. Then we head off to hike the island. One option is to ride the Safari bus for part of the way to reach further hikes, or hike one way and take the Safari bus back.
Alternatives: Depending on when people arrive and leave the island, and what everyone is interested in doing, we can move the hiking to Friday and snorkeling the Lovers Cove to Sunday. You can choose if you want to snorkel and/or hike - just let me know what your preferences are.
Other activities: There is a zip line tour available on the island, if you want to take that. I am not going to do it, but if this is something you are interested in doing, you can get more info HERE.
You don't have to be a kayaking expert, but this should not be your very first experience in a kayak. If you've never kayaked before, take a 2-hour kayak tour at the La Jolla Shores before going to Catalina.
The campground rents all the camping gear if you don't have it. If you want to snorkel and don't have snorkeling gear, you can rent that too, although buying it is not much more expensive.
The cost paid to me covers your camping and kayaking ($40 for camping + $50 for Saturday kayaking + PayPal fee $2.70). NO REFUNDS unless the trip is cancelled or another member takes your place. Please make your own boat reservations with either Catalina Express or Catalina Flyer, and let me know when you will be arriving, leaving, and if you will be joining us for snorkeling, hiking, or if you have other ideas for the trip.
After you sign up for the waiting list, you must send me your e-mail address where I can forward a PayPal payment request. After you pay on PayPal, I will move your name to attending.
I'm also posting this trip on my meetup group, The Outdoor Travelers. You are welcome to sign up on there and pay there if that's easier. The maximum number of participants (between the two sites) is 8. I will keep this site updated with how many spaces are available.