If you’re looking for the perfect place for stunning sunset shots, Cat Harbor Overlook Trail on Catalina Island will take you there. Here’s all the info.
How To Get To Catalina Island
Catalina Island (also known as Santa Catalina Island) is one of California’s Channel Islands and lies south west of Los Angeles.
Two ferry companies offer daily departures over to Catalina Island from Los Angeles and the trip takes roughly an hour.
Catalina Express has daily departures from San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point to Avalon and Two Harbors.
Catalina Flyer has daily departures from Newport Beach to Avalon.
Both can be booked in advance online or at the kiosk and cost around $80 per adult for a return ticket.
We stayed in Two Harbors at the Two Harbors Campground which is roughly a 45 minute hike to Cat Harbor Overlook Trail.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Cat Harbor Overlook Trail Entrance Fee
It’s free to visit the Cat Harbor Overlook Trail.
Cat Harbor Overlook Trail Opening Times
Cat Harbor Overlook Trail is open all day, every day.
Best Time To Visit Cat Harbor Overlook Trail
This trail is a popular activity on Catalina Island so expect to meet a few other hikers especially on nice days and at weekends.
Hikers on Catalina Island need to obtain a hiking permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy. This is free and can be obtained online or from the Visitor Information Services at Two Harbors.
This is a dog friendly trail although dogs are not allowed on the campsite if camping.
I recommend heading up for sunset if you can as the view is incredible and it was one of the most memorable moments of my LA trip.
What To Pack
What To Expect At Cat Harbor Overlook Trail On Catalina Island
Sitting at 950ft above Two Harbors, Cat Harbor Overlook Trail covers just over 2 miles to the summit and is quite steep, especially the first part.
From Two Harbors, you head east up Banning House Road, past Banning House which was built in 1910 by the Banning brothers who once owned the island.
When you come to Cat Harbor Overlook Road you follow this undulating road until you come to a ridge and the end of the trail. Here you’ll find a flat area to relax and take in the spectacular vista.
Standing at the Overlook, the stunning views look out over much of the middle and western parts of Catalina Island with its rugged mountains standing proudly.
In addition, looking down, you will see Lobster Point jutting out and Cat Harbor with all the small white yachts bobbing in the shimmering blue water of the Pacific Ocean.
We visited on a beautiful sunny day and waited for sunset which was absolutely stunning and well worth the climb and the wait!
Aside from that honestly this was one of the best things to do in Los Angeles with friends.
Plus coming back down to the campsite and lighting the fire afterwards was a memory I’ll hold forever!
Camping On Catalina Island
Camping on Catalina Island is only permitted in the five designated campgrounds – Hermit Gulch, Black Jack, Little Harbor, Two Harbors and Parson’s Landing.
We decided to pitch our tents at the Two Harbors campground, just half a mile from the village of Two Harbors. The cost to camp is roughly $30 per night.
Two Harbors is a secluded village located on the west end of the island that has a grocery store, a restaurant and bar.
All camping options give you access to showers, chemical toilets, fresh water, picnic tables, BBQs and fire pits.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles
Known as ‘The Pink Palace’, this luxury hotel on Sunset Boulevard features the full-service La Prairie Spa and a beautiful outdoor pool.
Downtown Beverly Hills is just 1 mile away.
The bright and elegant rooms of The Beverly Hills Hotel feature marble bathrooms and 2 TVs.
There is also a minibar, coffee maker and ironing facilities included.
The Polo Lounge at the hotel is a popular dining place for celebrities.
Clean Modern Room features accommodation with a shared lounge, free WiFi and a shared kitchen.
The air-conditioned homestay also offers a flat-screen TV, a seating area, washing machine and a bathroom with a bath and a shower.
Beverly Hills is a great choice for travelers interested in food, shopping and restaurants.
Empire Inn is located in Los Angeles, just 5 miles from the centre.
It provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and all rooms include a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV.
South Los Angeles is a great choice for travellers interested in tourist attractions, sunshineand beach walks.
For other places to stay in Los Angeles, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.