Summer Hiking on Catalina Island

Is this the season you finally explore the interior of the island?

NOT A LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Saying that people who visit islands like to see and admire the shoreline, and spend a good amount of time at the beach, is like saying some fish can fly and buffalo roam a land that was unknown to their buffalo ancestors. Wait, both of those things are totally true, at least around Catalina Island, so, yes, we're definitely saying that island visitors like to get their sand-and-waterfront time in. But islands like Catalina typically boast splendid interiors, rife with fauna and flora and, in the case of the burg in question, the occasional buffalo. Which means that visitors need to branch out more, into inner valleys and dells, and go beyond all of that lovely oceanside enjoyment. Hikers can, on Catalina, with the help of some maps from the Catalina Island Conservancy.

THERE ARE MANY TRAILS... to choose from, yes indeedy, from the dang epic Trans-Catalina Trail, "a 37.2-mile trail that transverses the entire Island" to the Airport Loop Trail, which reveals its main location in its name. (It's a "nice easy loop trail" at 2.3 miles.) And the even shorter Goat Whiskers Trail provides "(s)weeping views of the San Pedro Channel." The Conservancy site is an excellent place to start for hikers ready to go off-beach in Catalina and take in some new views. Of course, consider how you'll reach your desired trailhead, and, as always, pack safely and soundly for your day out.

ONE MORE EXCELLENT THING? That whole "ride free on your birthday" on the Catalina Express? Hello, it is still going. That's some major savings right there, to get you and your buds and your backpacks over to the island trails. Check out the details and start pocketing the cash for granola bars, island adventurers.

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