Hiking the Trans Catalina Trail – 2019

Hiking the Trans Catalina Trail had been something I have dreamed of doing since 2015-ish, but the stars had yet to align, until now! Every year, I think it’s important to do something that will completely take you out of your comfort zone. Last year I went to Barcelona, Spain solo, and this year I hiked the Trans Catalina Trail solo! I planned this trip just 2 weeks out. You have to reserve each campsite along the trail, and after checking that there was an opening at each one, I reserved those, and got my ferry ticket! As far as backpacking goes, I have only done one-nighters up until this, so I was looking forward to seeing what it would be like through hiking! Check back for the rest of the videos!

Day 1: Two Harbors to Parson’s Landing – 7.79 Miles.

Leaving San Pedro Harbor.

Looking back at Two Harbors

Parson’s Landing. My first campsite on this adventure!

The company who you book your reservation through will leave a bundle of firewood and 2.5 gallons of water for you at your campsite by the time you get there!

From my trail journal: Today was my first day on the trail. I hiked 7.79 miles in 2:57:08. My hike started from Two Harbors to Parson’s Landing. There were a few parts that were pretty steep, 4 or 5% grade, but nothing impossible. The trail is 98% fire road until you get to the very end and its a single track to get to the beach. The campground is right on the beach & the views are incredible. I felt like a baller and bought the wood & water package, what kind of person wouldn’t want a bonfire on the beach? Everyone I have met so far along this adventure has been so rad so far! I should have taken a photo with everyone I meet along the way. Day 1 ended solid. I screwed up by drinking a few too many beers on the boat ride over, that I dehydrated myself I’m thinking. By the time I got my tent all set up and dinner ate, I had the worst of headaches. I ended up missing the best part of sunset because I decided to take a nap, which helped because I feel great again! 11.9 miles of a walk to get to tomorrows camp. The firewood was deff worth it!

 

Day 2: Parson’s Landing to Little Harbor – 13.64 Miles.

The first climb of the day to Little Harbor.

The back Harbor of Two Harbors

From the highest peak on the way to Little Harbor.

Sunsets at Little Harbor.

From my trail journal: Today was pretty hardcore. The first 3.5 miles is a pretty solid uphill battle. But don’t worry it only gets better with 2 more miles of uphill before you start a pretty slippery downhill. This way from Parson’s Landing to Little Harbor (Fenceline Road – Silver Peak Trail) is avoidable if you hike from Parson’s Landing to Two Harbors the way I did yesterday. I saw my first rattlesnake today on the trail & it scared the crap out of me. The rest of the trail to Two Harbors (7.5ish total miles) is either downhill or flat. Got lunch in Two Harbors which was great! Starting off of Two Harbors you get some great uphill. The trail from Two Harbors to Little Harbors scales 3 more mountains. I climbed 3,748ft today for a mileage of 13.64 toady. My total mileage for the trip is 21.43!

Day 3: Little Harbor to Black Jack Camp – 11.69 Miles

Airport in the Sky. Great place to get some lunch and a beer! Or 5!

Sunsets from Black Jack Peak!

From my trail journal: Today has started off pretty great! I made it to the Airport in the Sky, 5.58 miles in about 2:40:00. My watch stopped recording for some reason & the Garmin’s time was still recording in the restaurant. This morning I did see my first Bison! It was on the far side of a different mountain, but it was HUGE! It’s 11:30AM right now & I stopped for some bison tacos & an 805 for lunch. Today finished at 10.02 miles. You could shave off a mile because I made friends at the restaurant and they gave me a ride to the trailhead of Black Jack Camp. The camp here is neat, but there are over 20 kids here & they are totally killing the vibe. The trail from Little Harbor is pretty brutal, especially after yesterday. I don’t think you’re missing out on anything if you skip Black Jack Camp, the toilets smell horrible!

Day 4: Black Jack to Avalon – 10.20 Miles

From my trail journal: Today was the final day on the trail with the plan being to hike from Black Jack to Avalon, 10.7 miles. I was cooking right along too. I almost hit the 5 mile mark in a little over 2 hours. I was super close to catching up to my friends when my knee started killing me! Going uphill wasn’t as bad, but on the downhill parts the pain became unbearable. I only had 5 miles left on the trail until I “officially” completed the TCT, but I ended up walking on the road to not make things worse for myself. So I walked for a bit and then a Trail Angel from the Conservancy saw me as they were driving and offered me a ride and I wasn’t going to say no! I got dropped off in Avalon and got some ice & Advil & ate some lunch! I’m staying at the SeaPort Inn tonight, but I do miss the trail already. 46.63 miles walked this week!

Day 5: Rest day in Avalon – 6.35 Miles

From my trail journal: Today did not start out well. I woke up feeling like I had the flu and started throwing up. The boat doesn’t leave until 5:30PM, so I had all day to kill. My knee was also more swollen, so a lot of walking isn’t in the plan. I got cleaned up & checked out of my hotel & got some lunch at Eric’s Cantina. Great corndogs! Then I met up with Conor and Aleia who rented a golf cart and we explored the whole Avalon side of the island. After that we walked around the casino & had a few drinks at the Descanso Beach Club and got kicked out for not having a “reservation.” After that we went to the Lobster Trap for lunch! Such a cool spot to eat at too! After that we headed to the dock and waited for the boat to come! Conor somehow got the Captain’s Lounge tickets which means the 3 of us got priority boarding, a private room, 4 free drinks, and the most epic reward for completing the hike! Such an amazing hike! The boat ride back seems a lot faster than the ride there.

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