Coastal California Adventure Tour
When: October 20th - October 27th
Where: Catalina Island & Channel Islands National Park, California
What: Multi-day backpacking, sea kayaking, camping, day hiking
$500 non-refundable deposit to book
-Backpacking the 39.5 mile Trans Catalina Trail
-Viewing wild bison, island foxes, harbor seals, bald eagles, and more
-Camping right on the beach, falling asleep to the waves
-Mark a National Park off your bucket list!
-Kayaking through sea caves along untouched shoreline
-Spending 8 days with supportive, adventurous women
-Clifftop sunset wine and charcuterie on the last night
-Ability to carry a ~25-30lb pack for 11 miles, with incline/decline, at a 2 mile per hour pace
-Bring proper gear as outlined by the gear list sent to you
-Must be nice, and friendly! If you don’t like groups and having fun, don’t bring down the vibe :)
-We travel rain or shine. Come prepared to get a little dirty, stink like a hiker, and embrace whatever weather comes our way.
Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker, or this is your first time, you’ll find beauty, fun, and a challenge along each mile of the 39.5 mile Trans Catalina Trail. Crossing the entire length of Catalina Island off the coast of southern California, the trail meanders up and over the highest point of the island, through fields and valleys with sightings of the wild bison which roam the island, and offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from clifftop hiking. You will get the chance to camp under the stars at four different campsites, two of which sit right on the beach. Test your physical and mental fortitude by carrying everything you need for 5 days on your back over varying terrain and through different weather. Cook dinner by camp stove each evening with your new travel partners, and partake in deep, engaging conversations without the distractions of day-to-day life. After successfully traversing Catalina Island via your own two feet, jump over to Channel Islands National Park, one of the least crowded parks in the parks system. Jump in a kayak to explore sea caves, kelp forests, and untouched shoreline wile viewing unique coastal wildlife. Enjoy an evening hike up above Potato Harbor for dinner and sunset, and bask in one of the most scenic spots of Santa Cruz Island. Camp under the stars and beneath the trees in one of only two campgrounds on the entire island! Feel free to let your hair down, be free of judgement, be surrounded by strong, adventurous, supportive women and lift other women up who are wanting more out of life and wild experiences.
-Transportation throughout the entire trip in a 10-passenger van
-Lodging in LA on the first night
-Welcome dinner on the first night
-Ferry to and from Catalina Island
-4 nights of camping permits on Catalina Island
-Restaurant dinner on night 3 of the Trans Catalina Trail
-Hotel stay the night after the Trans Catalina Trail
-Ferry to and from Channel Islands NP
-Kayaking tour + guide tip
-One night of camping in Channel Islands NP
-Transportation back to LAX airport
-Experienced and knowledgable guide
-Full packing list and gear recommendations, plus food list
-One-on-one pre-trip communication from your guide
What is not included:
BYOG (Bring your own gear) Rental gear is available, ask for details
Our trip begins at 5pm in Los Angeles at the Freehand Hotel. We will be lodging in an 8-bed shared room where each guest will have their own twin bed with the comfort of a storage space, privacy curtain, outlet, and lamp. We’ll enjoy a Welcome Dinner at 6pm to kick off the trip and get to know our travel partners! Feel free to go for a swim in the rooftop pool after dinner, or head to the store for any last minute supplies you may need for the trip. One airport pick up will be provided at 3:30pm. If you are not able to make the timing for the airport pick up, Uber and Lyft are reliable transport options from LAX to The Freehand LA.
Mileage: 11.7 miles
Elevation gain: ~2,500ft
We will have an early morning departure leaving at 5am to catch our 7am ferry to Catalina Island. Our boat ride is roughly an hour from San Pedro to Avalon, Catalina Island. Once on the island, we’ll begin our first day of the trek to Blackjack Campground for a 11.7 mile day, our longest day! We like to get the hard part done first and out of the way so that the rest is a breeze. We’ll pitch our tents at the base of Mt. Orizaba, Catalina’s highest point.
Mileage: 9.7 miles
Elevation gain: ~1,000ft
Day 3 will be easier than our fist day, and our destination is Little Harbor. On our hike, we’ll pass by the small island airport where we can stop for cold drinks, snacks and food, and a nice rest in some air conditioning. This rest stop allows us to not have to carry the weight of lunch in our packs for the day. Our campsite for the evening is right by the ocean, so we can enjoy a nice dip in the water if the weather allows, possibly some cliff jumping for the very adventurous, and a relaxing evening with a classic California sunset over the water.
Mileage: 5.9 miles
Elevation gain: ~1500ft
From Little Harbor, we will be hiking our shortest day to Two Harbors, a small town with a store, restaurant, amenities, and showers! Yes, if you’re dying for a shower by now, today is your chance. We’ll have a slow easy morning since we’ll have a short hiking day. Once on the trail, we may see wild bison as we climb out of Little Harbor. Huge views on clifftops above the Pacific Ocean await us. The climb is definitely worth the views today. In Two Harbors, we’ll set up camp, and hike the short .1 mile down to town for a delicious well-earned dinner!
Mileage: 7.2 miles
Elevation gain: ~1900ft
From Two Harbors, we’ll be hiking to our last (and most secluded) campsite of the Trans Catalina Trail. Our ~7 mile day leads us to Parsons Landing, a secluded sandy beach campsite with only a handful of other sites besides ours. Fall asleep to the crashing waves and feel the breeze coming off of the Pacific. The hike is a bit of climbing, and a long decent to Parsons, so you’ll definitely want your trekking poles to help out your knees for this day.
Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation gain: mostly flat!
Our last day of the Trans Catalina Trail! Once you finish this day, you’ll officially be a backpacker, or you’ll have a new trail under your (hip)belt to brag about to your hiking buddies back home. The terrain this day is pretty easy. It’s mostly flat with the exception of some small hills early on. We’ll be hiking back to Two Harbors via a different route from the previous day. We will need to leave a little early to catch our ferry back to the mainland. Once we take the ferry back to Sand Pedro, we will have a 2 hour drive up to Ventura where we will be staying for the night before our Chanel Islands adventure. You’ll have the chance to shower, do laundry, eat dinner from wherever you please, and grab your food supply for the Channel Islands. Each guest will have their own bed in a shared hotel room.
Onto our second portion of the trip: Channel Islands National Park! We will be taking the ferry form Ventura to Santa Cruz island in the morning. Once we arrive on the island, we will stow our packs and meet up with our kayaking guides. For the next 3-4 hours, we’ll be kayaking around Santa Cruz in and out of sea caves and above kelp forests with the opportunity for spotting seals, otters, eagles, and lots of fish! We will be on a private tour so our guides will be focused on just our group, and we will be sharing tandem kayaks, so two guests to each kayak. After our fun day of giving our legs a break and working the arms, we’ll set up camp and relax for a bit. We will have a chance at spotting the island fox, which are tiny and weigh around just 4lbs! They’re notorious for taking your things, so be sure to put small items and food away properly. For our very last night of the trip, we’ll be taking a 5 mile round trip hike and our dinner to the viewpoint above Potato Harbor. Cross your fingers for an incredible sunset above the secluded harbor, and enjoy the camaraderie of your travel partners and reminiscing on the incredible week you’ve had exploring in California. After dinner, we’ll hike back down to our campsite and do some stargazing before bed.
We will catch the 10am ferry from Santa Cruz island back to Ventura. During our boat ride, keep a lookout for dolphins and other wildlife that may be tailing the boat. Our trip concludes at 2pm after the drive back to LA. The van will be heading directly to LAX airport for drop-offs, with a lunch stop on he way, so please plan flights accordingly. If you plan to extend your trip or will be spending a day in LA for a late night flight, you will need to coordinate that on your own.