Best Camping in Southern California – Catalina Island : Catalina Express

Best Camping in Southern California – Catalina Island

Hiking on Catalina Island

Best Camping in Southern California – Catalina Island

Southern California is one of the best places to go camping. Whether you want your camping backdrop to be desert, mountain, forest or beach, Southern California has it all. In addition to diverse scenery, Southern California has warm, sunny days that are set apart from every other camping destination. Within this sun kissed state there are many great campsites such as Joshua Tree, Big Bear and Santa Barbara. However, Catalina Island is by far the most magical place to go camping in Southern California. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise that provides adventure vacations far above any other destination on California’s mainland.

Camping on an Island Makes All the Difference

There are several reasons why someone would choose to camp in Catalina Island instead of other campsites found in Southern California. The most distinguished reason is Catalina Island’s unparalleled privacy and tranquility. The Island is a peaceful sanctuary that is completely free of surrounding traffic and city chaos. Even though it’s only 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, coming to Catalina Island feels like you’re being transported to another world. Each day consists of a rejuvenating atmosphere, breathtaking scenery, and an ocean breeze that cultivates the most serene feeling imaginable.

Campground and Trail Map

In Southern California, there are many campsites where visitors have to battle for their space. National parks such Joshua Tree and Yosemite attract unavoidable crowds that create unnecessary discomfort. Moreover, to plan a trip to one of these national parks, visitors need to book their campsite at least a year in advance. This makes it nearly impossible to have any spontaneity or flexibility during your getaway planning.

On Catalina Island, there are many different campgrounds to choose from. There are campsites ranging from regular tent camping to unique tent cabins. Two Harbors, Avalon, Little Harbor and Parsons Landing each offer their own opportunities to intimately explore Catalina Island’s rugged beauty. The Island even offers boat-in camping that allows adventurers to enjoy true island seclusion along the amazing Pacific coast.  Thus, visitors can have an amazing coastal vacation without having to worry about suffocating during peak camping seasons. This is a major advantage of an island vacation.

Experience Diverse Campground Scenery

Another unique part of camping on Catalina Island is that there are many different types of terrain available to pitch your tent. During the same trip, you can go from rugged inland terrain to beautiful beach shorelines. Many campgrounds in Southern California are limited to one type of terrain.

Additionally, beachside campsites in Southern California tend to be accompanied by massive crowds and freeway traffic noises. You won’t find those on Catalina Island!

There is no air pollution, noise pollution, or night pollution, which makes for some of the best mornings and evenings. Day after day, visitors are refreshed as they wake up to still mornings and fresh air. At night visitors are mesmerized as they lay beneath the stars with the sound of the ocean waves calming them into deep sleep, and in the mornings they wake up to serene sunrises in peace.

The experience you’ll have with Catalina Island’s rugged interior is unreal. 88% of the Island is completely undeveloped and unspoiled, and it makes all the difference to create a stunning camping experience. These pristine lands also provide the absolute best California hiking. The Catalina Island Conservancy and Catalina Island Company are both renowned for their dedication to wildlife preservation and care.

Easy & Fun Camping on Catalina Island

Most of Catalina Island’s campgrounds are very easy to access. There are several campsites right on the ocean that you can effortlessly walk to, such as Two Harbors and Hermit Gulch. Parsons Landing and Black Jack Campground require a moderately difficult hike or kayak to access. To visit the inland campgrounds, vacationers can book a Safari Bus reservation while booking their campsite.

September is the best time of the year to go camping because it’s right after the summer peak. Also, the weather is still amazing for going into the water. If you’re planning a family vacation, late June to early July is a great time to come to the island. It’s a quiet time that is still surrounded by beautiful weather.

Booking a campground on Catalina Island is very easy and requires very little planning. You can literally secure a last-minute trip online and still get an amazing campground. Two Harbors Campground is the only campsite you should consider booking ahead of time. Even then, this really only requires four to five months of planning, as opposed to one year of camping trip planning to other Southern California destinations.

Catalina Island is the only accessible destination within Southern California that offers the island camping experience of a lifetime, making it a compelling place to pitch your tents.

Enjoy island seclusion and experience the best camping in Southern California by making a reservation on board Catalina Express!

Make a Reservation

Daily Boat Trips To Catalina Island

Discover paradise on Catalina Island with daily ferry trips to and from the island. More than one million travelers choose Catalina Island as their getaway each year and Catalina Express' large fleet of boats make the trip in about an hour, operating every day, year round from three mainland ports - Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point.

Escape To Catalina Island

Leave the hustle and bustle of the "mainland" behind. Catalina Island is the perfect place to take a break from the demands of daily life. With so many activities to choose from, your visit to Catalina Island can be adventure-packed or filled with rest and relaxation. With its year round Mediterranean climate, it's the ideal place to enjoy ocean air and sunshine.