With our moving date to Colorado rapidly approaching we wanted to visit and hike on Catalina before we left. We were excited by the prospect of bringing Max our mini australian shepherd along for the hike. It’s not widely advertised or known but you can bring a dog to Catalina island on the ferry as long as they have a muzzle. We weren’t keen on the muzzle but really wanted to hike so we spent a few days training with Max on the muzzle.
It was unclear how dog friendly the main port Avalon is for dogs so we decided to start our hike from Two Harbors a more remote part of Catalina Island. The downside of this is during the winter there is no non-stop ferry service from to Two Harbors so we had to stop first at Avalon. This adds about an hour each way to your trip and puts a real limit to how long you can hike before turning around to catching your return ferry ride.
The ride over was glassy smooth and Max was very excited to be on a boat for the first time and was soaking in all the attention from curious passengers. The ride between Avalon and Two Harbors was pretty as you can admire the aquamarine shallow water and the island provides a nice contrast to the Pacific Ocean.
We disembarked at Two Harbors and scarfed down lunch at some picnic tables. After consulting a map we headed out towards Emerald Bay along the coastal trail. The coastal trail is just a fire road not a single track that hugs the coast. Every mile or so you are afforded gorgeous views of various inlets and harbors that dot the east coast of Catalina. We were pushing really hard to make it to Emerald Bay but a quick look at our watches told us it was time to turn back. We made it about 5.5 miles to Howlands Landing a small resort/camp just before Emerald Bay.
We made it back right on time to hop on the boat and begin the journey back to San Pedro via Avalon. On the way to Avalon we lucked out and we were escorted by a pod of dolphins riding the ferry’s wake. The dolphins playing in the wake with the sun setting was a great way to end the day.
Distance: 10.7 miles
Elevation: +/- 900 feet