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Camping Guidelines

Camping is the one of the best ways to enjoy Santa Catalina Island’s rugged beauty. However, to protect the island’s unique environment, the following rules and regulations apply to all Santa Catalina Island campgrounds. Please observe these guidelines as fully as possible.

Tent Cabins

Tent Cabins are available at Two Harbors and Hermit Gulch campgrounds, only.

Permit Required

Camping permits are required year-round and issued upon check-in at Two Harbors Visitor Services, Hermit Gulch Campground, or Island Plaza in Avalon.

Hiking

No hiking is allowed from sundown to dawn. It's very easy to get lost and disorientated while in the interior. 

Alcoholic Beverages

Under-age drinking is unlawful (BPC 25662). The law will be strictly enforced and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Curfew For Minors

It is unlawful for any minor under the age of 18 years to be present in a ‘public place’ between the hours of 10:00 PM on any given day and sunrise of the immediately following day, as defined in Los Angeles County Ordinance 13.56.010 B. Additionally, no unsupervised minor is allowed in the interior of the island from sunset to sunrise. A supervised minor is defined as a person under the age of 18 who is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or an adult at least 25 years of age or older, authorized by said parent or guardian to have care and custody of the minor and who will assume full responsibility for said minor at all times.

Swimming

Swim at your own risk. No lifeguards are on duty.

Hook-Ups

There are no electrical hook-ups available at any of the campsites.

Fire Precautions

In accordance with the L.A. County Fire Code, fires and smoking are permitted in the BBQ and fire ring areas only. No wood fires of any kind are allowed at the Hermit Gulch Campground.

Gathering Wood

Gathering wood or plants, or in any way removing or defacing any natural or man made feature is prohibited.

Hunting

Firearms, archery equipment, traps or other hunting equipment are strictly prohibited.

Plant and Animal Life

All plants and animals on the island are protected. Buffalo and other wildlife are unpredictable; keep your distance.

Quiet Hours

Campground and beach quiet hours are between 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM . Radios and loud or amplified sound or music are not allowed at any time.

Pets

Pets are not allowed in campgrounds.

No Littering

Trash cans are provided in every camp. Each camp area must be left clean, with all refuse in trash cans. Use separate containers for recyclable materials when provided.

Camping Reservations

Please call 877.778.1487 for camping reservations.

*Weather Condition Notice: If rain or wind is in the weather forecast, please be aware the Catalina Express boats may be canceled.   Hiking trails and road closures on the island may occur due to rain or inclement weather conditions.  Please contact the Two Harbors Visitor Service Center at 310.510.4205 for road closure updates and current status of hiking trails. 

Camping FAQs

Are pets allowed at the campground?

Dogs are not allowed at Hermit Gulch and Two Harbors Campground.

How many tents can I put on a site?

It depends entirely on the size of the site. Tents cannot encroach on another site.

What are in the tent cabins?

The tent cabins come with 6 cots, a lantern, propane stove, and propane canister. The site has a BBQ/fire pit and picnic table.

Can I have more than six people in a tent cabin?

Maximum occupancy is six people per tent cabin and they would not comfortably sleep an additional person.

Do I have to have six people for a tent cabin?

If you pay the full rate for a tent cabin in addition to the per person camp fees, this rate reserves your tent cabin for up to six people.

Do I have to share a tent cabin if I don't have six people?

You do not need to share the tent if there are fewer than six people.

Which campgrounds have tent cabins?

Two Harbors and Hermit Gulch.

How far in advance can I book a reservation?

You can book up to one year prior to your arrival date.

What do you recommend I bring with me when camping?

We recommend bringing whatever camping supplies you personally need, anything from tents, stoves, lanterns, sleeping bags with pads, though these items can also be rented.

Are there showers at the campground?

Two Harbors, Little Harbor and Black Jack all have outdoor cold water showers. Parsons Landing is a Primitive campground and has no running water.

Do you have equipment rentals?

Yes. The rangers keep a supply of four-man tents, sleeping bags with pads, two burner propane stoves and propane lanterns.

How big are the lockers?

The locker sizes vary slightly, but the approximate size is 1 ft wide by 2 ½ ft deep.

How far is Two Harbors campground from the village?

Approximately one-quarter of a mile along a trail.

Can I have open fires?

Campfires are allowed in the designated fire rings only. Each campsite has a fire ring. There are two fire rings in the Two Harbors village as well.

Do the boat-in sites have facilities?

Boat-in sites do not have facilities. Campers must boat-in and boat-out everything including toilets.

Are there moorings at Little Harbor?

There are no moorings at Little Harbor, though boaters may anchor.

Can I visit the campgrounds and not stay the night?

You cannot use any of the sites for day use except for Shark Harbor.

Can I stay in a group campsite with less than 20 people?

Yes, if it is available. If your group is under twenty people you must pay for a minimum of twenty people.

Are there rangers at the campgrounds?

In the off season (fall, winter and spring) there are 2-3 rangers to service Two Harbors, Little Harbor, Parson's Landing and Black Jack campgrounds. During the summer season there are live-in rangers at Two Harbors and Little Harbor campgrounds.

Can I drink alcohol at the campgrounds?

Only if you are 21 or older.

Is there electricity at the campgrounds?

None of the campgrounds have electricity.

What can I bring on the Safari Bus?

Your camping and personal gear. The Two Harbors bus can accommodate a limited number of bikes. No pets allowed on the buses.

Is the Safari Bus a tour?

No. It is transportation between Two Harbors and Avalon and it stops at Little Harbor. There is a bus change at the airport, then a stop at Black Jack before going on to Avalon.

*Road and Trail Disclaimer-  Please contact the Catalina Conservancy at 310.510.1445 for trail and road access after storms. Some roads and trails are closed during and after storms while the rangers remove debris from the trail. 

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