Trans Catalina Trek 2015

hike Catalina Island with only your daypack on this modified trek

Enjoy your last night's dinner on Coastwalk in Avalon!

May 30 - June 5

7 days/6 nights
Rating: Strenuous

$595 adult

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Trans Catalina Trek

May 30 – June 5 2015,  7 days 6 nights, Max Capacity: 16
Rating: STRENUOUS  *Trip Leader approval required for registration

$495 Adult

Have you ever thought of hiking on Catalina Island? Beautiful secluded beaches, pine forests, bison, unique plants and hilly terrain await. This 7-day, 6-night trip will cover the Trans-Catalina Trail. Join experienced leaders as we hike approximately 60 miles, with daily hikes of between 6 and 12 miles. This trip includes roundtrip ferry transportation, a private tour of the USC affiliated Wrigley Marine Science Center and its hyperbaric chamber in Two Harbors, kayaking in Little Harbor, nightly campfires, a campfire program given by the Catalina Island Conservancy, a visit to the historic Airport in the Sky, and other memorable discoveries.

One of the best parts of the trip is that your gear will be hauled from camp-to-camp. This is something you will really appreciate as we climb those Catalina hills. For the peakbaggers, you will have the opportunity to bag the three highest peaks on the island (optional).  Afternoon appetizers are provided each day and a celebratory dinner will be hosted by Coastwalk.  Camping stoves and fuel are furnished.

An additional day has been added to the trip this year to provide time for you to explore, on your own, the quaint town of Avalon, with its museums, botanical garden, nature center, shops and restaurants.  Sondra Morison, Kelly Conrad, and Roberta Darrow will lead this fourth annual Coastwalk Trans-Catalina Trail trip.  You will work hard, you will learn a lot, and we hope you will enjoy this unique outback island adventure.

*Must meet fitness/hiking experience requirements set by hike leaders. Please inquire with the Coastwalk Office for those requirements. You must be approved by a hike leader prior to registration/payment.

Coastwalk is a statewide non-profit coastal advocacy organization responsible for the planning, development, and maintenance of the California Coastal Trail (this trail runs from Oregon to Mexico). Any funds raised, above the direct trip expenses, will be utilized by Coastwalk to help it fulfill its mission.  




Private tour of the USC affiliated Wrigley Marine Science Center, including labs, marine wildlife petting tank, and hyperbaric chamber; nightly campfires, many with programs including one presented by the Catalina Island Conservancy; visit to Catalina’s famous Airport in the Sky; kayaking in Little Harbor; wildlife viewing, including Bison; secluded beaches and pine forests; ocean swimming; exposed hiking (little shade); and challenging trails (few switchbacks and lots of hills).  Wonderful views of the mainland, southern California. An extra day, w/o hiking, to explore Avalon.  Peakbagging (the 3 tallest in Catalina) optional.

Fitness Requirements:

Must meet fitness/hiking experience requirements set by hike leaders. Please inquire with the Coastwalk Office for those requirements. You must be approved by a hike leader prior to registration/payment.

Trip Includes:

Roundtrip ferry transportation; guided hiking; gear haul; camping fees; one dinner in Avalon; kayaking in Little Harbor; nightly appetizers, camp stoves and fuel, hot water every morning and evening for meals and beverages; nightly campfires (where permitted) many with programs, including one presented by the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy; tour of the Wrigley Marine Science Center, marine wildlife petting tank and hyperbaric chamber; an extra day to enjoy Avalon on your own; assistance with carpooling, if applicable/desired.

Make Sure to Bring:

Money for fees to park at ferry terminal, hot showers (when available) and meals eaten out (when available); tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cooking utensils (if you plan on doing anything other than needing hot water) and eating utensils, water bottles for the trail, day pack, and hygienic needs; backpack type food (bkfts, lunches, dinners and snacks); bear canister, Ursack, or other similar container (for the squirrels, not bears!).  After registration you will be provided with a detailed letter regarding specifically what to pack, how many meals you will need to pack for, etc; along with a detailed daily itinerary. Leaders are available to assist with food suggestions, packing suggestions, etc.  Limit: 1 backpack or duffle bag you can move, and one daypack.

Average Daily Hiking:

We will average 9-10 miles/day (shortest 6 miles, longest 14 miles; the longest day may be shortened to 12 miles for those desiring such…we always form two separate groups for this part of the trail); Please note: the final day is for unguided explorations of Avalon, not hiking.

Types of Hiking Surfaces:

Hardpacked dirt, often abandoned dirt roads; some rocky areas, sandy washes and single-track trails; dangers: poison oak, rattlesnakes, bison, weather (heat, rain, cold, sun).

Elevation Gains & Losses:

Average 2,500 ft elevation gain/day; significant daily elevation gains and losses; this is considered a strenuous hike.


Dates: Sunday, June 8, to Saturday, June 14, 2014
Rating: Strenuous (60 miles over six hike days; average of 2,500 feet elevation gain per day)

This trip will include:

  • Roundtrip ferry transportation to and from Catalina Island, from San Pedro
  • Six nights of prepaid camping spots
  • Daily gear haul between campgrounds (one backpack or duffel bag)
  • Fresh appetizers every afternoon in camp
  • Nightly campfires, some with programs/activities
  • Camp stoves and fuel
  • Hot water furnished each morning and evening for drink and meal preparation
  • Kayaking in Little Harbor
  • Santa Catalina Island Conservancy will present a special campfire program for our group
  • Private tour of the USC affiliated Wrigley Marine Science Center, including laboratory visits, marine wildlife petting tank, and the hyperbaric chamber
  • Hosted celebratory dinner
  • Full day for you to visit on your own Avalon’s museums, botanical garden, nature center, shops, restaurants and other activities (admission fees are not included)
  • Detailed information about what to pack for this trip
  • Assistance with meal planning, if needed
  • Daily itinerary
  • Listing of recommended websites to enhance your trip
  • Fully guided hike with experienced leaders

Price does not include:

  • Food and food preparation, including meals eaten at commercial establishments at your own expense (with the exception of the hosted celebratory dinner) and traditional backpack type food to be eaten at the campsites or on the trail
  • Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cooking and eating utensils, water bottles for the trail, day pack, and hygienic needs
  • Parking fees at ferry terminal



JMT 2011 1585 - CopySondra Morison, Walk Coordinator

Sondra Morison grew up in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. She has extensive outdoors experience through her hiking, skiing (nordic and alpine), and snow-shoeing in the eastern and western United States, as well as in Africa, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and islands of the South Pacific. Sondra is certified by the American Red Cross in Wilderness First Aid. She is a designated hike leader and is also a presenter of leadership training for a national wilderness organization as well as various audiences from China and in Europe. Sondra has led hikes and backpacks sponsored by a national wilderness organization and Coastwalk, including co-leading the 2011 and leading the 2013 Coastwalk Trans-Catalina Trail program. In addition, she has participated in American Hiking Society (AHS) trail maintenance programs, most recently at Mt. St. Helens in Washington. AHS selected Sondra to be the crew leader for a 2014 trail maintenance project in the high Sierras. She also volunteers for Pacific Crest Trail Association trail maintenance projects in southern California. Among her achievements are thru-hiking the John Muir Trail, ascents of Mt. Whitney, and hikes and backpacks in the Sierras, Andes, Patagonia, Mt. Kenya, Australian Outback, and The Lost Coast of northern California. She is a long-distance swimmer, retired CPA, and formerly a part-time accounting instructor at California State University, San Bernardino, and at the University of Saarbrucken, Germany. She and her husband Brian, a retired professor, live in Redlands, California. They have given occasional programs to groups from China and Vietnam through CSUSB. Sondra loves the outdoors and sharing it’s wonders.

Roberta Darrow 2Roberta Darrow, Assistant Leader

Always an “outdoorsy” person, Roberta Darrow discovered the joy of hiking in the wilderness. She was ecstatic to learn that there were hundreds of spectacular trails to be climbed in her own backyard, the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gorgonio Wilderness. Roberta became a hiking leader for a national environmental organization to help others discover the physical and mental health benefits of hiking. Among Roberta’s favorite hikes are the peaks surrounding Big Bear Lake and many sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. Roberta’s favorite backpacks include Mt. Whitney and other areas within the high Sierras. Catalina Island is an especially spiritual place for Roberta, having spent several weeks there each summer as a child frolicking in the crystal clear, emerald green water of Cherry Cove from her family sailboat.

Kelly ConradKelly Conrad, Assistant Leader

Countdown to Trans Catalina Trek! Will you be ready?








Trans Catalina Trek

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