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Black Jack Trail - Catalina Island

Hike to Black Jack and learn about the old mines and history of the area

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 14 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview:  At this time, the Renton Mine Trail portion of the Trans Catalina Trail has to be accessed via Wrigley Road, which takes you up and... more »

Tips:  Obtain your free Hiking Permit online or at the Conservancy House on Clarissa before leaving Avalon. Also, be sure to review ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

At this time, the Renton Mine Trail portion of the Trans Catalina Trail has to be accessed via Wrigley Road, which takes you up and over the ridge near Mount Ada in Avalon. You’ll find the trail head shortly after you pass the Inn at Mt. Ada. The route to the trail head is paved and a bit steep, but the views of Avalon and the ocean are incredible... More

2. Alternate Trailhead: Wrigley Memorial

You can also enter through the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, just a little farther up the road from Hermit Gulch Campground. This route is recommended, as the garden and memorial are a destination all to themselves and should not be missed.

Obtain your free Hiking Permit online or garden kiosk. Also, be sure to review ... More

The second trail head out of Avalon begins at the Hermit Gulch Campgrounds in Avalon Canyon, just past the Nature Center. Whichever route you choose, the Hermit Gulch Trail will take you up to Divide Road.

Obtain your free Hiking Permit online or at the Nature Center. Also, be sure to review Cautions and Policies before heading out on your... More

4. Wildlife

Follow the Trans Catalina Trail through Haypress, past Middle Ranch Road and past Cape Canyon to the Black Jack Campground. There’s much to see along the way, so take some time to look for hawks, bison, eagles, squirrels and more. On to Black Jack!

5. Catalina Wildlife

This is a good place to keep your eyes peeled for the last remaining black buck antelope to still roam the region. The antelope, like the mule deer, are non-native animals, transported to the Island for hunting purposes in decades past. The antelope pose no long-term threat to the ecology of Catalina as the remaining animals are the last vestiges ... More

6. Black Jack Campground

Near the airport and next to Catalina’s highest peak (Mt. Orizaba), Black Jack offers excellent camping for groups large or small, and access to a number of hikes, including the Trans Catalina Trail. Blackjack is a mere 2 miles away from the airport via graded roads and can serve as a great camping area if you want to head to the airport for... More

7. Black Jack History

At Black Jack you’ll find remnants of an old mining cable car system along the hillsides and ravines. Though there are some earlier mentions of finding gold-bearing rock on Catalina, the Island’s mining boom essentially began in 1863 with a combination of minerals found. Most of the mining operations centered on the Isthmus, where Daniel E. Way... More

8. Island Chaparral Vegetation

The area surrounding Black Jack campground has some of the nicest Island chaparral vegetation on Catalina. The oak that is common throughout the Catalina is the Island scrub oak (Quercus pacifica), found only in the Channel Islands. It forms lovely shaded groves that, unlike most scrub oaks, have branches that are tall enough you only need to... More