Hermit Gulch Trail Loop
Hermit Gulch Trail Loop
4.5
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4.5
81 reviews
Excellent
48
Very good
26
Average
6
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Breanna S
3 contributions
Apr 2022
This was a spectacular hike, the views were magnificent of both Avalon and the other side of the island. We hiked on a Thursday afternoon between 4-7 and there was no body else out on the trails. Keep in mind that this hike begins towards the back of the Hermit Gulch camp ground and it is a decent walk from the downtown area to the beginning of the hike so factor that in time wise and mileage. It is a gradual incline to the beginning of the trail but then really picks up in elevation gain. My fitbit watch calculated a elevation gain of 1407 feet for the entire hike which is all done within the first 1.7 miles; everything after that is downhill. The map we used also stated that there was a bathroom at the summit which was false. This trail took us about 2 hours but the average would probably be closer to 3, depending on how fast you hike and temperature. The end of the hike lets out to the Wrigley Memorial (the back way in) and continues to pass the botanical garden before comin back to the Hermit Gulch campground.
As far as self guided hikes go, they seem to be fairly limited on the island so if you are up for a bit of a workout, this is a great option to see some great views.
Written May 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laurie V
San Mateo, CA162 contributions
Jul 2022
Took the 8 mile out and back from town all the way out to Lone Tree Point. The views were phenomenal once we reached Lone Tree Point. It was extremely hot that day so bring tons of water and cover as there is no shade on this trail. I"m glad I wore long sleeves and a hat.
Written August 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Denise P
Long Beach, CA35 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
We spent one day on the island and this was the first thing we did upon arriving in the harbor. We took a taxi to the campground and started from there (no fee). It is unable uphill trek to get to the top so make sure to bring water and sunscreen.one at the top you go left at the road and it is an easy downhill trail from there with more of a paved path. Once you get closer to the memorial, you have a great view ahead of you and you'll finish off in the gardens, which is a wonderful way to end the hike. From there we paid $2 for the trolley to take us back into town
Written March 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tami N
7 contributions
This was not told to us. We talked to many staff and information stands and not one person told us about this. So we start heading up to the trail and couldn't find the entrance. So we walked to the botanical gardens. They said we needed a permit and looked at me like I was a dumb. Had I not asked if I could get a permit at that booth she would have probably made me walk all the way back down to the town.
Written May 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KarenEph320
Pismo Beach, CA258 contributions
Mar 2017
We went to the nature center which is on the way to get our permit (which is required but free, suggested donation $3/person) and the man at the desk was super helpful. The trail starts at the far end of the campground and climbs steadily. It has rocks and gullies which requires hikers with sure footing. I really like this part of the trail as it was narrow vs the adjoining Transcatalina and Memorial road which were very wide and groomed trails. There are great views along the way as well as beautiful flora. You could do the loop from Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden but then you would have to pay $7/person to enter the garden. Since Hermit Gulch trail is a more rugged and narrow trail with loose rock, going up it was a better choice. .
Written April 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

keywestelaine
Key West, FL83 contributions
Jun 2016 • Friends
This is possibly the 4 th time I have done this hike, it's still my favorite in Avalon. Right past the campground is the trailhead. You must first go to the Catalina Island Conservancy and fill out a free, on line permit. I walked to the trail head from town, took about 15 minutes. The hike is great, I would rate parts of it moderate, many parts are very easy. Some of the hike is on wide, fire road, some of it is more narrow. I recommend hiking boots. Could be done with sneakers. We had a visit from a Catalina fox, who hung out with us for about 15 minutes, while on the trail. Please do not feed these animals. Closer to the ridge, we were enveloped in a dense fog/ mist- it was wonderful to have a very strong breeze as today it was very warm. Usually at the top, you can see the ocean from the other side, today we couldn't due to the fog. Hiking back down, we came through the gate of the Wrigley Botanical Garden, you will walk through the Garden to get back out to the main road. Some very unusual plants/ trees- very interesting to me the specimans from Madagascar. There is an interpretive area in the Garden with interesting info regarding Catalina history, indigenous people who used to live on the island.
Written June 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary
Culver City, CA2,533 contributions
Jan 2015 • Solo
This is a loop trail which you can begin either in the Wrigley Botanical Garden or at the Hermit Gulch campground. I highly suggest beginning at the campground. The trail immediately begins to climb and takes you in and out of shaded areas. Before long you will have spectacular views of the Avalon Harbor in the distance. After a little over 2 miles you will reach the summit. Then the trail down is more of a road which descends to the botanical garden. Beginning at the campground you also avoid paying the entrance fee to the garden ...... and get to visit it for free at the end of your hike!
Written January 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gabby92399
Yucaipa, CA544 contributions
Apr 2015
So much time is spent near the beach in Catalina that people don't realize there are beautiful vistas on the hiking trails, including Hermit Gulch. Bring your camera because the views are stunning.
Written May 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
Kingsport, TN25 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
We hiked from the Botanic Garden to the top, and then down this gulch loop back to Avalon. Very pleasant time. Going up was a jeep trail, but the way down was a footpath. It took about three hours. Not difficult, but wear good footwear.
Written July 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amy D
Orange County, CA116 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
We started our hike from the city center, through the botanical gardens and down toward the camp ground. It was one of our more enjoyable hikes. It's tough, but not overly difficult, but you do need to be prepared. Be sure to wear hiking appropriate shoes, carry water, and a snack. Once you get to the top you can see all of the city center and both sides of the ocean. The view is worth it! Keep in mind that in high season you will encounter rattle snakes and other critters. I also suggest that you get a hiking permit in case an act of nature happens someone will know where you're located. I also wouldn't recommend doing the entire hike alone, there are some steep areas and it's my personal belief that hiking with a buddy is best. One last note, if you finish your hike between 2 - 7 p.m. then splurge and get some $1 tacos, $2 draft beer or $5 margaritas at the Sandtrap's Happy Hour.
Written October 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Hermit Gulch Trail Loop - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)