For most visitors to Catalina Island, Avalon is all they see. While the town’s charming streets, picturesque waterfront and delectable dining offer plenty of reasons to return to this Southern California vacation destination, you haven’t really seen Catalina Island until you’ve experienced the interior.
Catalina Island stretches out over 76 square miles where you’ll discover dramatic natural beauty, unique flora and fauna and an unspoiled wilderness found nowhere else on earth. The ideal contrast to the mainland’s asphalt and concrete jungle, Santa Catalina is an undeveloped wonderland, where eagles soar, bison roam and island foxes frolic. Thanks to the foresight of the Wrigley family, who organized the Catalina Conservancy and deeded the majority of the island to the non-profit, Catalina Island will remain undeveloped forever, offering a preserve for nature and a respite for humanity.
One of the best ways to explore the interior of Catalina Island, which locals also refer to simply as The Hills, is by hiking. Make sure to get a permit from the Catalina Conservancy before you head out. Exploring can also be done via Jeep Eco-Tour, with a Conservancy naturalist as your guide. The Skyline Drive Tour provides an introduction to the Catalina Island interior. Or get off the beaten path on a Hummer Tour.