Lone Tree Trail Overview
Lone Tree Trail is a solid 5.54 mile day hike on Catalina Island, especially if you are spending the night at Hermit Gulch Campground near Avalon. My wife and I absolutely love Catalina and have had many adventure on the Island including the Trans Catalina Trail and Kayaking along the entire coast from Avalon to Two Harbors.
📋Lone Tree Trail Stats
- Miles: 5.44 miles out and back
- Elevation Gain: 1615 feet
- Starting Elevation: 298 feet
- Max Elevation: 1642 feet
- Average Slope: 23 degrees
- Max Slope: 39 degrees
For this trip we had some extra ferry tickets that we needed to use before the new year, so we decided to take it easy and just camp at Hermit Gulch and have a nice dinner in the town of Avalon. We also wanted a nice day hike and chose to hike Lone Tree Trail from Hermit Gulch Trail.
Lone Tree Trail Map
The Caltopo map above can be viewed and downloaded here.
Hermit Gulch Trail to Lone Tree Trail
After lets say... an eventful night stay at Hermit Gulch Campground we were less than well rested for this hike. Our neighbors were quite chatty and stayed up late drinking and talking way too loud. I was reminded why I don't usually like staying at established campgrounds...
The first part of the hike to Lone Tree trail is on Hermit Gulch Trail to the top of the ridge where you hit a dirt road. This is actually the first part of the Trans Catalina Trail and is a pretty good climb up a well maintained trail.
This morning was a particularly foggy morning so the views were limited. On a clear day you can see straight out to the ocean as you slowly climb above Avalon.
ℹ️ Gear Recommendations
If you would like expert gear recommendations for your next adventure check out the Ten Digit Grid Gear Locker. I detail why each item has a spot in my backpack!
Luckily for us we would hike out above the fog as it slowly cleared approaching the end of Lone Tree Trail. As you approach the end of Hermit Gulch trail and reach the dirt road on the ridge there is a nice stone staircase that brings you up to a tree under a gazebo. At this spot there are a few signs warning you of the dangers of the bufalo you can encounter out on Catalina Island. We didn't run into any on this particular hike but always keep your eyes peeled. They snuck up on us a few times on the Trans Catalina Trail.
When you hit the main dirt road, hang right and continue down until you see a nice pit toilet. Make a left at the pit toilet and you can't miss the start of Lone Tree Trail. If you were tired from the climb up Hermit Gulch Trail, prepare yourself for some more climbing.
The Lone Tree Trail has its ups and downs, literally. There are no switchbacks on the Lone Tree Trail and the ups and downs are steep. Lone Tree Trail makes you earn the view of the west side of Catalina Island. On this early morning hike we had the entire trail to ourselves!
The steepest of the climbs actually has a side trail that cuts you around it if you need a break from the climbing. When we first came upon the side trail we were not 100% sure where it went so we stayed on the dirt road and enjoyed the workout. When we came down the back side of the trail we saw the cut out did come back to the main Lone Tree Trail and we took it on the way back to confirm.
As we hiked along the fog kept breaking apart and we had an amazing show watching the fog literally roll over Catalina Island. As the fog rolled past Catalina it cleared up wonderfully as we approached the Lone Tree Trail lookout.
At the very end of Lone Tree Trail there is a picnic bench with a perfect view alongside the steep cliffs of the western side of Catalina Island.
Having not eaten a whole lot for breakfast at Hermit Gulch Campground, the picnic table was a welcome site to rest our feet and fill our stomachs while enjoying the beautiful sweeping views of the ocean.
🗺️ Other Nearby Adventures
Find more adventures based on activity or mileage on our Adventure Map.