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Catalina Island, CA: Loop to Goat Whiskers

Climb 1,100 feet along Catalina Island’s west-end ridge on this 6.5-mile loop that cruises three west-end coves en route to an ice-cream window finish in Two Harbors.

Rating

From the bus stop in Two Harbors, this hike heads south on a 0.4-mile warm-up before turning uphill just short of Cat Harbor’s muddy beach. The steep, steady climb begins on double-track, but turns quickly to a loose-surfaced footpath shooting straight up the side of the mountain. The views of the isthmus get better as you climb, so don’t feel bad about stopping to catch your breath. The climb mellows at the top of the ridge and you’ll roll over a few easy hills before reaching the trail’s high point; an open dirt clearing where several trails merge. Turn left to follow the north-leading trail downhill to Lion’s Head.

The Goat Whiskers trail intersects the West End Road at mile 3.8, on Cherry Cove’s west side. Be sure to take a few minutes to explore or picnic on the point before heading back to Two Harbors on the flat, winding road. You’ll skirt Cherry and Fourth of July coves—look for old mines along the road’s righthand side—before rounding a final bend into the Isthmus. A short cut trail turns downhill just past the wooden bench above town, spitting you out a few minutes from the Two Harbors General Store where you can snag a well-earned ice-cream cone.

-Mapped by Frannie Finley

To Trailhead

The Catalina Express runs regular passenger ferries to Two Harbors. For a schedule and information call (800) 481-3470.

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