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Catalina Island, CA: Two Dump Loop

An isthmus crossing and a killer climb reward with cross-channel views and a glimpse of Catalina Island’s rugged backside on this 5.4-mile loop above Two Harbors.

Rating

Gaining more than 1,200 feet of elevation in a little more than 2 miles, this loop offers a stiff climb and quick introduction to Catalina Island’s west end. Start at the bus stop in Two Harbors. Follow the Cat Harbor Road for 0.4 mile before turning right to begin the earnest climb to a ridgeline. The cactus-lined path can be loose in some places, but as you rise above this remote, tiny town, you’re afforded spectacular views of the isthmus and the mooring-filled coves on either side.

An easy, rolling path along the ridgeline turns left, rounding the back of a canyon. Look for Ansel Adams-worthy scrub oak remains in the grassy hillsides before joining the Silver Peak Trail just below an overlook. Make the quick uphill before turning back and following the Dump Road down 1,200 feet over the next 1.5 miles to Wells Beach and Cat Harbor. The last mile is a gentle, winding descent back to town that skirts the shores of Cat Harbor .

-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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