Catalina Island Visitor Information
Camping Facilities on Catalina Island
If you're planning to visits Santa Catalina Island, think "Eco-Friendly." The private, non-profit organization responsible for the management of the island has many restrictions and regulations that are designed to protect visitors and the natural habitat.
That said, if you enjoy camping and backpacking, you'll find a number of camping facilities around the island, available to the public. These campgrounds include a number of "primitive" sites (meaning there are no amenities) that can only be reached by boat.
If You Go
The Catalina Island Conservancy requires all who are planning to visit the island's back country, whether by bicycle or on foot, to register a permit with the organization's office. Bicyclists pay a modest fee; permits for hikers are free. In either case, the person(s) obtaining the permit(s) must declare what part of the island they plan to visit.
In addition, those who plan to stay at one of Catalina Island's five inland and nine shoreline public camping facilities will need to make reservations ahead of time.
The Catalina Island Conservancy maintains inland camping facilities at Two Harbors, Parson's Landing, Black Jack, Little Harbor and Hermit Gulch. The primitive "boat-in" shoreline facilities are scattered around the perimeter of the island.
Although these are privately-owned campgrounds, they are - with one exception - managed and maintained by non-profit organizations. The oldest of these is the Catalina Island Camps near Howland's Landing; it has been in operation almost since William Wrigley Jr. took over the island back in the 1920s.
Other private campgrounds are operated by the Boy Scouts of America and the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. The most exclusive of the private camping facilities (more of a resort) is Moonstone, which is operated under the auspices of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.