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Catalina Island Conservancy. Permits from the Catalina Island Conservancy are required for hiking into Santa Catalina Island's interior. If you plan to backpack overnight, you'll need a camping reservation. The interior is dry and desertlike; bring plenty of water, sunblock, and all necessary supplies. The permits are free and can be picked up at the main house of the conservancy or at the airport. You don't need a permit for shorter hikes, such as the one from Avalon to the Botanical Garden. The conservancy has maps of the island's east-end hikes, such as Hermit's Gulch Trail. It's possible to hike between Avalon and Two Harbors, starting at the Hogsback Gate, above Avalon, but the 28-mile journey has an elevation gain of 3,000 feet and is not for the weak. For a pleasant 4-mile hike out of Avalon, take Avalon Canyon Road to the Wrigley Botanical Garden and follow the trail to Lone Pine. At the top there's an amazing view of the Palisades cliffs and, beyond them, the sea. 125 Claressa Ave., Avalon, CA, 90704. 310/510–2595. www.catalinaconservancy.org.
Airport Shuttle Bus. Another hike option is to take the Airport Shuttle Bus from Avalon to the airport for $17 round-trip. The 10-mi hike back to Avalon is mostly downhill, and the bus is an inexpensive way to see the interior of the island. 310/510-0143.
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