Biking on Catalina Island
The town of Avalon offers some fine level riding, especially along the shore east to Pebbly Beach or west to Descanso Beach. Most of Avalon’s charming older cottages are on “the flats”,in the canyon bottom, and can be toured comfortably. Avalon’s hillside roads are quite steep, however, and a many-geared bike is recommended. The ride is worth it, as the views are impressive.
To get into the Island’s interior you need a Conservancy permit, a mountain bike, and strong legs. It’s a 1500 foot, two mile climb to the summit above Avalon! The unspoiled hills are worth it though, and you can make a day trip to the beaches on Catalina’s windward side (see Map of Catalina).
Rentals of single, multi-speed and tandem bikes at hourly, daily and weekly rates are available in Avalon. Parts, repair and sales are also provided. Only the 21-speed rentals can be taken beyond Avalon, into the Island’s interior. This requires a permit form the Conservancy (see below).
To ride beyond Avalon, into the Island’s interior, you need to purchase a permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy. These permits can be obtained at:
Conservancy House in Avalon – 125 Claressa, 310-510-2595. Open 9-5 daily, closed for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Catalina Airport – 310-510-0143
Two Harbors Visitor Services – 800-626-1496
Permits cost $50 for individuals and $75 for families (including spouse and minor children), and are valid from May 1st through April 30th. Only annual permits are sold, no day passes are available. Accident, liability and life insurance are included with the permit. Only mountain bikes are allowed, and riders must wear helmets. Riding is limited to the primary road from Avalon to Emerald Bay. Riding on secondary roads, service roads and hiking trails are prohibited.
Cross-channel carriers will transport bikes for a fee. Catalina Express charge $6 each way, Catalina Passenger Service charges $7.