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Catalina Airport Hiking Trail  Overview
It’s time to pull up your landing gear and take off with this incredible Catalina Island Airport hike! This adventurous 4-mile Catalina hike features spectacular views of the island’s landscape & wildlife. Additionally, you can reward yourself with a short layover at the airport’s cafe, which features sandwiches, ice cream, and beverages.

The Catalina Airport (airport code: CIB) originally opened as the “Buffalo Springs Airport” in the 1930s and featured regularly scheduled passenger service by United Airlines. Today, the airport is privately owned and requires a $25 landing fee for inbound planes. However, the cafe and outdoor museum are free to venture and enjoy for active hikers!

We started this Catalina hike at Goat Harbor, but it’s possible to start the hike from other points, such as Two Harbors. If you are not camping at Goat Harbor or feel like exploring another adventurous hike from Two Harbors, The Go Hike It team recommends the Trans-Catalina Hiking Trail.

Length: 4 miles round-trip


The Catalina Airport Hike from Goat Harbor was extremely challenging. The hike up features several steep graded hills that are exhausting to climb and equally as challenging to descend. Although challenging, the hike features spectacular views of Catalina’s rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean. There were signs of bison (watch out for the paddies), but we didn’t see any on our excursion.

This hike is only recommended for advanced or well-skilled hikers.

Catalina Airport Hiking Trail Map:

View Catalina Airport Hiking Trail in a larger map

From the Los Angeles/North Orange County Area:

  • Take the Catalina Flyer to Two Harbors.
  • Take a boat or kayak to Goat Harbor (or start hike from Two Harbors)

From the San Diego Area:

  • Take the Catalina Flyer to Two Harbors.
  • Take a boat or kayak to Goat Harbor (or start hike from Two Harbors)
What to Bring: 

When to Go: Spring/Summer/Fall: Catalina is best to enjoy during the summer months as the weather is generally moderate to pleasant and all of the island’s restaurants, hotels, and attractions are open. However, if you are feeling more adventurous, it’s possible to explore the island during the Fall and Spring, just don’t be surprised if you are the only ones in certain ares. 
How it Looks:  
Catalina Airport Hiking Trail View


View of Goat Harbor




Catalina Island Airport entrance
Dog Friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on leashes on the trail.
Intensity Levels: 
  • Barry-the-Bear: “I took the Go Hike It Team’s advice and skipped this trail. In the future, I look forward to enjoying a Catalina hike that is up to my fitness level.”
  • Larry-the-Lion: “Wow! This hike kicked my lion-end! I was tempted to turn around; however, I pushed forward and finished the round-trip hike. Be careful on the descend – it’s very steep and best to take your time.”
  • Chris-the-Cheetah: “Amazing! Although relatively short, this hike was challenging for even the fastest cheetah! I normally follow a paelo-based diet, but I decided to reward my carnivorous stomach with an ice cream at the airport’s cafe.”

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