The Cape Canyon Expedition is one of the most attractive adventuring options when you are on Catalina. The island offers up plenty of opportunities to take in scenery and wildlife on an off-road adventure which kicks off from Avalon. This isn’t one of those trails you can be carting on; in fact, golf carts are banned on these roads. For visitors, a trip to the interior is best taken as part of a tour, assuming you don’t want to spend the whole day hiking or biking.
The Cape Canyon Expedition is one of the most extensive tours, where you will be driven through the interior of the island in a bio-fuel powered Hummer. This is the perfect balance of safety and adventure, where passengers are belted in securely while driving along steep cliffs beside the ocean, and on bumpy roads running through the canyons.
It starts off with a drive following the high ridge to the famous Airport in The Sky, which the Wrigleys originally built in 1946. The road then moves down into the windward side of the island with spectacular views of the beaches and campgrounds that few visitors get to visit. Only locals with cars can get to these places. After this, the road wind twists back into Cape Canyon.
One of the main wildlife in the area is Bison, which were brought to the island for a movie shoot and never taken back. If you are lucky, you will spot them several times – males hanging out by themselves, or large groups moving together. It is hard not to appreciate how magnificent these creatures are. Then there is the Catalina Island fox to be found here, as well as the American Bald Eagle. The tour may include visiting an injured bald eagle which the Catalina Island cares for permanently.
Another attraction the tour lets you see is the original stagecoach stop from the 1800s. The Bannings, who owned Catalina before the Wrigleys, had a stagecoach business, and they brought the stagecoach to the island in 1897. It was a big hit then, and is something interesting for history buffs to admire today.
The expedition runs once daily and you can get tickets online, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the Catalina Island Conservancy. A jacket is a sensible bring-along because of how windy it can get, and you are provided blankets and water.