“How big is Santa Catalina Island?” is one of the most common questions asked by visitors. How to answer the question depends on just what parameters you want to measure.
One of the easiest answers is length. Catalina stretches about 22 miles from the East End, past Avalon, to Land’s End, on the island’s rugged West End. Width is a harder question to answer. At Two Harbors, Catalina narrows to its narrowest point — the Isthmus is just about half a mile wide. On the other extreme is Long Point, where about eight miles separate the windward side from the leeward side.
Catalina’s coastline is about 54 miles and offers everything from gentle sand beaches and secluded bays to dramatic cliffs and imposing pinnacles.
With steep valleys and sheer cliffs as well as gentle meadows and compelling flora, Catalina Island’s interior is a fascinating expanse wilderness that stretches across about 75 square miles. As any hiker, mountain biker or marathoner knows, those 75 square miles are far from flat. The island has dramatic elevation changes and Mt. Orizaba, the island’s highest point, reaches 2,097 feet above sea level.
However you measure it, Catalina Island is big enough to explore for a lifetime.