Catalina from A to Z: Outstanding Mt. Orizaba

Hello, and welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge! This year my theme is Catalina from A to Z, featuring posts about the Southern California island of Catalina. With a focus on the island’s romantic side, I’ll be sharing info about where to go, what to see and do, plus a few sneak peeks from my novel in progress, Wife For A Weekend, which is set on the island!

Mount Orizaba is the highest point on Catalina Island, at an elevation of 2,097 feet (639 meters).

As SummitPost notes, “Given its proximity to 14 million people, and the ease of ascent, one might expect crowds […] However, excluding the resident FAA summit beacon and occasional weekend crowds, Orizaba is remarkably isolated.”

An isolated peak? What better place for a chance at romance!

From the summit of Orizaba, there are excellent views of the island and surrounding ocean, along with potential to spot San Clemente Island, the Palos Verdes Peninsula (mainland California, part of LA County), the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains, and Santiago Peak (part of Orange County’s Saddleback formation) on a clear day.

To get to the top of the island and brag about your achievement, you can either start your trek straight from the ferry or take a bus from Island Plaza to the trailhead.

As SummitPost describes the climb: “The first mile is a moderate to steep 350-foot climb on a fire road. From Black Jack Junction, hike 1.3 miles continuing past the turnoffs for Black Jack Campground and Cottonwood–Black Jack Trail. One you pass these turnoffs, you will find a trail that heads left. Take this trail and continue 1.1 miles to Mount Orizaba. Black Jack Mountain stands to the south, crowned with a radio tower.”

Don’t forget to get yourself a permit before you begin your hike! The Catalina Island Conservancy issues them, free of charge, to visitors for day-hiking, along with a trail map. You can nab the permit at Conservancy House (125 Claressa Ave.), the Airport-in-the-Sky, in the Two Harbors Visitor Information Center, or even online.

Eager to learn more about Catalina?

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