Is Catalina Island Dog-Friendly?

Is Catalina Island Dog Friendly

Is Catalina Island dog-friendly? Yes, it is. It’s the perfect pet-friendly weekend getaway for you and your dog. 

I recently planned to travel to Santa Catalina Island with my dog but didn’t know the possibility. So I decided to research. Through some friends who had made the trip and calls to the relevant authorities at Catalina Island, I was able to find the answers.

If you are in a hurry, here is what I found out:

Quick Answer: Catalina Express, the ferry that gets you to Catalina Island, is dog-friendly. However, your dog must be secure in a muzzle or pet carrier, restricted to one dog per passenger. Restaurants and hiking trails with patios are dog-friendly, but the dogs must be on leashes. Most beaches, Casinos, hotels, and boardwalks don’t allow dogs. However, Catalina Canyon Inn, Hermosa Hotel & Cottages, and Catalina Island Vacation Rentals do.  

To find out the dog-friendly modes of transport, hotels, beaches, and any legal information you should know, read on. 

Without wasting time, let’s dive in.

Are Dogs Allowed on Catalina Island?

Yes, dogs are allowed on Catalina Island. However, there are specific rules you must follow. I’ll be going through these within the article. So, sit tight and read on. 

Let’s start with getting to Catalina Island. Are there any modes of transport that allow dogs on board? 

Catalina Island dog friendly guide
Catalina Island dog friendliness guide

Are Dogs Allowed on the Catalina Express?

Yes, the Catalina Express, the preferred way for most people to get to the Island, allows dogs on board at no extra fee.

Remember, a single round trip on the ferry costs around $80 per person, and the dog won’t be charged. A one-way trip by Catalina Express takes about an hour.  

However, the ferry has some rules you must follow before allowing your dog on the ferry. While aboard the ferry, you must adhere to the following:

  • Your dog must be secure in a muzzle, leash, and collar or a muzzle and harness sufficiently strong and tight fitting to securely hold the dog and remain leashed and muzzled throughout the trip. 
  • The muzzle must be a multi-strap, pouch, or cage design. A single-strap muzzle will not be accepted. 
  • No dog or carrier shall occupy a passenger seat at any time, and you must be prepared to clean up after the pet in case of a mishap.
  • You will also be required to sign a pet waiver.
  • And it is strictly one dog per passenger. 

For more details, read the Catalina Express pet policy, call them via 800-481-3470, or visit their website

Want a real-life experience? Spare some time and read the OC Backyard’s adventure traveling with his dog to Catalina Island on the Catalina Express. 

Are Dogs Allowed on the Catalina Express
A dog owner taking a walk with her dog

Is Avalon Dog-Friendly?

Avalon is the only established city on Catalina Island with shops, Casinos, beaches, restaurants, hotels, and short hikes. 

Dogs are prohibited in certain restricted areas, such as Avalon’s public beaches. And when transporting your dog through a restricted area, you must use a leash and a muzzle. This is according to the Los Angeles County pet laws.   

Dogs are also not allowed on boardwalks and shops within Avalon. 

Important: The City of Avalon recently opened a small dog park at People’s Park on Avalon Canyon Rd. Check their hours of operation and rules for the Avalon dog park.

Is Two Harbors Dog-Friendly?

Yes, Two Harbors, located on the west end of the Island, allows dogs on all their beaches and sidewalks. 

Dog-Friendly Activities On Catalina Island

There are several things you can do at Catalina Island with your dog. They include:

Avalon Kids & Dog Park 

Avalon City opened a dog park at People’s Park on Avalon Rd. The park is well-maintained and clean, with ample space for dogs to play around unleashed. Here is a direction map to the park

Trans-Catalina Trail

The Trans-Catalina Trail is a popular hiking trail stretching 38.5 miles. You ought to be good if you avoid hiking when it’s too hot or in the afternoon, as there is little shade. 

This trail will allow you to experience the island’s wildlife, such as foxes and bison, and its unique culture and history. 

Dogs are allowed everywhere on the hiking trail except for Two Harbors and Hermit Gulch campgrounds. Ensure the dog is on a leash whenever you’re hiking the trail, as there are some harsh and uneven areas. 

Pro Tip: “The harsh environment, lack of water, and presence of bison make it a pretty dog-unfriendly environment. I would strongly consider leaving your dog at home for this one.” the hiking guy

Are Dogs Allowed on Catalina Island
A dog owner on a hike

Dog-Friendly Hotels/Accommodation in Catalina Island

There are some pet friendly hotels on Catalina Island. They include:

Catalina Canyon Inn

Catalina Canyon Inn is one of the best pet-friendly hotels in Avalon, Catalina Island. Formerly Holiday Inn Resort, it is located along Country Club Road in Avalon (A few minutes walk from the coast).

Accessible by road, ferry, or air, the hotel features an on-site restaurant, renovated guest rooms, an outdoor pool, a European-style day spa, and business space. 

I asked about their dog policy, and they confirmed they allow dogs/pets but at a $75 fee. You’ll, however, need to inform them about this when making your reservations. 

Catalina Island Vacation Rentals

Located in Avalon, Catalina Island Vacation Rentals offers more than 200 lodging options, including condos, large homes, cottages, and villas. 

Their properties offer a hotel alternative and aim to deliver a home’s comfort. With harbor and ocean views, each property offers privacy, intimacy, and perfection for group outings. 

Their properties are pet-friendly. 

Related: Do you need a passport to visit Santa Catalina Island?

Hermosa Hotel & Cottages

Located in the heart of Avalon, Hermosa is just an 8-minute walk from the boat landing. With large units that can host up to 8 guests, Hermosa is the perfect destination for your group or family vacation. 

Offering activities such as Scuba diving, Hermosa Hotel is dog friendly. You can read more about their dog policy here

Can you take dogs to Catalina Island
Hikers with their dog

Seacrest Inn Catalina

Seacrest Inn Catalina is conveniently located in Avalon, with accommodations that fit every budget. With rooms boasting spa tubs, soaking, and different themes, the hotel is another consideration if you are looking for a pet-friendly hotel in Catalina Island. 

They allow pets, but the dog must be under 25 pounds. 

Notably, most hotels and rentals in Catalina expect you not to leave your dog unattended, as it may become anxious and cause unnecessary disruptions or harm.  

This guide wouldn’t be complete without sharing Catalina Island Conservancy’s pet policies, which can be found here.  

In a Nutshell…

Can dogs go to Catalina Island? Yes, Catalina Island provides a conducive, fun-filled experience for you and your dog. As long as you abide by the regulations and requirements, you’re well on your way to enjoying your weekend getaway with your furry friend. 



Can You Take Dogs To Catalina Island?

Yes, dogs are allowed on Catalina Island. Visitors can bring their furry friends but they must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after. There are also pet friendly hotels on Catalina Island.

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