Santa Catalina Island is a magical place. This is a landscape that rises 2000 feet above the sea and is only 20 miles from the mainland. The seascape is equally interesting with gentle warm waters on the protected leeward side where Avalon is located. The open ocean windward side is wild with colder waters. The island is 21 miles long making it one of the largest of the 8 California Channel Islands.Catalina is one of 2 Channel Islands in Los Angeles County.The Santa Catalina Island Interpretive Center offers a place to learn more about the Island including its marine life, flora and fauna, ecology, history, First Peoples culture and the relationship of Catalina to the other 7 Channel Islands. Catalina Island is a place where the public can come to learn and appreciate the natural world as well as the history of Santa Catalina Island. Many come simply to hike and enjoy the out-of-doors. Trails begin adjacent to the Interpretive Center, from where free hiking permits are available. There is no charge to visit the Center.

The Center interprets 10 themes about Santa Catalina Island. These include the ocean channel where whales and dolphins reside, the kelp forest with abundant marine life, the marine intertidal-shore life, the native-wild animals, the native plant life including trees and wildflowers, the geology of mountains and canyons, the history, the First Peoples (indigenous) Cultures, weather, and the non-native alien animals and plants. These 10 themes give the visitor a comprehensive knowledge of the fragile nature of islands as well as the unique role island ecosystems play on Earth. 

Find Out More About the Interpretive Center

Birds of  Catalina 

Thank you for being visitor number: since June, 27th, 1999.

Photo: William Bushing

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