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Setting up camp on Catalina Island

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Setting up camp THE BASICS Camping reservations are required, but individual sites at Hermit Gulch are first come, first served. Rangers sell charcoal, ice, compressed wood and propane; no wood fires are allowed. There are coin-operated hot showers and flush toilets; the restrooms were clean and well provisioned with soap and toilet paper when I was there. Nightly camping fees are $12 per person, $6 ages 3 to 11. A tent cabin is an additional $45. I found the quietest campsites were those on the side of the campground bordering the hills and near the ranger's house. Those along the road were near the group site, which was rowdy on one of the two nights we visited and experienced more road noise from the trolley and putt-putting rental golf carts taking scenic tours.GETTING THERE Various services ferry passengers to Catalina. We chose Catalina Express and left from San Pedro. The round trip, including taxes and port fees, is $59 for ages 12 to 54, $45.50 ages 2 to 11, $53 for those 55 and older.TO LEARN MORE Camping: (310) 510-8368, www.visitcatalinaisland.com; Catalina Express, (800) 995-4386, www.catalinaexpress.com.

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