Ascent of Mount Orizaba on 2013-09-10

Climber: Dan Baxter

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Bus
Peak:Mount Orizaba
    Elevation:2125 ft / 647 m

Ascent Trip Report

I took a most unusual transport (for peak baggers, anyway) in order to get to Catalina Island - a Carnival cruise ship. It moored in Avalon Bay and by 9 am I was in Avalon proper. There are two means of public transit from Avalon. One is S Catalina Island Company's Safari Bus. At $10 one way (2013) it is cheapest but not very convenient. It only runs from Avalon at noon and returns from the airport at 1 pm, not enough time for the hike. Rather, use the Conservancy's own van service, called the Wildlands Express Service (go to www. This is $26 roundtrip (2013) and has 6 different departure times from both Avalon and the airport. You need to call for reservations but I had no problem calling even just an hour in advance. (310)510-0143. It leaves Avalon only 1 block from the public pier on Catalina Avenue just past Von's Express. Its a 20 minute ride to the stop at Blackjack Junction, where you start the walk all on road to the summit. Note you are required to have a hiking permit from the Conservancy, but this is free and can be obtained and printed in advance from their website.
The walk took me just under two hrs roundtrip, and included some bison and birdwatching. The walk is all legal access, but you need to climb over two gates. The first keeps bisons on one side, the second at the summit surrounds the antenna. I felt funny climbing the second gate, but there is never a no trespassing sign, only a worn sign at the first gate asking you to keep the gate closed for conservation purposes pigs and goats have been already extirpated, but there are still the bison), and the second gate only has a sign stating it is illegal to have a gun on federal property.
The summit has been graded flat. There is a register right where you first come to the second fence. Views are outstanding as you walk the perimeter, however.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:895 ft / 272 m
    Extra Gain:60 ft / 18 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Route:Road to Orizaba towers
    Trailhead:Blackjack junction  1350 ft / 411 m
    Grade/Class:Road walk
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 

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