January 9, 2015

How far is Catalina Island from San Diego?

Most San Diego boaters eventually get around to making the trip out to Catalina. Before they go, everyone wants to know how far is Catalina Island from San Diego. I can answer this question quickly.

There are two harbors in San Diego: Mission Bay and San Diego Harbor. Assuming everyone is going to arrive at Avalon, the main harbor on Catalina Island, then there are 2 possible distances: Mission Bay to Avalon or San Diego Harbor to Avalon.

How far is Catalina Island from San Diego?

Mission Bay to Avalon Harbor:
72 miles (or 63 nautical miles)*

San Diego Harbor to Avalon Harbor:
78 miles (or 68 nautical miles)*

*distances given are from the outer navigational buoys of each harbor

how far is Catalina Island from san diego
straight line from Avalon Harbor to San Diego Harbor

If you are a power boater you should follow this line, with a bit of wandering. If you're a sailor who wants to put the sails up, you will follow this line much less stringently. I have written a more thorough post, that approximates the time required to make this trip (based on a 30 foot sailboat). 

how far is Catalina island from san diego
we hiked up to this Avalon overlook upon arrival

If you are thinking about making this trip in a boat, you definitely want to have a boating guide book. Brian Fagan's book is the standard for boaters around Southern California. The Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California: Golden Gate to Ensenada, Mexico, Including the Offshore Islands  There is a good section on boating in and around San Diego and tucking into anchorages around Catalina Island.

Enjoy the journey!!