Catalina Island Company Debuts New Excursion to Catalina’s 'Hidden Ranch'

Catalina Island Company Debuts New Excursion to Catalina’s 'Hidden Ranch'

Catalina Island Company, Catalina Island’s premier resort operator, invites visitors and locals to take a journey through Catalina's picturesque interior with a new excursion, Explore El Rancho Escondido, coming March 2024.

The new tour offers the exclusive opportunity to experience one of the island's most magnificent landmarks, the beautiful and recently renovated “hidden ranch” known as El Rancho Escondido. For the first time ever, guests will get a sneak peek of the Wrigley family’s historic Arabian Horse ranch, built by Philip & Helen Wrigley in 1930. Today, in addition to serving as a home for the family’s horses, the ranch is used to sustainably grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel grapes for Rusack Vineyards, from which the family sources their award-winning handcrafted wines.

Guests will be transported from the historic City of Avalon into the rugged terrain of Catalina’s interior via the scenic Stagecoach Road. Throughout the tour, in addition to rare native plants and trees, visitors may spot free-roaming American Bison, descendants of those first brought to the island for a movie shoot in the 1920s. Along the way, guests can take in beautiful scenery and stunning ocean vistas where, on clear days, a number of California’s other Channel Islands can be seen.

Upon reaching El Rancho Escondido, guests will have the opportunity to explore the classic, nearly-a century-old, Spanish-style courtyard and stables, and enjoy a horse exhibition from ranch hands. In the early 1930s, Philip and Helen Wrigley set out to develop a breeding program for Santa Catalina Island’s wild horses and an attraction to draw visitors into Catalina’s interior. By the 1950s, those efforts evolved into breeding champion Arabian horses, which were exhibited at shows and competitions across the United States. Visitors can now view a selection of the many one-of-a-kind saddles, trophies they won, along with Wrigley family Western memorabilia and history in the Saddle & Trophy Room.

Next, the tour will visit the ranch’s newly built Bishop’s Chapel, where they will enjoy awe-inspiring views of the ranch’s vineyards and Catalina’s windward side and West End. Guests will learn about the cross that once sat atop the entry doors to the downtown Los Angeles Cathedral of St. Paul’s, then spent 30 years on Santa Cruz Island, before being refurbished and gifted to The Bishop’s Chapel in 2021. In addition, guests will learn the history of JORY’s Bell, the Baptismal Font and the original stained-glass windows of this simple and moving chapel.

Visit or call (877) 778-9394 for bookings or more information.

Image Credit: Catalina Island Company