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CURRENTS A Guide to the Best of Southern California

TREKS : A Walk in the Park, Catalina Style

January 07, 1990|DAVID COLKER

YOU'VE HIKED Yosemite, camped in Joshua Tree, rafted through Klamath and rock-climbed in Sequoia. But unless you've hoisted a 30-pound tank onto your back, donned a skintight neoprene outfit and voluntarily added weight to your hips, you've never seen one of the most spectacular wildernesses in California.

Avalon Underwater Park, off the shore of Catalina Island, is the only municipal underwater park in the state and a convenient haven for scuba divers.

The park, which is 100 feet deep in spots, includes a dense kelp forest and seven wrecks, among them a 163-foot pleasure boat that sank in the 1930s and a 70-foot schooner. The water is clearest at this time of year.

For information on getting there, schedules and prices, call the Catalina visitors' bureau at (213) 510-1520.

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