Shelter Cove Boat Launch and Beach

Shelter Cove
Shelter Cove Boat Launch Rates
Round Trip Boat Launch/Haul $ 35.00
Charter Boat Launch/Haul $ 75.00
Charter Boat Self-Launch $ 40.00
Monthly Boat Storage $ 50.00 (effective 9/1/17)


Shelter Cove Fish Cleaning Facility CDP Project Description (2017)
Shelter Cove Fish Cleaning Facility Grant Progress Report (2017)
Shelter Cove Fish Cleaning Facility OPC Grant

Shelter Cove TractorThe Harbor District maintains and operates the public boat launching facility at Shelter Cove. The District’s tractor boat launch service typically operates 7 days a week from 6:00 a.m. until the last boat is back in (tractor maintenance can sometimes delay or limit service). Launching service is on a first come first serve basis and the charter boats get priority launching. Please check-in with Harbor District staff for service upon arrival or call (707) 273-2672 for more information.
The District currently operates two tractors and is looking to purchase a third tractor to reduce delays due to tractor maintenance. The District is always looking for qualified staff at this location, please call (707) 443-0801 for further details.

Parking is available adjacent to the launching area and in the visitor parking area near restaurants, shops, public restrooms, and the historic Mendocino Lighthouse.
533 Machi Rd, Whitethorn, CA 95589

Located on the famous “Lost Coast” less than two-hours south of Humboldt Bay, the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District maintains California's only open-ocean boat launching facility at Shelter Cove. Approximately 25 miles west of Highway 101 at Garberville/Redway, Shelter Cove is known for its spectacular Black Sands Beach, abalone diving, crabbing, salmon fishing and location at the base of the King Range that surrounds this portion of California's rugged coast. It is also the southern terminus of the Lost Coast Trail, the only access to the longest roadless portion of California’s extensive coastline.

With mountains and the Sinkyone Wilderness Area that drop to the sea, the Cove is perfect for a quiet stroll along the beach or for accessing the abundant ocean fishing right from the Harbor District-managed boat launch site. The cove faces south, providing an important port of refuge from northwesterly winds and seas. Boats may be self-launched from trailers or carried into the water by a high-clearance vehicle operated by the local boat launching business. Parking is available adjacent to the launching area or uphill in the visitor parking area where there are restaurants, shops, public restrooms, the historic Mendocino Lighthouse and fish cleaning facilities.

The Harbor District recently upgraded Cove facilities, improving the breakwater, restrooms, access road and fish cleaning station. With these upgrades, the launch facility is safer and fishing just off the coast is easier than ever.