Shelter Cove Road–Slip Sliding Away

The Shelter Cove Road below the General Store is caving away. [

The Shelter Cove Road below the General Store is caving away. [Photos by Erica Gray]

“This is the condition of our road into and out of Shelter Cove!!” Erica Gray, a first grade teacher at Redway Elementary posted about the rural Humboldt County road she must drive to work. “The school bus drives through this every day carrying our children. This is a dangerous and quickly deteriorating situation!” 

Shelter Cove road slipout

[Photo provided but not taken by Erica Gray]

Gray’s post which has been shared 170 times by last night has stirred a response in her community. Residents say that this stretch of the Shelter Cove Road located below the General Store has grown more dangerous every day since the first chunk slid away in 2014. Some worry that the remaining road could collapse as the school bus drives over it. In addition, Shelter Cove relies on its tourism and the road is challenging at the best of times due to its curves, steep cliffs, and remote location. This gaping hole could cause tourists to not want to come to the area.

Gray and some of her neighbors have begun to call Supervisor Estelle Fennel and Senator Mike McGuire trying to get help with their road. She took these photos yesterday. “The surrounding ground is sinking and has cracks, so I was too scared to get closer than this!” she told us.

We’ve reached out to the County to try and get some sense of what is planned for the road and haven’t yet heard back.

The Shelter Cove Road below the General Store is caving away. [

[Another view of the slipout by Erica Gray]

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69 comments

  • Why dont we use some of that weed tax to fix our county.. instead of giving it to the sherriffs dept…..

  • Something needs to be done and soon! Is there an alternative route around this slide?

    • There are several. Telegraph Creek Road, Hillside Side Dr. via Upper Toth, Willow Glen to Toth to Hillside, to name a few.

      • To name them all , you mean ?

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        All these numerous circuitous detours? Fooled me. Guess I’ve been away for a while. Why doesn’t the school bus use these wonderful, numerous , safe routes? Just let the main road slide out like they have been anyway. I guess, from all the posts about alternate routes too numerous to mention, the area has turned into a major metropolitan population center like the Garberville-Redway Metroplex. My bad.

  • Ounce of prevention?

    Is there a functioning ditch on the other side of the road? Probably not. County roads has no ditch cleaning program, most ditches in Humboldt are filled in, the water sheets over the road and eats away where it drains. A simple ditch clearing could have prevented this. There are lots of these in Humboldt.

    • Thank you^^^^ Dear county roads, quit milking our tax dollars, get off your a**es and clean the ditches, fix the potholes and and fix our roads!!!!!!

  • Here’s a view of that section of road from Telegraph Creek Road, across the canyon, taken a few years ago. This view doesn’t show the base of it. Not an easy fix, for sure a costly one.

    • Yes , things cost money . So what ? It’s the county’s responsibility to fix it . All they’ve done is slap some cones on the ground and a little paint . Pathetic .

      If we would have had a winter like last year that road would be gone

  • Who cares as long as we get to keep our government jobs.

  • Jorge Cervantes

    Looks like a classic example of uncompacted fill failure. If there’s no Marijuana farm in the permit process down the road the fix will be inexpensive and quite simple. If there is a farm down the road expect to pay thru the nose. And have to mortgage the ranch.

    • Or they just have the permit applicant pay for it. Hell, why not? The county got free cultural survey maps for the county on the backs of applicants. Scam!

    • There are no marijuana farms allowed in SC because shelter Cove has a special zoning called a “Q Zone”

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      WTF do you mean “jorge Cervantes” (very funny)? God will blow the road out if someone gets a permit? The County Supes have no concern and no apparent idea that roads are essential. Bull Creek Road was an axle-breaker all summer for residents and tourists alike and it got somewhat repaired finally in August. Sucking cannabis farmers dry has been top priority. Where did the money go?

  • >”Looks like a classic example of uncompacted fill failure”

    Eh? You’re kidding ?
    It’s a ‘blue clay’ slide. Blue clay conducts and holds water.
    We have ’em all over the county… before dope farms existed.

    • “Blue clay” isn`t clay at all. It`s “fault gouge” or sometimes “slide gouge”. This is pulverized rock resulting from the motion along a fault that grinds up the rock, which in this case is greywacke sandstone. Fault gouge cannot be consolidated and is always unstable. Pretty much the only solution is to build a bridge across it since it will slide forever and ever.

      From the photo, it looks like this is what`s going on here. Probably not the first time this place has slid out.

      • You’re right…. if you slow time way down, these areas would appear to be rivers of goo. They resemble a blue-grey glacier. They only seem like solid land because we’re looking at them with our human sense of time.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        Oh, wow, you mean it’s a problem that pre-dates the marijuana industry? Pre-dates the logging era ? Pre-dates human existence? Who knew?!?

  • Taurus Ballzhof

    Just keep speeding up and down in your pickup! Nothing to worry about…

  • County has no interest in the safety of Southern Humboldt.

  • The votes for Supervisor are in the Eel River Valley not So Hum

  • If you don’t like it, leave! It’s the SC way, take the sign down on your way out.

    • Sorry but some of us cove residents prefer safe roads to drive on . The “ cove way “ is changing around here . Getting the tweekers out and fixing some roads will be a great benefit to our community.

    • @bottomtrawler Hell yeah

  • Do u think any of those alternate routes are safe for a school bus tho?

    • Lotta Wordsworth

      Safe is relative. I didn’t buy a house in the cove because”the road and the people driving the road aren’t safe”
      It’s my opinion that if you’re living out there with kids, traditional safety isn’t your biggest priority.
      Telegraph will be far better than a collapsed roadway. Just relax and enjoy the scenery.

  • Ah don’t worry about it, the bullet train will save us all.

    • Someone reminded me yesterday how the haters squalled and moaned, as Bart was being built, that it was a boondoggle bound for failure. Like I predict the bullet train will be, Bart has been a wonderful asset to our state.

  • Telegraph creek has a culvert failure at Puma. On side of the road is partially washed out and the rest is sinking.

  • >”The votes for Supervisor are in the Eel River Valley not So Hum”

    Doesn’t matter. Multiple slide-outs on:
    Blue Slide road.
    Petrolia Road.
    Chezem road.
    Jacoby Creek Road.

    Potholes everywhere.

  • Mary Ann. How long would it take to do the detour you described? Is this through a residential area? Could it take a lot of traffic, the school bus etc? I’m wondering if this is a real alternative as repairing the main road looks like a massive, extensive job that could take a really long time to fix.

    • Any detour is a matter of maybe 5 or 10 minutes more. Those streets are all through residential areas and none are in very good shape. See comment about Telegraph Road condition made by Richard Webe. Have heard those streets were not built for the traffic Shelter Cove Road takes but don’t know that for sure. Expensive for sure. It’s hundreds of feet to the bottom. Another concern is the water tank above.

  • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

    This is nothing. Remember what the Trinity Co. residents had to navigate to get to Hyampom! (Somebody made a fun meme of this photo, adding a road sign to speed up & jump, but I couldn’t locate it.)

  • They used measure z money in SoHum to repave streets in Gville that didn’t need it. Paved streets in Redway that residents didn’t want paved. This spending was set in stone before the historic rainfall of two winters ago. Fennel told me in February ‘17 that some of the federal disaster money would be spent to fix the Cove road, and the slip out on ettersburg rd. Things have only deteriorated since then. How can theypermit huge industrial pot grows in the Cove, Eburg, AP, and all the other places in SoHum, where the only access is a county road that has washed out to (barely) one lane? The people are not being served. There is only one truth here: MONEY SPEAKS TO POWER.

    • There are no permitted industrial sizes grows in the cove . Just shows you don’t know diddly squat about the area .

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      “Huge industrial pot grows”??!!? Thank you, local Fox affiliate. Too bad you don’t know what you’re talking about. Other than that you wasted our time.

  • Better hope Lori Dengler doesn’t fall in on the way to her meeting there tonight!!

  • Perhaps C.H.U.M.P.’s armored dozer can help.

  • The school district needs to stop sending a school bus over this disaster-in-waiting. Hello? Anybody home at the school district office?

    • Might check first with the district to see if the bus even runs out that far. 943-1914. Spoke to family member not long ago. Was driving child to the Whitethorn Junction because bus not coming to Cove – lack of drivers.

  • It looks like an insane thing to drive a school bus full of kids over. Insane.

    In. Sane.

    Will someone have to die, and then someone else be sued, to get this fixed?

  • In a perfect world, kids would be walking out of school & joining their parents in protest of their funds being abused instead of used as promised, which puts all in grave danger. Firefighters, ambulances, police, schools, teachers, parents, shop owners, and even the guests from foreign countries without documentation are all in harms way.

    Meet a caring person at the capitol building, holding the huge poster with pictures of the roads with school bus after school bus full of screaming children collapsing off the road. BYO poster.

  • In the upper, wide photo, the distant culvert tells of how much of the hillside has disappeared. The nearer one shows what may have contributed to the erosion; it’s aimed right at the base!!
    Yep! Big, expensive fix, there!!

  • Seems like I remember a major slip out at this same location below the General Store, maybe 20 years ago? It was a long and complex fix, as they had to dig out a new road from the hillside above.
    Anyone else remember that?

    • You are correct. My family and I were looking at property during that time in Shelter Cove and then moved here in 1999. It took them quite a while to fix that road.

    • yes Owl, I remember the first fix ~20 yrs ago didn’t seem to take long ONCE they got started.

  • Everyone acts like youre gonna be trapped in Shelter Cove with Kurt Russel playing as Snake Pliskin. Not like every other road isnt connected to every other road out there. 😂

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Another comment from someone who knows nothing about the Cove. Yeah, roads are connected In The Cove, but Shelter Cove Road is THE only road I know of to 101. Why don’t you drive it sometime and get back to us. What did I miss?

      • Uh , you missed hillside to toth and around the slide and beach rd to telegraph and around the slide ….

  • >This is nothing. Remember what the Trinity Co. residents had to navigate to get to Hyampom! ”

    That slide was north of Weaverville on Hwy 3… road is headed toward Trinity Lake/Callahan/Etna… (etc).

  • Is that not what roads are supposed to look like in humboldt? Seems they all look like that, I just figured it was normal.

  • Kym, maybe you want to interview supervisor Fennell, she responded to this on Erica’s FB page.

    “Hi Friends, I wrote a reply already but I can’t find it now. So forgive double posting if it turns up. First off this has been a problem for a while and will not be fixed overnight. It will be an extremely expensive fix but the good news is that we received federal approval to move forward with Shelter Cove Road milepost 7.6 repair in January. Our consultant reviewed the site and will be giving us a proposal in accordance with the on-call consulting agreement that was approved by the Board of Supervisors also in January. Which basically means that we can fast track it but the logistics, engineering are a huge challenge and, again, it is not a quick fix. That is why the posts and striping were put up to keep vehicles away from that section of road. Please drive carefully.”

  • We have a road just east of Alderpoint. It is halfway gone. Only one lane left, because fill was put in extending width of the remaining lane to accommodate a car. The rain washes more underlying dirt away. Counties solution, put up cones, and a warning sign. I keep thinking they will repair it as they have filled some potholes. Maybe that is wishful thinking. Someone is going to be hurt!

    • On one road here, the root heaves were so big that someone got creative and painted one to look like an alligator. The County was not pleased. They fixed it by painting over it in orange.

  • When about east branch rd

  • Jerry Brown will have that fixed in no time thanks to the new fuel tax, so hold your breath!

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