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Everything to Know About Boating in Two Harbors, Catalina Island

TWO HARBORS— Catalina Island is comfortably located off the coast of Southern California, making it a boater’s paradise. Two Harbors, colloquially known as “The Isthmus,” is a small community island village on the Island with a population of 298 (according to the Census of 2000). It is the second center of population on the Island, besides the city of Avalon. Two Harbors is predominantly a resort village, but its location on the west end of the Island is a popular destination for many SoCal boaters. Isthmus Cove near the village of Two Harbors and the secluded coves nearby have mooring and anchorage options to help you make the most of your Catalina Island boating experience.

Once settled, boaters can explore miles of hiking and biking trails or swim through a giant kelp forest and spot up to 50 species of fish and invertebrates in visibility that often transcends 60 feet. Whether you spend time on the water or come ashore and explore, boaters are destined to have a good time in Two Harbors.

The Two Harbors system offers over 700 moorings and anchorages in more than a dozen different sites, including Isthmus, Fourth of July Cove, Cherry Coves, Emerald Bay, Howland’s Landing, Little Geiger, White’s Landing, Moonstone, Hen Rock, Buttonshell, Catalina Harbor and Wells Beach. There are multiple options for the location that fits perfectly for your west-end adventure. Mooring reservations are available starting at 8:00 p.m. each Thursday evening for the upcoming weekend. A 2-night minimum stay is required during regular weekends, and holiday weekends require a 3-day minimum stay.

The moorings around Catalina Island are leased to private parties but are rented out when available. Mooring charges are based on the size of the mooring and the length of your stay. Moorings are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check-out time is 9 a.m., and if you wish to extend your stay, contact Harbor Patrol on VHF Channel 9 to check availability.

Mooring Sites:

Catalina Harbor: Catalina Harbor has 96 moorings and anchorage for over 200 boats. Ballast Point, a natural sand spit, extends across a portion of the harbor entrance. A public dinghy dock, picnic facilities, and free pump-out service are available. Contact Harbor Patrol on VHF Channel 09.

Isthmus Cove 

With 242 moorings and anchorages for well over 100 vessels, Isthmus Cove is second only to Avalon Harbor in boating activity on Catalina. Shoreboat rides are available year-round, with 24-hour service in the summer.

4th Of July Cove 

This gem is west of Isthmus Cove, with 42 moorings and deep water (100+ feet) anchorages.

Cherry Cove 

Cherry Cove has 99 moorings and deep water (100+ feet) anchorages. Lion’s Head, a prominent land point on the west side of the cove, protects vessels from afternoon winds.

Little Geiger & Big Geiger Coves 

Leased to the Offshore Cruising Club, Little Geiger Cove is an intimate cove with only one mooring. Blue Water Cruising Club leases facilities at Big Geiger Cove, which offers anchorage for ten boats.

Howland’s Landing 

The next cove west of Big Geiger, Howland’s Landing, has moorings for 40 boats. Catalina Island Camp is onshore, and the Los Angeles Yacht Club has shoreside facilities. The Howland’s Landing watershed is the largest on Catalina’s West End.

Emerald Bay 

Located west of Howland’s Landing, Emerald Bay has 102 moorings and anchorage for five to ten boats. This cove has a long strip of natural sandy beach for boaters.

Button Shell Cove 

Button Shell Cove sits seven miles east of Isthmus Cove. Button Shell Cove has seven moorings and anchorage for ten boats.

Hen Rock 

Hen Rock is located a smidgen south of Long Point, which offers 25 moorings and anchorage for 40 boats. With abundant sea life and several reefs, Hen Rock is a great location for diving enthusiasts.

White’s Landing & Moonstone Cove  

These coves are located past Long Point, east of Two Harbors. They have a combined 58 moorings and anchorage for 50 boats. White’s Landing offers one of the Island’s nicest and most expansive sandy beaches.

For more information, visit

June Harbor Activity Report


People Aboard Boats 5712 Average Temp- High 65
Vessels Moored 1428 Average temp- Low 56
Vessels Anchored 157 Average Sea Temp 64
Moorings Sold/ Transferred 2/0 Rain (inches) .15
Citations Issued/ Discharges 0/0 Rain Days 2
Total Cruise Ship Passengers/ Visits 27,156/7 Weather Warnings 0

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