Patrick's Point State Park is one of the jewels of the Northern California coast. With its lush forests, sheer cliffs, broad sandy beaches and peaceful meadows, the park is a visual delight.
Even though the park is in the heart of Redwood country, the forests here are made up of spruce, hemlock, pine, fir and red alder. With 60 inches of annual rainfall (occurring mostly from November through April), the forests are lush with ferns, moss and dense vegetation. Banana slugs love it here too, so watch your step.
The park is close to popular Northern California attractions. It's virtually next door to Redwood National Park and 25 miles north of Eureka.
Agate Beach is reason enough to visit Patrick's Point. This swath of wide sandy beach stretches 2 miles north to Humboldt Lagoons. Beachcombers come here to find agate, jade, jaspar, and other semi-precious stones. There's plenty of driftwood as well. Be aware that the ocean here is cold and treacherous. Swimming and even wading can be hazardous.
Take the short, steep footpath from the parking area at Agate Beach Campground to the beach. The path is .3 miles long, and there are stairs.
Patrick's Point State Park features 6 miles of trails, including the 2 mile long Rim Trail, which follows an old Indian path over the bluffs. You can take the Rim Trail to reach Wedding Rock, Patrick's Point and Palmer's Point, which offer spectacular views. They're also great vantage points during whale watching season.
At Palmer's Point, near the south end of the park, you'll find tide pools to explore, while sea lions and harbor seals lounge about on the offshore rocks.
Patrick's Point offers some of the best camping in Northern California. People flock here during the summer months to beat the heat and enjoy the scenery. If you want to avoid the crowds, fall and spring are excellent times to come. You may even enjoy some clear days free of the usual morning and evening fog, which sometimes even lasts all day in the summer.
There are 3 family campgrounds with a total of 124 campsites and 2 group campgrounds. Facilities include picnic tables, fire pits, water faucets, restrooms, and coin-operated showers.
The family campgrounds include Agate Beach, Penn Creek and Abalone. Wheelchair-accessible campsites are available at the Abalone and Agate Beach campgrounds. Reservations are recommended.
The group campgrounds include Beach Creek, which can accommodate 100 people, and Lookout Rock, which accommodates 24 people.
Patrick's Point is teeming with wildlife. You'll find a fascinating variety of plants and animals in the tide pools, and California sea lions, Stellar sea lions and harbor seals can be seen on the offshore rocks. There's a variety of birds, as well as black-tailed deer, bears, and raccoons. Migrating gray whales can be spotted from the park's high bluffs, and sometimes they even summer here.
One of the most unusual features at Patrick's Point State Park is the recreated Yurok village, Sumeg. The village was constructed with the help of local Yurok people, who also use the village for educational and cultural activities. The village includes three family houses, a sweathouse, a dance pit, three changing houses and a redwood canoe.
Next to the village is a Native Plant Garden, which features many of the native plants the Yuroks found useful.
The park's visitor center contains a variety of exhibits, and the park offers nature walks, campfire programs and educational programs.
Dogs are permitted on a leash only in the campgrounds and day use areas. They are prohibited on trails and beaches.
Visit the California State Parks' web page for Patrick's Point State Park to make camping reservations. Be sure to download the brochure, which includes a detailed map. The video is also worth a look.