The Renaming Of Patricks Point State Park To Sue
On September 30, 2021, the California State Park and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to change the name of Patricks Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park.
The name Sue-meg has been used by Yurok people to describe the area where the park is now located since time immemorial. In 1851, Irish homesteader Patrick Beegan recorded a preemption claim on the westernmost promontory of the peninsula and built a small cabin there. Beegen was implicated in the murder of a Native American boy in 1854, then escaped to the Bald Hills, east of present-day Orick. In 1864, he led a militia to a Native American village where numerous Indigenous people were massacred. Although Beegen lived in the Sue-meg area for less than three years, other homesteaders came to call the area Patricks Ranch or Patricks Point.
When the State of California purchased the site in 1930 and brought it into the State Parks system, they adopted the name already widely in use at the time, Patricks Point. In spite of that, Yurok people continued to call the area by its original place name, Sue-meg. In 1990, the Yurok community worked with California State Parks to build a recreated Yurok village within the park, and gave the village the name Sumêg to honor the ancient name associated with the place.
In January of 2021, the Yurok Tribe formally requested that the California State Park and Recreation Commission change the name of Patricks Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park.
A Lush Forest Promontory Beside The Pacific
Review by Stefani Hays
Whether you hope to see beautiful vegetation, a view of the Pacific Ocean, or sea lions playing, one of the hikes at Patricks Point will offer one, if not all of these things!
Mist on the ocean at Patricks Point State Park
Patricks Point may be hours from the nearest big city, but this state park, which sits 25 miles north of Eureka on the beautiful California coastline, is well worth going out of your way to visit. While the actual park is only one-square-mile, there is plenty to do and see to keep one busy for a day-trip or an overnight camping adventure.
The history of Patricks Point can be traced back through generations of the Yurok people. The mild climate and abundant wildlife in the area made it a great place to live. Unfortunately, in 1850, when gold was discovered in California, the Yurok people had to face large numbers of settlers, who often attacked them and brought with them new diseases, both of which caused the numbers of the Yurok to decrease dramatically. They did, however, make a fantastic recovery and are now one of the largest tribes in California, with about 5,500 Yurok living in the surrounds areas of Humboldt and Del Norte counties. In 1929, the California State Park Commission purchased Patricks Point.
The bottom line is that Patricks Point is one of the treasures of California and you should do yourself a favor and add it to your list of places to visit if youre ever on the north coast .
Camping At Patrick’s Point State Park
With an RV rental from Humboldt County will find many motorhome campgrounds to stay at while in the area. One option is Azalea Glen RV Park. Featuring manicured landscaping, this camping spot has 38 spots that come with features such as electric, cable, WiFi, water, picnic tables, and restrooms. This pet-friendly option also has an art gallery and hiking trails.
Another place to keep your RV at is Agate Campground. This travel trailer campground is a quick walk away from Agate Beach and offers 39 RV sites. Some amenities provided here include picnic tables, grills, water, and restrooms. Keep in mind that because this campground is situated near a forest, you might see some bears roaming around.
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Camping At Patricks Point State Park
Thirty miles north of Eureka in Humboldt County, a square mile of verdant jungle with colourful patches of wildflowers juts out into the craggy Pacific shoreline. Patricks Point State Park is a spectacular section of Californias coastal Redwood country, with 120 campsites, and a robust and family-friendly interpretive program. Head to the Visitor Center and pick up the Redwood EdVentures Quest brochure, a treasure map that guides kids on an exploratory hike throughout the park.
There is so much to discover here: Agate Beachs semi-precious stones polished by the surf a Native American village re-created by members of the indigenous Yurok tribe and the tidepools and network of trails connecting to the dramatic shoreline, dotted with massive rock formations. The wildlife is abundant, as this is a popular grey whale-watching spot and home to sea lions, seals, black bears, and numerous bird species. Patricks Point State Park is also close to Redwoods National and State Parks, a California must-see.
Each campsite includes a picnic table and fire pit, and offers nearby access to coin-op showers, water faucets, and bathrooms. Note that this park sees foggy conditions much of the year, and swimming is not advised at its beaches, due to rough and unpredictable surf conditions.
Best Time To Visit Patricks Point
Patricks Point State Park is a great place to visit all year long! Each season brings its own unique take on the landscape, so heres a little preview of what you might expect:
Winter Season in Patricks PointWinter in Patricks Point will likely be cold and wet. However, you will see very few visitors, which makes this an excellent place to seek solitude, and spot whales migrating south.
Spring Season in Patricks PointStill very much part of the Pacific Northwest, you can expect Patricks Point State Park to be rainy in the early spring season. Wildflowers will emerge later in the spring, and new life will awaken everywhere! Expect high water levels in rivers, and make sure to bring waterproof boots and a rain jacket!
Summer Season in Patricks PointThe days will be warm and sunny, and the nights refreshing and cool. You can experience brilliant sunsets at the cliffs by the sea, and you will likely have long periods of nice weather.
Autumn Season in Patricks PointThe fall season in this area will bring lots of fog, rainstorms, and chilly evenings. However, this is a slow time of year for visitation in the park, so you can enjoy trails by yourself for some peace and quiet. Its also a perfect place to spot whales migrating south for the winter!
Traveling to California in the Winter?Rea our San Francisco Winter Packing List!
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Key Abalone Campground Regulations
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What To Bring To Patricks Point State Park
Patricks Point is an adventurous destination. In order to make the most of your time in the park, its essential to pack these Pacific Northwest hiking essentials, but were including some more specific gear recommendations below:
Hiking Boots: In the park, youll be exploring on trails, over rocks, and near the water for a variety of terrain. Wear a waterproof hiking boot with ankle support to give your feet the most protection in this area of the California coast.
Day Backpack: To keep your hands free , pick a day backpack thats comfortable, with chest and waist straps to distribute the weight. Bonus points if it has lots of outside pockets for easy access to hiking snacks!
Camera: Patricks Point State Park is one of the most beautiful places to capture the California coastline. Whether youve got your phone or a DSLR camera, dont forget to snap photos!
Rain Jacket: Still a part of the Pacific Northwest, Patricks Point can be a rainy location, especially between fall and spring season. To cover your bases in any weather situation, pack a lightweight rain jacket to stick in your backpack!
Water Bottle: Its always a good idea to have water on-hand. Pack a tall & slim bottle like this 24 oz one from Hydro Flask to fit in your backpacks side pocket.
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Directions To Patricks Point State Park
Directions to Patricks Point State Park are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The park is 25 miles north of Eureka, California and 20 miles south of the Prairie Creek Visitors Center in the Redwoods.
Located right off Highway 101, the nearest exit is Exit 734. Head west to the ocean, and youll see signs for the entrance of the park. Be prepared to pay a day-use fee, or check into your campground right at the front of the park!
The current day-use fee to visit Patricks Point is $8.00 per vehicle. You will pay this at the entrance, and keep the tag on your dashboard during your time in the park.
Craving a longer road trip down Highway 101?
Formerly Patricks Point State Park
$35/night + $8 Open all year
A trail is carved into Wedding Rock, one of the parks main attractions
Sue-meg is a small state park on the rocky Trinidad coast. Its dominated by a dense spruce grove and naturally doesnt have any redwoods, but its only about 20 minute drive south of Redwood National Park.
The park was known as Patricks Point State Park until it was renamed in 2021. Sue-meg is the original indigenous name for the area.
The park features three campgrounds that are spacious and spread out, with plenty of room between sites and lots of shrubs to isolate the sites. The campground is well away from the highway or any major roads and doesnt get any traffic noise instead, the constant white noise of the surf fills the camp. As a result the campground feels quiet and peaceful, even on summer holiday weekends.
Agate Beach, seen from the Agate Beach Campground
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Key Agate Campground Regulations
Check Sue-meg State Park for any campground updates.
History Of Patricks Point State Park
The area of Patricks Point State Park is the native land of the Yurok people. For generations, they lived among the abundant wildlife that resides on the temperate north coast of California and built a rich culture and community.
Along the waterways, the Yurok people built homes out of wood and traveled through the river via wooden canoes. They fished salmon, hunted wildlife like deer and rabbits, and collected berries and nuts in the surrounding forest.
In the 1850s during the gold rush, many settlers from the east overwhelmed the area, forcing them out of their native homeland. Much effort has taken place to restore and revitalize the traditions and language of the Yurok community. In 1929, the California State Park purchased 640 acres of Patricks Point over a series of several years, to dedicate a section to creating a traditional Yurok village for education, history, and cultural preservation now called Sumeg Village.
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What Is There To Do At Patricks Point
640-acres large and sitting in the head of Californias Coastal Redwoods, Patricks Point State Park is a must-see destination on any Northern California road trip. Perched right on the ocean headlands, the park is filled with a dense collection of spruce, pine, fire, alder, and hemlock trees that go right up to the oceans edge. During the spring and early summer, you can expect to find wildflower filled meadows among pockets of trees, and some of the dreamiest sunrises and sunsets on the California coast.
Hiking, wildlife viewing, and beachcombing are in abundance here at Patricks Point. There are plenty of opportunities to explore tide pools, collect treasures that wash up on the shore, and even go whale watching.
The enormous cliffside and incredible sea stacks and rock formations dominate the view for dramatic scenes at any time of day! One of the most popular things to do at Patricks Point is to visit the cliffs for brilliant sunrises and sunsets.
Love Whale Watching? See them migrate at Point Reyes Seashore Near San Francisco, CA