increase font use small font sizeuse medium font sizeuse large font size

Patrick’s Point State Park

Thirty miles north of Eureka, in the heart of redwood country, Patrick's Point State Park juts into the Pacific Ocean on a 640-acre headland with forests of spruce, pine, fir, hemlock, and alder interspersed with meadows. Although this coast is often shrouded in fog, on a clear day (typically spring and fall) you can enjoy stunning blufftop views at Wedding Rock, Patrick's Point, and Palmer's Point. From these vantage points you can look for gray whales during their spring and fall migrations, California sea lions, stellar sea lions, and harbor seals. Bountiful spring wildflowers, including Douglas iris, fairy bells, and trillium, grace the meadows and forests. Abundant berries are found throughout summer, while fall and winter bring out a variety of mushrooms—over 500 species have been collected. Black-tailed deer are a common sight as they graze on the bluffs and grasslands.

A highlight of the park is a replica of a Yurok village, known as Sumêg. Built in 1990 by local Yuroks using traditional construction techniques, it consists of a dance pit, changing houses, sweat house, and family houses. All can be viewed from a moderately accessible trail. The Yurok use this village for dances and ceremonies to pass cultural traditions on to their young people.

Several miles of interconnected trails wind throughout the park, but most are inaccessible to wheelchair riders due to steep, rough terrain. However, the paved road that meanders through forests, meadows, and campgrounds has little traffic and offers a great way to explore the park. An adventurous person using a manual wheelchair may, with good upper body strength and some assistance, be able to navigate some of the wider, firm trails, but will encounter an abundance of tree roots. Both Patrick's Point Trail and Sumêg Village are accessible, and according to State Parks, the Campfire Center Trail from Abalone Campground to the Campfire Center is also accessible.
State Parks Advisory: Many of California's state parks are reducing hours of operation and limiting access to facilities because of budget cuts. We recommend that you consult State Parks' website and contact the park directly before planning a visit.

Trail/Pathway Details

Sumêg Trail

Trailhead: Adjacent to the visitor center

Length: Less than .5 mile

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Trail width may be less than four feet in places where you have to navigate around tree roots. The native plant garden paths narrow to less than three feet in places, due to rocks and trees.

Typical Grade: Gentle

A short uphill that you encounter about 50 feet into the native plant garden may be greater than 1:12.

Terrain: Moderately Firm

Several spots require careful maneuvering over tree roots. I easily managed in my motorized chair, but the ride was quite bumpy. The duff on the forest floor was thick in places and may cause drag on manual wheelchairs.


On my visit in late April, a few large rhododendrons at the trailhead looked ready to burst with color. The trail winds through a Sitka spruce and Douglas fir forest, lush with ferns and moss. After a short uphill stretch you come to a redwood canoe exhibit. Yuroks built their canoes from naturally fallen redwood trees and generally took several years to finish one because they worked on them only after the day's chores were completed. They built canoes in various sizes, and while the one on display is small, the larger ones weighed 1,000 pounds and reached 40 to 50 feet in length.

About a hundred feet beyond the canoe is a spur trail to Ceremonial Rock, which, given its name, I should have guessed would be inaccessible—the terrain quickly becomes steep and rough, and there's a step up to a bridge. Another hundred feet past the spur is a trail to the native plant garden, where you can see plants used by the Yurok for medicines, baskets, and ceremonial purposes. I found this tree-lined trail manageable in a motorized wheelchair, but it took some careful navigating. It was a bit overgrown and untended, but may be better maintained during the park's busier months.

The forest's cool, damp air was filled with birdsong and rays of sunlight, and an abundance of blooming white trillium lightened the landscape as well, but a few hundred yards beyond the native plant garden, when I reached the open meadow of Sumêg Village, my spirit soared in the welcome warmth of the sun. Here you can continue on the wide trail as it skirts the village structures, or cross a grassy meadow as I did, to get a closer view of the structures—this route is quite bumpy and may be challenging in a manual wheelchair. The main path leads to the cook shelter, where you can get close to one of the changing houses–used as changing rooms by the Brush Dancers of various tribes, including Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa–and the dance pit. The people of Sumêg regarded their houses as living beings and the redwood they were made from as a spirit, and their first loyalty was not to a tribe or village, but to their home.

We tried to return to the visitor center on other trails but found all of them extremely bumpy with tree roots, so returned the way we came. It is possible to drive to the Sumêg Village instead of taking the trail.

Patrick's Point

Trailhead: Wedding Rock parking lot

Length: Less than .5 mile

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Gentle

One grade near the beginning may be slightly greater than 1:12.

Terrain: Moderately Firm


This short (500-foot) trail that hugs the blufftop is worth a stop for its expansive views of the ocean. A few feet from the starting point, bear right at the fork; to the left is the inaccessible Rim Trail. Continue to the first overlook, with views to the south. The next overlook is much bigger and looks north, with Wedding Rock a short distance offshore. You might see migrating gray whales, sea lions, or seals playing in the waves or lounging on the rocks below.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Visitor Center: Accessible

Accessible Parking: Yes

At visitor center, Patrick's Point, Palmer's Point, Mussel Rocks, Lookout Rock, Campfire Center, and Sumêg Village; the last is on a slight slope and has no access aisle.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

Adjacent to the visitor center, near the parking lot at Sumêg Village, and at Mussel Rocks overlook, Lookout Rock, and the Campfire Center; a portable unit is at Palmer's Point.

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

The most accessible tables are at the visitor center, where they are scattered on a large deck surrounded by trees; in the Sumêg Village by the cook shelter; and at Mussel Rocks parking lot. At all other locations they are on mostly level and firm surfaces but you must travel across grass to reach them.

Other Things of Interest

Nearby Trinidad State Beach in picturesque, historic Trinidad has an accessible day-use picnic area on a bluff overlooking the beach. On my visit the restrooms were locked, so I was unable to assess their accessibility.
View of Wedding Rock from Patrick\'s Point Trail
View of Wedding Rock from Patrick\'s Point Trail (Leah Lewkowicz)

Features icon key

  • bicycling
  • hiking
  • particularly good for families
  • picnic
  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Address: 4150 Patrick’s Point Dr., Trinidad
Nearest City: Trinidad
Phone: (707) 677-3570
Hours: Day use: Sunrise-sunset
Visitor center: Memorial Day to Labor Day: Daily, 9 am-5 pm; variable at other times of year
Fees: Entrance
Dogs: In restricted areas
Not allowed on trails or beach
Useful Links: Redwood Parks Association
Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, April 19, 2011
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing