Agate Beach

Pub date January 5, 2010
WriterGary Hanauer

Rating: C

There are nude rockers, but what about nude rock collectors?  At the south end of Agate Beach, at Patrick’s Point State Park, north of Trinidad, you can be both.  Small numbers of naked rock hunters, along with clad visitors, sometimes scour the shoreline for beach agates.  Due to intermittent summer fog, spring and fall are the best times to search for the colorful gems.  The hills behind the beach are usually covered in purple lupine flowers in the spring.  The area is also suitable for tanning tune-ups on summer afternoons when the sun is shining.  Other fun activities include tide pooling, camping (the beach’s campground has 124 sites, showers, and a picnic table, plus a cabin that sleeps four), and hiking.  Tip: take the Rim Trail to viewpoints of harbor seals, sea lions, and gray whales.

Legal status:

Part of Patrick’s Point State Park.

How to find it:

Take Highway 101 north for about 25 miles, north of Eureka and five miles north of the Trinidad exit to Patrick’s Point State Park, which is 56 miles south of Crescent City. From Agate Campground, look for the Agate Beach trailhead and take the short, steep path to the beach, passing spots that offer nice vistas of Agate Beach and Humboldt Lagoons State Park far below.

The beach:

What’s the main activity at this nine-mile long, clothing optional beach? Looking for agates, of course! Wave-polished black jade and beach agates can be found in the sand and tidal zone at the water’s edge. Winter storms also usually dump loads of driftwood on the shore.

The crowd:

On warm weekdays “you might find three or four people going nude here,” says Alex. Except for the south end of the beach, Agate mainly gets clothed use. On weekends, nudism usually disappears.


Day use and overnight camping fees; wind and fog during the summer; nude use occurs only on weekdays; agates are easiest to find in winter; fierce riptides and cold, hazardous water limits swimming.