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Coastal Hiking at Wedding Rock in Patrick's Point State Park

Even if you’re not getting married anytime soon, you’ve gotta visit Wedding Rock, the most dramatic spot in Patrick’s Point State Park. It’s called Wedding Rock because the park’s original caretaker got married there, and to this day people continue to exchange vows in the same spot. It’s not hard to see why.

The California coastline here ripples with turquoise coves as the deep blue sea sits in the distance, sending churlish waves dramatically ashore. You can drive to a nearby parking lot for quick and easy access to Wedding Rock, but we recommend making the most of this coastal state park by hiking for a couple of miles, starting from Agate Beach Campground. From the parking area here you can pick up the Rim Trail for an easy west-heading coastal bluff walk leading to the punchline—Wedding Rock!—within a mile.

After exploring the rock and taking all the obligatory selfies and regular pics, continue along the bluffs to find other viewpoints off the Rim Trail, including Patrick’s Point and Rocky Point. Return the way you came. View-hopping never was so fun, or so spectacular.

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BEACH BONUS: Agate Beach Campground has a short hiking trail that leads down to Agate Beach, a long stretch of sand famous for its namesake agates, semi-precious translucent stones frequently thrust ashore by power-waves from the Pacific, making beachcombing here a favorite pastime.

TIP: During migration season Patrick’s Point is a terrific place to spot gray whales out at sea.

Patrick’s Point State Park is 29 miles north of Eureka on Hwy. 101. You can drive directly to a parking area that’s only a 5-minute walk to Wedding Rock. Or to make a 3-mile hike, park at the Agate Campground at the day-use lot by campsite #99. Walk back up the road a few minutes. Find the Rim Trail (unsigned) on the right, next to the Agate Campground entrance sign. Follow the Rim Trail all the way to Wedding Rock and Abalone Campground. Note that you’ll make a short jog towards Mussel Rocks to stay on the Rim Trail. Then turn around and return the way you came. No dogs on trails.

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