Agate Beach is located 30 miles north of Eureka in northern California. The Agate beach trail head is within Patrick’s Point State Park on the far side of the Agate Beach Campground parking lot. Just follow the steep decent down to the beach.
Near the breaking water, the beach is a smooth layer of smaller pebbles resembling a multicolored carpet. Larger rocks can be found closer to the bluffs.
This beach is named after the number of agates collected on the it’s shore. Most of the folks on the beach walk with their heads bowed, looking downward, searching for treasure.
We met a woman on Agate Beach who camps at Patrick’s Point every year and spends her days combing the beach for the semi precious stones. She informed us that agates are a milky colored to light brown colored stone that is translucent and shinny when wet or dry. The dry part is key, because all stones are shinny when wet. She has jars of them at home. Anita, our teacher, also said that low tide is the best time to hunt for agates. Unfortunately, the tide was high when we were there.
But there was a boat load of driftwood to be had on Agate beach, just there for the picking. I love all things related to the beach – the sand, the rocks, the shells, the birds, the sound of the breaking water and definitely the driftwood. Not all beaches have driftwood, but this one has plenty. I found a piece of driftwood, just the right size and shape, that will soon adorn my gate as it’s handle. Makes great garden art, too.
Agate Beach can also be accessed a few miles north off Highway 101 at Big Lagoon State Park. The walk from Big Lagoon to the bluffs of Agate Beach is about two miles.