Patrick’s Point parking problem

After a few months of getting nowhere immediately locally, I sent the following to John Woolley, former HumCo 3rd District Supervisor, current senior field representative to our State Assemblyman Wes Chesbro:

Several of Surfrider’s members were dismayed last winter when the folks at Patrick’s Point ceased allowing “surf checks,” an informal policy of refunding parking fees if the driver was back within 20 minutes. That way, a person could pay and have time to check the surf, but if it wasn’t good, get his or her money back.

Now, this could understandably become complicated over time as more people are surfing – and certainly we all know the parks are hurting for money and want to support them. But losing the ability to check the surf – and let me emphasize, no one minds paying the parking fee to actually surf – is causing hard feelings and raising concerns about the limiting of access.

For people who travel up and down the state, a Golden Poppy Pass ($90) is one option, but for those who just want to catch waves at Patrick’s four months out of the year, a bit steep. My proposed solution is to offer a “Surf Pass” akin to the Sno Park Pass, which is a six-month pass for $25. I’ve contacted both Patrick’s Point and our local State Parks office to no avail, unfortunately.

So I’m wondering, is this something Wes would be interested in helping with? If not, can you direct me to someone who might be? One more thing: radio stations KINS and KEKA sell some sort of pass through their shopping show that allows access to the northern parks for $43, so that is one option, but it’s rather complicated. I’d prefer something we could purchase from Patrick’s directly or maybe offer as a benefit to our members.


Jennifer Savage
Surfrider Foundation Humboldt Chapter Chair

OK, maybe I should have said, “no one has complained about paying the parking fee to actually surf,” because probably some people do mind it. But overall, I think point taken. And John emailed back to say the idea sounds reasonable. I’ll keep everyone posted as things develop.

In the meantime, to acquire a pass through KEKA/KINS, you need to call into the KINS shopping show Saturday mornings from nine to noon. The pass they sell is good for “the northern parks,” including Patrick’s, and after buying it through the station, you’ll have to pick it up at Fort Humboldt. (This is how it was explained to me. Perhaps someone who has purchased one will share further details.)


3 Responses

  1. I would imagine I’ll read more on this on the blog, but please keep me abreast on developments with this. Last time I was up north, I wanted to check the surf but was told by the lady at the kiosk that I had to pay the Park fee (and no mention of a surf check refund). I wound up hiking in to a point overlooking Agate and Patrick’s to scope the surf; which, Patrick’s wasn’t quite showing itself.

  2. Jen-
    thanks for the update.

    i just purchased a KINS shopping show park pass and you describe it accurately. i can’t believe i’ve never been to Ft. Humboldt before! great view of the Harbour Entrance from there.

    one possibly compelling argument against the loss of the “surf check” is that the new policy may unwittingly lead to resource degradation: if more people trek through the forest on undeveloped trails to look at the surf, there may be more impact to Park resources.

    incidentally, i’m leery of Surfrider encouraging members to surf at Paddy’s by getting special privileges. Paddy’s is a heavy, advanced break that only handles a small crowd.

    • just walk through the park from the road like we have for generations… It is good for you too.

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