Sun and Sea for Everyone: Beach Wheelchairs in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties

Beach Wheelchair The California Coastal Commission Information from the California Coastal Commision:

You can borrow a beach wheelchair for free at more than 100 beaches in California, and new locations have just been added to our list for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties! There are also beach walkers at some spots…

Beach Wheelchairs are equipped with large, wide wheels which can roll across the sand without sinking. They usually require users to be accompanied by someone pushing them, although several California locations offer motorized chairs which may be self-propelled.

All of the beaches on the map below own their own wheelchairs and lend them free of charge.

Please contact beaches directly to make arrangements to use their chairs. Users may be asked to leave a form of personal identification while borrowing the chair. Chairs are most commonly available from a lifeguard or the entrance kiosk at a beach, although a few are handled by concessionaires whose names appear on the list. Some may be reserved ahead of time, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call ahead for availability.

The California Coastal Commission is sharing this information as part of a commitment to helping all residents of the state experience the beach firsthand. Do you know a California beach with a wheelchair that is missing from this list?
Please e-mail [email protected] and let us know.Beach Wheelchair The California Coastal Commission

Mendocino County

Chairs must be reserved ahead for delivery; call (707) 937-5804.

  • Van Damme State Park, Little River
  • Big River Beach, Mendocino Headlands State Park
  • Russian Gulch State Park
  • Caspar Headlands State Beach
  • MacKerricher State Park

Humboldt County

  • Manila Dunes, at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center, (707) 444-1397 (Note: While the HCNC has a beach wheelchair, it has to be taken to another location because it cannot be used on our trails, Reports Amy Eberwein from Friends of the Dunes) 
  • Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary, at the Interpretive Center, (707) 826-2359
  • Patrick’s Point (no beach access; borrow chair then drive to your location), (707) 677-3570
  • Stone Lagoon (no beach access; sign chair out at Patrick’s Point, then drive to your location), (707) 677-3570 or (707) 465-7335
  • Freshwater Lagoon Beach, at Kuchel Visitor Center, Orick, (707) 465-7765
  • Gold Bluffs Beach, Orick, (707) 465-7335

Del Norte County

  • Crescent Beach picnic area, (707) 465-7335
  • Redwood Harbor Village RV park, Crescent City Harbor, (707) 388-0159
  • Tolowa Dunes State Park, Crescent City (borrow a chair elsewhere and drive), (707) 465-7335

To find out which California beaches offer wheelchairs to borrow, click on the county of your choice. This is the same information found in the map above.

Please contact beaches directly to make arrangements to use their chairs.

Del Norte
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco
San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz



  • That’s awesome.

  • What a wonderful thing.

  • Hey Kym, I know you’re a conscientious journalist, so I just wanted to let you know that “handicapped” is no longer the preferred term for people with disabilities and/or who use wheelchairs. There is a disability style guide at the link that I’m sure you will find useful:

    Also, many people who use wheelchairs read websites independently, there’s no need to address these types of notices to their family members or caregivers, but directly to the consumers.

    • I just read this 3x looking for the word “handicapped” and couldn’t find it? did I miss it in my skimming or did something get changed in the last half an hour. Also, this is a Coastal Commission press release, not Kym’s original writing. Your comment should be directed to them.

      • I believe they were referring to what is called the flavor text that I added on my website. I’ve changed it now.

        • Thanks for being so gracious, Kym!

          • Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I’ll do my best to keep up.

            • I’d give you both a thumbs up but I refuse to get another account. Thank you Kym for doing a great job here. Thank you No Joke for keeping ’em straight 🙂

        • The origin of the term “handicapped” comes from the phrase “hat in hand,” which designates someone who must beg for sustenance or another favor. Just in case anyone is wondering why it might matter.

          • im gonna stop saying it

            I agree with you we shouldn’t use the term. Hat n Hand seems to have a different meaning than begging. Very interesting and also a put down.

            “Handicap has been disparaged as a result of false folk etymology that says it is a reference to begging. It is actually derived from an old game, Hand-i’-cap, in which two players trade possessions and a third, neutral person judges the difference of value between the possessions.[12] The concept of a neutral person evening up the odds was extended to handicap racing in the mid-18th century. In handicap racing, horses carry different weights based on the umpire’s estimation of what would make them run equally. The use of the term to describe a person with a disability—by extension from handicap racing, a person carrying a heavier burden than normal—appeared in the early 20th century.[13]”

          • …..and here we go with California political correctness. Ok. Don’t call me “white” then…. I’m European American Lol

    • What happened to freedom of speech??? The article forgot crippled oh my….

  • Friggen’ AWESOME!! What a cool idea!

    • Don’t mean to be a spoilsport, but as a disabled McKinleyville resident, I see none of the beaches I would use on this list, like Moonstone, Mad River, or Clam Beach. I have to wonder how a tiny place like Orick got two beaches with wheelchairs.

      • Redwood National and State Parks has a headquarters and a visitor center in Orick. This requires the kind of funds that are pretty hard to come by for entities like Humboldt County, which is nominally in charge of the beaches you mention. Not that that is a valid excuse….

  • I say let em terrorize the beach on this. (Seriously)

  • We need this at the Westport union landing beach too!!!!

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