Arcata (from the word oket'oh in Yurok, meaning "where there is a lagoon") is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. At the 2010 census, Arcata's population was 17,231. Arcata was first settled in 1850 as Union, was officially established in 1858, and was renamed Arcata in 1860. It is located 280 miles (451 km) north of San Francisco (via Highway 101), and is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.
The Wiyot people and Yurok people inhabited this area prior to the arrival of Europeans, and continue to live in the area to this day. "Kori" is the name for the Wiyot settlement that existed on the site of what would become Arcata. The name "Arcata" comes from the Yurok term oket'oh, meaning "where there is a lagoon" (referring to Humboldt Bay), from o-, "place", plus ket'oh, "to be a lagoon". The same name was also used by the Yuroks for Big Lagoon. The natives of this region are the farthest-southwest people whose language has Algic roots, a language family shared with the Algonquian.