Our 38th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun
What's the only Golden Gate National Recreation Area park where you can walk your dog without a leash, as well as the spot where the world record for the farthest tossed object (a flying ring sent soaring 1,333 feet by Erin Hemmings) was set in 2003? Answer: Fort Funston, which is affectionately called Fort Fun by its fans. Known for its magnetic sand, steady winds (especially in March and October) that make its cliffs popular for hang gliding, and, in particular, its dogs, who appear here with their human escorts by the hundreds, the area even attracts a few naturists from time to time. Mostly hidden away in the sand dunes on the beach, naked sunbathers usually stay away on the weekends, when families swarm the area. To keep the "fun" in Fort Funston, even on weekdays, be sure to use caution before disrobing.
Directions: From San Francisco, go west to Ocean Beach, then south on the Great Highway. After Sloat Boulevard, the road heads uphill. From there, curve right onto Skyline Boulevard, go past one stoplight, and look for signs for Funston on the right. Turn into the public lot and find a space near the west side. At the southwest end, take the sandy steps to the beach, turn right, and walk to the dunes. Find a spot as far as possible from the parking lot.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
LAS TRAMPAS REGIONAL WILDERNESS, CASTRO VALLEY
Want to go walking around nude at night outside without being hauled off to jail? Imagine hiking naked guided only by your flashlight in the East Bay Hills, with the trail silhouetted by a full moon and small herds of horses coming up to greet you.
"It's absolutely surreal," says Jurek Zarzycki. "The horses come within inches of you, so close you can feel their breath. It's like being on a moonscape with aliens. You may be a little afraid at first, but the horses are very friendly."
America's only nude "Full Moon Hikes" have been taking place on summer full moon nights in Castro Valley for more than seven years. The next ones will be held July 29, August 31 (arrive by 6pm), and September 28 (starting at 5:15pm) "We start early so that we have the full moon already risen by the time the sun sets," says San Leandro's Dave Smith, who leads most of the hikes. "Then we hike up the trail around sunset."
Coordinated by a partnership between the Sequoians Naturist Club and the Bay Area Naturists, based in San Jose, walkers leave the property of the Sequoians fully clothed at dusk and walk through meadows and up hills until the moon rises, before heading back down the slopes completely nude, with their clothes folded neatly into their backpacks.
After the walk, most hikers shower at The Sequoians, and, for a fee of $5, take a dip in the 86-degree pool there and enjoy a plunge in the facility's hot tub. "It was fabulous," says Zarzycki about an earlier trek. "I pitched my tent right there at The Sequoians and then slept under the sky."
Directions: Contact The Sequoians (www.sequoians.com) or the Bay Area Naturists (www.bayareanaturists.org) for details on how to join a walk. Meet at The Sequoians. To get there, take Highway 580 east to the Crow Canyon Road exit. Or follow 580 west to the first Castro Valley off-ramp. Take Crow Canyon road toward San Ramon .75 mile to Cull Canyon road. Then follow Cull canyon road around 6.5 miles to the end of the paved road. take the dirt road on the right until the "Y" in the road and keep left. Shortly after, you'll see The Sequoians sign. Proceed ahead for about another .75 mile to The Sequoians front gate.
SAN MATEO COUNTY