- This Week
From Bonny Doon to Supermoons: our 39th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun
07.16.13 - 3:13 pm | Gary Hanauer |
"Don't even think about visiting the beach," urges Golden Gate National Recreation Area public affairs specialist Alexandra Picavet, who points out that users won't have access to the beach, ocean, parking, restrooms, or garbage cans. "Find a new experience — the Bay Area has plenty — to try this summer and then you'll really appreciate Muir Beach when it reopens."
Because the main portion of Muir is blocked by fencing and being patrolled by rangers, anyone trying to reach Little Beach, as the nude area next to Muir is also known, will have to hike anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to reach the shore and then continue walking to the naked area. Picavet says that if you stop for any length of time in front of the non-nude part of Muir, even to stand and admire the view or take a dip in the water, you'll be cited.
While cops are tightening the use of beaches in Marin, they're relaxing their hold in Monterey County. In fact, nudists at Garrapata Beach, close to Carmel, have something to celebrate: "nudie" patrols by rangers have ended, in part because the state ran out of money to fund them and because not a single complaint has been received in 2013.
"We've been complaint free," says Sean James, who became acting state parks superintendent for the area in April and appears to be fairly tolerant of naturists. "I don't see how just being nude would be threatening."
Please be careful at our beaches. Two women in their 30s died June 30 after they were swept into the ocean by a wave near another popular nude beach, Bonny Doon. They were with two men when the wave swept the foursome into the water. The two men were rescued by a Coast guard helicopter after being stranded on some rocks and surrounded by a rising tide.
Of course, you don't have to go to the sea to be nude. Our listings include naked lakes, rivers, waterfalls, reservoirs, and at least one meadow. Or how about hiking while wearing only your birthday suit? Au naturel "Full Moon Hikes" have been happening for several years. But the world's first-ever "Supermoon Nude Hike" (named after a new or full moon which occurs with the moon within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth) took place right here in the Bay Area the night before the brightest moon of 2013.
"I'll never forget the hike," said Raj, one of the walkers, after making the trek in the East Bay Hills, near Castro Valley, June 22. "I will think of it every time I see a full moon."
Agrees Dave Smith, of San Leandro, who led it: "It was spectacular — one of the greatest hikes ever. Keep in mind we did it in moonlight, while even having to scramble on all fours down some rocks. I felt like Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit."
Want to join in the fun? More "Full Moon Hikes" will take place July 20 and August 18 (see our online listings below for Las Trampas in Contra Costa County).
Another idea to meet and socialize with fellow naturists: drop by Santa Cruz's Bonny Doon Beach on September 21 or Lake Tahoe's Secret Harbor Creek Beach on June 7, 2014, when visitors will be getting together to keep them clean by finding and removing trash.
Finally, you can help beachgoers and the naturist community by sending me your new beach discoveries, trip reports, and improved directions (especially road milepost numbers), along with your phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Hanauer, c/o San Francisco Bay Guardian, 71 Stevenson, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.
Our ratings: "A" signifies a beach that is large or well-established and where the crowd is mostly nude; "B" indicates places where fewer than half the visitors are nude; "C" means small or emerging nude areas; and "D" depicts spots that are in use, but not recommended.