- 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 |
Were anti-nudity signs really recently posted at Bonny Doon Beach, whose north end has been used for clothing optional sunbathing for decades? Yes, but officials took the warnings, which were placed at two trailheads leading to the sand, down just two months later. "We're not planning to change anything," says Chet Bardo, superintendent of state beaches in the Santa Cruz district. "The truth is that we get complaints on all sides of this issue. It's not uncommon to get calls from people. This is California, after all, so what to local people might seem not that unusual sometimes turns out to shock people who are visiting from Iowa, who find it (nudity) a bit disconcerting."
"The way I see it, unless there's a problem (happening at the beach), it's not a problem to us," he adds. In fact, the only problem at Bonny Doon this year is that it has less sand than usual. A 15-foot long rock on the sand, along with a sloping cliff with rocks that jut out, separate the two sides of the cove — one clothed for clothed visitors and the other for nudes — known as Bonny Doon.
"In the short term, things at Bonny Doon are destined to continue the way they are," says Kirk Lingenfelter, sector superintendent for Bonny Doon and nearby state beaches. "Ultimately it would be nice to see some level of improvement, maybe trail work or stair work," adds Lingenfelter. "But before we'd even do that, there would need to be a General Plan or an Interim Use Plan, which we don't have. And we also don't have any funding for it."
As for nudity, Lingenfelter says his rangers, who periodically patrol the beach, haven't issued a single warning or citation for nudity since the state approved the acquisition of the beach in 2006. "We'll respond to complaints we receive," he explains, "but I can't recall (receiving) a single complaint."
Directions: From San Francisco, go south on Highway 1 to the Bonny Doon parking lot at milepost 27.6 on the west side of the road, 2.4 miles north of Red, White, and Blue Beach, and some 11 miles north of Santa Cruz. From Santa Cruz, head north on Highway 1 until you see Bonny Doon Road, which veers off sharply to the right just south of Davenport. The beach is just off the intersection. Park in the paved lot to the west of Highway 1; don't park on Bonny Doon Road or the shoulder of Highway 1. If the lot is full, drive north on Highway 1, park at the next beach lot, and walk back to the first lot. Or take Santa Cruz Metro Transit District bus route 40 to the lot; it leaves the Metro Center three times a day on Saturdays and takes about 20 minutes. To get to the beach, climb the berm next to the railroad tracks adjacent to the Bonny Doon lot, cross the tracks, descend, and take a recently improved, sign-marked trail to the sand. Walk north past most of the beach to the nude cove on the north end. Alternately, Dusty suggests parking as far north as possible, taking the northern entrance, and, with good shoes, following a "rocky and steep" walk down to the sand.
2222 BEACH, SANTA CRUZ
Aptly named 2222, a mini-nude beach that takes its title from the house across the street, is still beautiful, still hidden from most passersby, and still attracts a small crowd of regular visitors who are in good enough shape to handle its sketchy, foreboding-looking path.