Gary Hanauer

Cross Rock Beach

Rating: D

Pebble-covered Cross Rock Beach is so tiny that it sometimes remains underwater until late summer. The beach path is so steep and dangerous that "you shouldn't even think about using it," says Red Rock regular Hugh Fullerton, who estimates the trail's angle at 45 degrees. At least one person has fallen from the cliffs.Read more »

Naked fun in the sun!

Our 36th annual guide to Bay Area nude beaches


Entertainer Wavy Gravy and Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg like Red Rock Beach; Marin Superior Court Commissioner Roy Chernus favors Bass Lake, and Marin County Sup. Steve Kinsey says he's been naked at Red Rock, Bolinas, Hagmier Pond, and Mount Vision Pond.Read more »

South Whale Beach

Rating: C

For naturists, often-deserted South Whale Beach is a dream come true: a spot where you can often be "one with nature" without anyone disturbing you. To find this naked nook, continue on the trail from North Whale Beach until you reach the end of the path. The quick and easy walk terminates at the top of South Whale Beach, which can be reached by stepping down some small rocks from there onto the sand.

Legal status:

Part of Toiyabe National Forest.

How to find it:Read more »

North Whale Beach

Rating: C

Named after the rocks offshore that look like the head of a whale, North Whale Beach and South Whale Beach are Tahoe's most remote -- and private -- nude enclaves. They're great to visit if you're seeking a little solitude, but the walk to the sites is pretty long. To reach North Whale, you'll need to take a trail from the lake's other clothing-optional beaches. Bring a towel, reading material, and sunscreen to savor the serenity of this secluded section of shore.

Legal status:

Part of Toyiabe National Forest.

How to find it:Read more »

Secret Harbor Creek Beach

Rating: A

Do you own a cap or other hat? If so, then you might want to participate in Secret Harbor Creek Beach's 31st annual "only wear a hat" day August 19. Can't drop by then? Something fun is always happening on this normally pristine beach. For example, an all-nude potluck on the sand will take place on the Saturday after July 4 next year. And volunteers are needed for next June's annual beach cleanup, which drew a record 24 people this year.Read more »

Boaters Beach

Rating: B

Watercraft users who park on the shoreline of this delightful beach are sometimes astonished to see nudists sprawling on the sand. But the show doesn't last long. Once the boaters appear, the naked people usually put on their suits, only to take them off again when they leave.Read more »

Secret Cove

Rating: A

Also called Paradise Cove, Secret is one of the "nudest" of the Tahoe clothing-optional beaches. And it's also the one that typically has the least sand during high water years. The good news: this season, everything's fine.

Known too as Secret Cove Beach, Paradise Rock, and Frankie Loves Dougie Beach, the site has a long history of clothing-optional use. During stopovers a few years ago, San Leandro's Dave Smith found 90 percent of the visitors were nude, while Steve Williams estimated an impressive 95 percent were wearing their birthday suits.Read more »

Chimney Cove

Rating: C

On weekends, Chimney usually draws a crowd of swimsuit-wearing families. "But when other people are not around, it's sometimes used by teens and twenty-somethings who go nude during the week," tells a regular visitor.

Sadly, during parties by the young people, the site is sometimes trashed. In response, local naturists usually organize garbage pickups several times a year. "During the past two decades, we've held a number of events to clean up the beach, but within a few weeks, kids start leaving their garbage there again," says TAN's North Swanson.Read more »

Hidden Beach

Rating: B

It may be hidden to passersby on the road above its location, but we'll give you directions to find this beautiful little cove, which is about a half mile south of Incline Village. Hidden Beach is the first of a line of seven intriguing clothing-optional shorelines near Sand Harbor on Lake Tahoe in an area just south of Incline.

"The sand situation is pretty good," says North Swanson, the much-respected leader of the Tahoe Area Naturists (TAN). "We have plenty of sand now and, as we get deeper into the summer, we'll have more."Read more »