Just five miles from Garberville, there's a beach on the south fork of the Eel River that's so secluded some visitors even camp nude there. Its existence was kept secret by users for years, but it's not unknown anymore -- we unveiled directions to it last year. The naked enclave, which is just off Highway 101, continues to get rave views.
"The beach is excellent for tents," says reader Dave. "It's really private and fun."
On warm days, local residents can often be found at a swimming hole with a small riverbank beach just outside the town of Willow Creek and east of Willow Creek Bridge. But not everyone there is naked. "On the day I went there wasn't anybody nude, but I know other people who like to get naked there," says a visitor who went with his girlfriend and found several other couples present.
At Big Rock Beach, near Willow Creek, both clad and unclad visitors like to sunbathe on boulders that dot the riverbank, on the edge of a forest. "It's a comfortable place, and it's really warm there," says a visitor named Vince.
Boogie Bar, on the Trinity River just west of the town of Willow Creek, has been used by college students and other skinny-dippers for decades. "The river is usually up to 25 feet wide," says visitor Alex Towery. The popular beach of sand mixed with rocks is also called the Bend and Sandy Bar. It's located between Arcata and Weaverville, just off Highway 299. On weekends, you'll usually encounter dozens of naked and suited sunbathers and swimmers. Other activities include reading and people-watching.
If you're heading east from the coast, after the town of Blue Lake look for the Salyer Roadside Rest Area, east of Maple Creek beach. Not many outsiders know about it, but a clothing-optional swimming hole used by locals and visitors is across the street from the rest stop.
Imagine riding down a river in a tube and coming across dozens of naked people in the water or sprawled on the banks. That's the eye-popping event that happens nearly every day in the summer at two swimming holes near Maple Creek and the Salyer Roadside Rest Area, both off Highway 299. The water can be icy, so there are usually far more nudies on the shore than not. Tip: bring old shoes to protect your feet from river rocks, in case you decide to take a dip.
Don't get mad, get naked -- at this skinny dipping hole on the Mad River, one of a string of nude swim sites on Highway 299, east of Highway 101. Look for this traditional plunge location off Fish Hatchery Road (please below), east of Blue Lake. Tip: for the best weather, visit in midsummer through early fall.
Are you tired of coastal fog? Then you might consider taking a quick road trip inland to some 10 clothing-optional swimming holes near the towns of Blue Lake and Willow Creek, where temperatures are often quite toasty. At least 10 clothing-optional swimming holes are located a few miles inland. Suggestion: bring drinking water and suntan lotion. Coming from the coast, the first place to enjoy nude swimming and sunbathing is this beach overlooking the Van Duzen River. On a weekday, you may be the only person present.
You may find as many as several dozen nude or topless people at this beautiful cove. But more likely, you'll see far more suited sunbathers and swimmers than those who are naked. The beach is a little larger and has a better trail than its neighbor, College Cove South. Jogging, volleyball, and Frisbee are other common pursuits here.
How to find it:
See directions for South College Cove. Take the trail at the northern end of the parking area there and go down its steps to the sand.
For the most dependable warm weather, the best time to skinny-dip at the two adjoining beaches in Trinidad known as College Cove is mid-summer through fall. Hopefully, you won't be disappointed. "It's definitely a fun place," says Jessica, a former student at nearby Humboldt State College. "Agrees reader Jack: "It has gorgeous clear water and great wind protection." Many clothed visitors also use the beach.
State property. Years ago, deputies raided the beach and handed out anti-nudity citations.Read more »
Several adjoining coves in Trinidad have become hangouts for nudists on warm days. Known collectively as Hidden Beach, they're located between Trinidad Head and Patrick's Point and College Cove. "The few people who show up go nude there," says veteran user Alex, of San Rafael. "I've gone there many times, sometimes with friends, and run into other people only once or twice." Tip: to find sand on the beach, visit in low tide.
Look for this quiet, riverbank site along the south branch of the Eel River, near the first highway exit into. It isn't visible from the highway, but there are houses nearby, so please use this area with caution. Most local residents prefer visiting North Garberville Beach, which is our next listing.