Indian Head Beach

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Rating: C

A few naturists visit this beach in the town of Marina from time to time on warm summer days and during trips by nudist groups."Some walkers and fishermen also come by," says Tiburon lawyer Charles Harris II, who's been helping push a project to make the spot an officially designated nude beach for years.So far, despite Harris' persistence, that effort has fallen on deaf ears.

Legal status:

Part of Fort Ord Dunes State Park.

How to find it:

From San Jose, take Highway 101 south to Prunedale, then Highway 156 west to join Highway 1 south at Castroville. Approaching Marina, exit at Reservation road, turning left (east). At the first signal, go right on Reservation, then follow it a half mile to Lake Drive. Turn right on Lake. Follow it half a mile until it goes under the freeway.

Or from Monterey, go north on Highway 1 to Marina. Exit at Del Monte Avenue. Proceed straight through the first signal, then turn left at the next signal on Palm Avenue. Follow it across the tracks, take the second left onto Lake Drive, and stay on it as it goes under the freeway.

Once under the freeway, park straight ahead on the right side of Lake. Look for the Marina Beach sign. "The obvious path uphill is your route," says Harris. "The climb really is as steep as it looks." Go up and over the sand dune, staying on the trail. At the beach, turn left and walk about half a mile south to the nude area.

The beach:

Normally narrow and steep, Indian Head can sometimes be a broad beach, bordered by rolling dunes of invitingly soft sand.

Here's how the site looks

The crowd:

You may encounter a few other nudists, an entire group of naked people from a club or other group, or none at all.

Problems:

Steep trail; cold, hazardous water; often foggy or windy; some litter; sparse use, so it may feel a bit lonely; nudity not yet approved by state.

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