Los Padres Reservoir

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Rating: C

You're not supposed to swim in Los Padres Reservoir, much less dive into it while you are naked. But when summer temperatures soar, it not unusual to see a few naked youths to take the plunge.Instead of risking citations, others like to sunbathe without suits in lakeside areas sheltered from easy view.The swim spots are around 20 miles east of Carmel and some 5 miles east of Carmel Village, off Carmel Valley Road (G-16).

Legal status:

Unknown. The reservoir is adjacent to, but not in, Los Padres National Forest.But the paths appear to be maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Rangers are rarely present. Even though the reservoir has a long history of secret nude use, skinny-dippers may be cited.

How to find it:

From Highway 1 in Carmel, follow Carmel Valley Road (G-16) about 20 miles east, passing Carmel Village, to Cachagua Road. Turn right on Cachagua, then right on Nason Road. Take Nason to the dirt parking lot at the end. From the lot, follow the path until it forks. Then follow signs to the dam, rather than the campground. Skinny-dippers usually pick spots between a half-mile and a mile up the trail.

The beach:

Land next to a reservoir.

The crowd:

Usually just you, but on hot days, you may see naturists and/or suited swimmers.

Problems:

Swimming not permitted; better directions needed; legal status unknown.

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