Are you adventurous? Then you'll love this news: even more clothing-optional spots can be discovered along the riverbank past Willow Creek and the locations mentioned in Elsewhere Near Willow Creek. "The whole river is full of great swimming holes," says Kensington resident Ian Colvert, a former Humboldt State University student who's now a physical science technician for the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What was his formula for finding them? "I just went with my girlfriend, and we got naked whenever we could."
How to find it:
Take Highway 101 north to Eureka and Arcata. Join Highway 299 two miles north of Arcata. Drive east approximately 30 minutes and check for access to the river several miles east of Willow Creek. If you see cars pulled over, it might indicate a spot worth exploring. Look for a path next to the cars, leading down to the river. Colvert's favorite site is on "a little squirrelly part of the river. It's a ways down (from the highway), about a quarter mile from where you park. Above the beach, there's a little cliff that we jump off into the river." You may find the riverbank deserted. "Usually there aren't too many people there," says Colvert. "That's the way it is here, and that's the way it should be."
Riverbank, with or without sand.
Probably just you.
Rocky river bottom (bring old shoes); cold water; needs better directions; unknown legal status.