NUDE BEACHES 2013 - Page 5

From Bonny Doon to Supermoons: our 39th annual survey of Northern California naked fun in the sun

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CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

LAS TRAMPAS REGIONAL WILDERNESS, CASTRO VALLEY

RATING: C

Imagine tromping in the East Bay Hills naked at night, guided only by your flashlight and a representative of the Bay Area Naturists group, plus a few fellow travelers. And yes, mooning during America's only Full Moon Hikes is permitted. "Those who haven't experienced these incredibly beautiful, if slightly challenging hikes to the ridge at sunset really ought to put this on their calendar this year," says organizer Dave Smith, of San Leandro, who'll be leading trips starting at a Castro Valley nudist club on Saturday, July 20, leaving at 7pm (there will be a potluck earlier), and Sunday, August 18, departing around 6:30pm.

"It's one of the greatest hikes in the Bay Area, rivaling any I know of," tells Smith. "It's right up there with the Palomarin Trail (from the Bolinas area, passing Bass Lake and Pelican Lake, to Alamere Falls, on the coast), the Cascades, and others. The walk is not hard, but it is challenging. We take it slow so everyone can make it. So far, no one has ever been hurt."

"We usually leave an hour and a half before sunset and hike up to the top to catch the sunset and moonrise and then come back down in the moonlight," he adds.

"Whether you are clothed or not, participating in the Full Moon Hike is a big treat," says past hiker Jurek Zarzycki, who suggests walkers bring good hiking shoes, a flashlight ("Most of the time you won't need it, because of the moonlight"), and bug spray. "And don't forget to have some baby carrots with you to give to the horses that sometimes come out at night, so close that you may even feel their breath. Don't worry, though, they're very friendly."

Organized by the Sequoians Naturist Club and the Bay Area Naturists, based in San Jose, walkers leave the property of The Sequoians fully clothed at dusk and walk through meadows and up hills until the moon rises, before heading back down the slopes completely nude, with their clothes folded neatly into their backpacks.

Directions: Contact the Sequoians (www.sequoians.com) or the Bay Area Naturists (www.bayareanaturists.org) for details on how to join a walk. Meet at the Sequoians. To get there, take Highway 580 east to the Crow Canyon Road exit. Or follow 580 west to the first Castro Valley off-ramp. Take Crow Canyon Road toward San Ramon .75 mile to Cull Canyon Road. Then follow Cull Canyon Road around 6.5 miles to the end of the paved road. Take the dirt road on the right until the "Y" in the road and keep left. Shortly after, you'll see The Sequoians sign. Proceed ahead for about another .75 mile to The Sequoians front gate.

SAN MATEO COUNTY

DEVIL'S SLIDE, MONTARA

RATING: A

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