Big Rock Beach

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Rating: C

Lack of sand doesn't stop suitless sunbathers from sunning themselves at Big Rock Beach, near Willow Creek. "It's a comfortable place, and it's really warm there," says Vince, who was introduced to the area by friends. Visitors, who include clad and topless tanners, like to bake on the boulders that dot the riverbank.

Unknown.

How to find it:

From the coast, follow Highway 299 east about 30 minutes to the town of Willow Creek and turn left (or north) two turnoffs before the town's Chevron gas station. Follow the road several miles past a gravel quarry. After forest growth begins to increase, look for cars pulled over in a large turnout next to a rocky outcropping over the river. Park and take the steep path near the turnout, by the Forest Service sign, down to the water.

The beach:

Rocky and remote, the big, smooth stones here are used for sunbathing by visitors in the summer and early fall.

The crowd:

Probably just you and your group. The beach gets both nude and non-nude use.

Problems:

Not much sand; unknown legal status; needs better directions.

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