Coyote Flat

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Rating: C

Big Sur's main skinny-dipping hole is located on the Big Sur River, within Andrew Molera State Beach. Rangers tend to leave it alone, even though most locals know it's the "in" place to be on hot summer days. "A lot of people go there, and they do sometimes go naked," says a visitor. The trail to the hole begins across from the state beach's main parking lot.

Part of Andrew Molera State Beach, where rangers discourage clothing-optional sunbathing. However, nobody in recent memory has been cited here.

How to find it:

From the main state beach parking lot (see above), cross the river to its west side and look for River Trail. Follow River Trail unit it ends at Big Sur River The hole is at the end of the path. For more information, see Hiking The Big Sur Country: The Ventana Wilderness by Jeffrey Schaffer (Wilderness Press, 1988).

The beach:

Best time to visit this six-foot-deep river pool with a little beach is midday. In the morning and late afternoon, there's less sun, due to the surrounding foliage.

The crowd:

"Even though it's popular, at any given time you won't see more than a few people there," says a visitor.

Problems:

Threat of law enforcement; too shady and cool for much use in spring or fall; hole visible to occasional (but rare) visits by horseback riders on River Trail.

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