Fullers Beach

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Rating: B

Surfers and nude sunbathers love little, out-of-the-way Fullers, despite its fairly long, poison-oak-strewn beach trail. George, a state parks aide at nearby Molera, says he doesn't mind having to carry his surfboard up and down the steep, 20-minute path. "It's kind of a secret beach, even to people here in Big Sur," he says. "Just remember to take a shower with liquid soap when you get home, and you shouldn't have a problem from the plants."

Unknown, but not thought to be state property.

How to find it:

Finding Fullers is a little dicey. Along Highway 1, south of Big Sur and Pfeiffer Beach, look for the Nepenthe Restaurant, 29 miles south of Carmel, 2 miles south of Pfeiffer Beach and 63 miles north of San Simeon. A few miles south of the restaurant, before Highway 1 curves to the east (Grimes Canyon), check for cars pulled over on the west (ocean) side of the highway in a little pullout next to a telephone pole. A larger pullout used mostly by Caltrans workers is on the east side of the road. Follow the path from the west pullout to the beach. "It's very steep," says George. "When you go to the beach, you will be going straight down. But coming back, you will be going straight up."

The beach:

If you are a fan of rugged isolation, you'll love windswept Fullers. The beach is a haven for the few local surfers who know about it. You're more likely to find boards than sunbathers on the beach.

The crowd:

On good wave-riding days, most of the crowd will be in the water, while you will be sitting there, sprawled out in the nude on your beach towel, watching the free surf show, thinking to yourself, "Yes, life is good!" Usually, only a few nude sunbathers use the site.

Problems:

Not very sandy; poison oak on trail; unknown legal status; pullout hard to find; steep path; not too many nudists present.

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