Garberville Nude Beach

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Rating: C

Superman has his Fortress Of Solitude in the Arctic, but Garberville's oasis of peace can be found at a little-known skinny-dipping hole near the first highway exit into town. Located on the south branch of the Eel River, the riverbank site isn't visible from the highway, but there are houses nearby, so use this area with caution.

Unknown, may be public property.

How to find it:

From Mendocino, go north on Highway 1 to Garberville, passing Rockport and Leggett (where 1 merges with Highway 101), or take 101 north all the way to Garberville. The road becomes a two-lane highway bordered by redwoods. Take the first Garberville exit. Turn left at the "To San Francisco" sign, the first major intersection in the city. Instead of following the highway onramp, go straight. After the street goes downhill, turn right onto the first paved road. Park near the big pile of gravel (you may see cars pulled over, which is usually a good sign). An easy trail, usually without poison oak, will take you to the south fork of the river.

The beach:

A skinny-dipping hole, protected from view from the road by a hill. Bring flip-flops or old sneakers to wear in the river.

The crowd:

Probably just you. Even on hot days, you may find only a few nude bathers.

Problems:

Unknown legal status; cold water; homes nearby; river rocks.

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