Hidden Beach

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Rating: C

A gorgeous nude beach with small numbers of visitors is emerging between Trinidad Head and Patrick's Point and College Cove. Best time to visit the string of pocket coves is low tide. During high tide, most of the sand is covered. "The few people who show up go nude there," says frequent visitor Alex, of San Rafael. "I've gone there many times, sometimes with friends, and run into other people only once or twice."

Private property.

How to find it:

From Eureka, go north on Highway 101 and take the Trinidad turnoff. At the first intersection, instead of turning right onto Stage Coach Road, which is the way to College Cove, keep going straight. Says Alex, "about a block after you pass a supermarket on your left, you will see some horse stables. Just past the horses, turn right and stay on the road for about 1.5 miles until it comes to a big, 90-degree bend and turn. Follow the bend and just after it look for a little turnout with a "No Parking" sign on the right side of the road. It only holds one or two cars. Park there and walk to the left, where you will see a fence with a hole. Walk through it and follow the path about a half mile to three-quarters of a mile, through some redwoods, to the shore. You'll get some beautiful views of the ocean along the way."

The beach:

You get to pick from six or seven small but sandy beaches next to inlets. Each of the beaches is a few hundred yards long. The beach trail is usually free of poison oak.

The crowd:

Most likely, you'll be the only person present.

Problems:

Beach washes away in high tide; private property; not much parking.

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