Nude Beaches

Humboldt Country

Garberville Nude Beach


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.Read more »

Baker's Beach


Rating: A

Recommended!

To find one of Humboldt County's skinny-dipping treasures, check out this delightful little cove that's 12 miles north of Arcata, off Highway 101. Named after the Baker family, who are believed to own the property, the nude beach has tide pools, agates, and a quarter moon-shaped shore that's protected from view by surrounding foliage. "It's really quiet there," says Vince, an Arcata resident. "It's never crowded. And the trail is easy."Read more »

Hidden Beach


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."

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South College Cove


Rating: A

Recommended!

Fall is one of the best times to visit the two beaches -- to the north and south -- that form what is locally known as College Cove. Or visit in mid or late summer, when the skinny-dipping season really gets underway along the coast in this area. "It has gorgeous clear water and great wind protection," says reader Jack. Agrees Jessica, a student at nearby Humboldt State College,"it's definitely a fun place." Numerous non-nudes also use the beach.Read more »

North College Cove


Rating: B

Most beachgoers wear swimsuits at North College Cove, but up to 25 people a day enjoy naked sunbathing and swimming at this beautiful cove, which is slightly larger and has a better trail than College Cove South. Jogging and volleyball are other common pastimes here.

State property.

How to find it:

See directions for College Cove. Take the trail at the northern end of the parking area there and go down its steps to the sand.Read more »

Agate Beach


Rating: C

Are you ready to rock? The south end of Agate Beach, at Patrick's Point State Park, north of Trinidad, has been attracting small numbers of suitless sunbathers and clad and unclad rock hounds for years to its shore. Due to intermittent fog on the coastline, spring and fall are the best times to become a "nude rocker" by hunting for beach agates with nary a stitch of clothing on to interfere with your tanning. The hills behind the beach are usually covered in purple lupine flowers in the spring. Read more »

Van Duzen Beach


Rating: C

Want to trade summer fog on the Humboldt County coastline for warm weather and skinny-dipping at one of the 10 clothing optional swimming holes that await you just a few miles inland? Most of these sites are known just to local residents and our readers. Don't forget to bring plenty of suntan lotion. When it's in the 60's or 70's near the sea, expect it to be in the 80's near the town of Blue Lake, to the east, and up to 100 degrees in Willow Creek, farther inland. Read more »

Mad River


Rating: C

Don't get mad, get even -- by giving yourself a clothing-optional mini-vacation at an old-fashioned skinny dipping hole on the Mad River. Heading east from Highway 101, Highway 299 is lined with a string of naked swim sites. Best time to wear your birthday suit in some refreshingly cool river water: midsummer through early fall.

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Maple Creek


Rating: C

Tube riders coming down the river are sometimes amazed to see dozens of nude sunbathers at two holes near Maple Creek and the Salyer Roadside Rest Area, both off Highway 299. The water is usually cold, so most nudity is confined to the shore. But bring sandals or old shoes to wear in the water, just in case you decide to take a dip.

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Salyer Hole


Rating: C

If you're heading inland from the coast, once you pass Blue Lake look for the Salyer Roadside Rest Area, east of Maple Creek beach. Across the street from the rest stop, you'll find a clothing-optional hole enjoyed by local residents and travelers.

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Boogie Bar


Rating: C

A popular weekend hangout for college students and other coastal residents, Boogie Bar's strip of sand mixed with rocks is also called the Bend and Sandy Bar. Look for this awesome swimming hole on the Trinity River just west of the town of Willow Creek. "The river is usually up to 25 feet wide," says Towery. It's located just off Highway 299, between Arcata and Weaverville. Popular activities for the several dozen visitors include sunbathing, reading, and people-watching.

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Big Rock Beach


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.

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Willow Creek Beach


Rating: C

Just outside the town of Willow Creek and east of Willow Creek Bridge, skinny-dippers and swimsuit wearing sun-seekers love to gather on the sand and rocks of a little riverbank beach. "On the day I went there wasn't anybody nude, but I know other people who like to get naked there," says a visitor who went with his girlfriend and found several other couples present.

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Elsewhere Near Willow Creek


Rating: C

A little west and east of the town of Willow Creek, even more skinny-dipping holes can be found along several miles or riverbank. What's the best way to find them? Look for cars pulled over along Highway 299, suggests former coastal resident Kie Relyea. "You just kind of drive along," she says. "There are some places where you can get off the road. You look for a trail, and if it feels OK, you take it down to the water. We just keep going until we find a deserted spot or a place that has somebody you feel OK with who may also be naked. Read more »

Tish Tang


Rating: C

Want to visit a "drive-up" nude beach? At Tish Tang, some 45 minutes from the coast, visitors usually drive right onto a gravel-strewn riverbank, park their cars or trucks, get out, and start sunbathing and swimming au naturel. "It's so cool that you can take a vehicle and do this," comments Alex Towery, who usually goes to the Trinity River site at least once a summer. Access to the nearly mile-long beach is from a nearby campground. The beach itself isn't that impressive. Read more »

Elsewhere on Trinity River


Rating: C

A nearly endless ribbon on nooks and crannies favored by skinny-dippers line the riverbank past Willow Creek and the locations mentioned in Elsewhere Near Willow Creek. "The whole river is full of great spots," says Ian Colvert, a Humboldt State University student. "I just go with my girlfriend, and we get naked whenever we can."

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