Kirby Cove


Rating: C

Years after the closure of five clothing-optional Sausalito coves, due to damaged trails and lack of funds to repair them, nude and suited sunbathers are trickling -- or, in some cases, pouring -- back onto the string of beaches. GGNRA rangers, like Terry Swift, still say they're "not recommended," because of the trail "scrambling" that's sometimes is required. But readers report several of the sites, all of which are off Conzelman Road, are in relatively good shape.


Please note that the trail here is officially closed. "We don't have enough rangers to post somebody there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," says supervising ranger Richard Danielsen, of the GGNRA, which administers the land."Some people do go down there, they get back up (the trail), and they don't get hurt. Other times, people do get hurt there." 


How to find it:

To visit Kirby from San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and take the Alexander Avenue exit off Highway 101. Instead of driving toward Sausalito, go under the highway and up into the headlands on Conzelman, four-tenths of a mile up the hill to the parking lot on the left with chemical toilets. Walk at your own risk down the winding dirt road (blocked to cars by a metal gate) that leads from there to the beach.


The beach:

Kirby is a narrow, quarter-mile-long beach that's more exposed and somewhat smaller than Red Rock (also in Marin County listings). Expect sand mixed with pebbles. Swimming isn't suggested.


The crowd:

Nearly all nude visitors or mixed between nudists and suited visitors. On hot summer days when the tide is out, nude use can be as high as 90 percent.



Too many pebbles; hazardous swimming conditions; trail problems (see above); hard to find (drive slowly).

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