Los Padres Reservoir


Rating: C

Nudity is not allowed at Los Padres Reservoir, near Carmel, but a few skinny-dippers have been continuing to jump in the water on hot summer days anyway. Rather than risk citations, others like to sunbathe without suits in lakeside areas away from view The swim spots are about 20 miles east of Carmel and some 5 miles east of Carmel Village, off Carmel Valley Road (G-16).

Unknown. The reservoir is next to, but not in, Los Padres National Forest, but the paths appear to be maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Rangers are rarely present. Even though the reservoir has a long history of secret nude use, skinny-dippers may be cited.

How to find it:

From Highway 1 in Carmel, follow Carmel Valley Road (G-16) about 20 miles east, passing Carmel Village, to Cachagua Road. Turn right on Cachagua, then right on Nason Road. Take Nason to the dirt parking lot at the end. From the lot, follow the path until it forks. Then follow signs to the dam, rather than the campground. Skinny-dippers usually pick spots between a half-mile and a mile up the trail.

The beach:

Land next to a reservoir.

The crowd:

Usually just you, but on hot days, you may see naturists and/or suited swimmers.


Swimming not permitted; better directions needed; legal status unknown.

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