RCA Beach

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Rating: A

Recommended!

Serene, windswept RCA Beach has something for everyone, whether you want to surf naked, sunbathe on the sand, or practice your hiking skills (expect a 30 minute hike from the road). "There was enough driftwood there to build a skyscraper," reports April visitor Michael Velkoff. "If it's windy, people use it to build windscreens." Suited and unsuited males and females, singles, couples, and families all visit this mostly nude beach. The mile-long shoreline seems even bigger because it usually gets just a few visitors, who are widely scattered along the sand.

 

The Nature Conservancy bought this land in 1977, then transferred it to the Point Reyes National Seashore, which turned around and leased it to Commonwealth Health Center, a nonprofit medical clinic. Official Point Reyes policy is that if there are complaints, nudists will be asked to move elsewhere. In practice, however, just about everyone at RCA is nude.

How to find it:

From Stinson Beach, take Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway) north towards Calle Del Mar for 4.5 miles. Turn left onto Olema Bolinas Road and follow it 1.8 miles to Mesa Road in Bolinas. Turn right and stay on Mesa until you see cars parked past the MCI antennas. Park and walk a quarter mile to the end of the pavement. Go left through the gap in the fence. The trail leads to a gravel road. Follow it until you see a path on your right, leading through a gate. Take it along the cliff top until it veers down to the beach. Or continue along Mesa until you come to a grove of eucalyptus trees. Enter through the gate here, then hike a half mile through a cow pasture on a path that will also bring you through thick brush. The second route is slippery and eroding but less steep.

The beach:

Decent sand that's good for almost every common beach activity.

The Crowd:

Though seldom deserted, RCA is never crowded. "It's a quiet place," says Velkoff. "Whenever I've been there, everyone's been nude."

 

Problems:

First trail mentioned in bluffs area somewhat steep; other trail slippery and eroding; long hike; rapid current; cold water; swimming not recommended.

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