So, what is a naturist? Well, basically a Naturist is a Nudist that prefers the natural settings of beaches, rivers and trails to those of resorts and man-made settings, although sometimes Nudists and Naturists are found together and sharing one anothers spaces. Personally, we can sometimes can be found at Laguna del Sol. It depends on our whims and wishes like whether or not we feel like hiking or if we want the creature comforts.

You will find that Naturists generally have a true respect for their surroundings and people. The idea of "Pack It In, Pack It Out" is practiced routinely by true Naturists; You are sure to take out at least what items you brought with you, plus you take some "extra" that you may find.

Alright, what is a clothing optional beach? Clothing Optional Beaches are those wherein you may chose to wear a swimsuit, go topless or be fully nude as you prefer. There are no rules. Be yourself, but be aware of the rights and privacies of others. But for the best of me, I can't figure why anyone would chose to hike the distances and conditions required to get to a Clothing Optional Beach when they could just drive to a nice regular beach, walk a few feet and jump in the water.

What is being said of Secret Cove? Here is the latest San Francisco Bay Guardian latest on those attending to the beach; "Steve Williams reports 95 percent of the visitors were naked during one of his visits; Dave Smith of San Leandro, rated it "90 percent nude." SFBG rates this naturist beach an "A" for 2009.

What can I expect at the beach? You can expect to find all manner of people having a good time in the sun and water. There are no limitations on who is welcome at the beach. You will find both "Gays" and "Straights" , fit and fat. young and old, singles and families and all shades in between. What you will not find is overt sexual activity or lewd and inappropriate behavior. Hey, I'm not here to say that "nothing" inappropriate ever happens, because it sometimes does. What I am here to tell you is that the regular "locals" will not allow it to continue or become the norm. In the event that someone chooses to make a problem of themselves what is likely to happen is that someone will approach them and admonish them that what they are doing is not appreciated and that they must cease or leave. If the behavior continues or is blatantly out of order in the first place then the offender will likely see one or more beach goers on cell phones; They are calling law enforcement to report the offender. The next thing you will see is either a Patrol Boat rounding the point at the entrance of the Cove and/or one or more uniformed personnel descending the trail from above. We have had people arrested this year, so don't add yourself to that list!

Photography: Cameras are generally bad news at Clothing Optional Beaches. Pictures are permissible only with the consent of all participants! Leave the telephoto lenses at home. Taking a pic of your "significant other" or family is okay so long as other people in the background are not readily visible. The same goes for camera phones. We had one Bozo found walking down the beach this year randomly snapping girly photos.... He was caught by a contingent of burly locals and was made to delete all the photos while they watched. He was then directed to leave the beach.

Children are always welcome at these beaches. That is what family life is all about. Please be aware of where they are and what they are doing as this water is cold and does get deep and we don't want to see any mishaps. I personally view the entire beach as an extended family and so I would immediately jump in and intervene should I see a child in danger. Youngsters usually feel very comfortable on these beaches up until about the age of puberty. My experience with my son (and I have seen the same with others) is that he started feeling uncomfortable and not wanting to go to the Clothing Optional Beaches. Up until then, he thought it was great! I see young people return to the same beaches after a few years when they reach the ages around sixteen or seventeen and I guess get to feel more comfortable with themselves and surroundings.


Dogs can are usually welcome at the beach although they can sometimes prove to be a problem. Dogs become problems when they are allowed to run untethered and wet over people and beach items like towels and backpacks and when they get into food. Also, this is an area loved for its peace and serenity and so constant barking is not a good thing. Please keep you Best Friend closeby and under control through either verbal restraint or on a leash.

Chipmunks and Golden Mantle Ground Squirrels are commonly found around these beaches. They can be cute to watch scurrying around the rocks trying to grab a morsel here and there, but do not feed them because they will become a problem. They usually carry fleas which, in turn, can carry plague.

Meat Eating Bees are found during certain times of the year. They have a nasty way of trying to get onto you food items. Every now and then they will alight on the beach and someone will roll over onto them resulting in a painful bite or sting.

Crawdads are found among the rocks underwater in the Cove. They are quite reclusive and will not cause you any problems unless you grab one of them and they then grab you with a pincer. Ouch!

Bears are known to frequent the area. They are generally nocturnal. They are usually not a problem unless you are found out at night and with food. There have been infrequent incidents of bears breaking into homes and rummaging for food. They're another good reason to not be found camping on the beach!

The remainder of the critters are benign, basically friendly or too timid or afraid to approach you.

A Word of Wisdom About the Sun: If you use any of these beaches, be sure to bring a sun screen with a high SPF rating! I found out the hard way about just how unforgiving the sun can be at these high elevations when I took my wife up there in our boat several years ago. We spent the whole day at the beach protected by an SPF 6 tanning lotion. I got a severe sunburn, but she got second-degree burns which included blistering on her breasts and buttocks. She couldn't sit down or wear a bra for several days! Don't do that! Bring something with an SPF of 60 of higher unless you are already deeply tanned.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Don't be surprised if you encounter both uniformed and plain clothed deputies of the Carson City Sheriff's Department. They frequently patrol this entire vicinity both on foot and boat. They enforce all laws and regulations. While they are tolerant of the naturist usage of these beaches, they will not permit nudity on the trails above the beaches. Armed and uniformed Park Rangers may also be encountered here.


patrol boat

An article in the Nevada Appeal quoted one of the deputies as saying they (law enforcement) generally turn a blind eye to the clothing-optional beaches — despite it being illegal in the state — as long as those who partake aren't flagrant about it, opting instead to let the long-standing communities stand, albeit it with certain expectations. Those expectations should include:

  • No lewd conduct
  • No drugs
  • No glass containers
  • No public intoxication
  • No fires
  • No littering

The deputies are a welcome addition where it was formerly thought that due to the remoteness of the location "anything goes".

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