The amateur nudist sheds his clothes and joins the naked gay guys on the beach

The amateur nudist feels the breeze.

The amateur nudist feels the breeze.

Courtesy Of R.V. Scheide

For the amateur nudist, writing about local nude beaches presents somewhat of a dilemma. On the one hand, he wishes to share the joy and exhilaration he feels waving his nakedness about in the free and open air with those who might also enjoy the experience; on the other hand, he’s wary about sharing the locations of Sacramento’s nude beaches in a public forum, lest a few bad apples spoil the fun for everyone else.

Yet it’s not really such a dilemma considering this is the information age, and anyone who can plug “nude beaches in Northern California” into a search engine is likely to run across the River Dippers Web site (, which lists practically every place you can get publicly naked in the vicinity of Sacramento, with detailed directions on how to get there. One can only hope that those bad apples aren’t on the Internet yet.

So, without further ado, the amateur nudist commences this review of the Sacramento area’s nude beaches, observing at the outset that the term “beaches” here is rather loosely defined to include the rocky banks of rivers, swimming holes and nude resorts such as Laguna Del Sol. In fact, Laguna Del Sol, located 30 miles southeast from Downtown Sacramento on the Jackson Highway, was our hero’s first experience with public nakedness in Sacramento several years ago.

He’s happy to report it was a positive one. The resort features all of the activities you’d expect nudists to participate in, including swimming and volleyball (no one knows why people enjoy playing volleyball naked, but they do), in a safe environment that’s free of those infamous, gawking lookie-loos.

Because guests are required to register, Laguna Del Sol is probably the safest place in Sacramento to take your clothes off outdoors, but that security comes at a price. Day-use fees begin at $22 per person; annual memberships go for $260 plus an initiation fee. For more information, call (916) 687-6550 or log on to

Some serious naturalists are opposed to paying any fee for the right to go naked, and for them, that rules out Laguna Del Sol as well as the next stop on the list, Bare Cove in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. To get there, travel on Interstate 80 to Roseville and take the Douglas Boulevard exit toward Granite Bay. After paying the $6 fee at the Granite Bay entrance to the recreation area, follow the signs all the way out to the Beek’s Bight parking lot. From there, the directions get slightly tricky.

On the amateur nudist’s first visit to Bare Cove, he approached (fully clothed) a couple in a boat beached on the shore. She was topless, he was wearing a thong, so they seemed like the people to ask where the nude beach was. “What nude beach?” was their reply.

They’d been coming there for years and had never heard of one. The amateur nudist was undaunted. He followed the shoreline north from the parking lot for about a half-mile, and at the second cove discovered a hidden, sandy area with “Nude Beach” spray-painted on the rocks. Absolutely no one else was present, so he shed his clothing and commenced a rigorous session of nude yoga.

(Warning: Sometimes it helps if there are already nude people present when trying to determine the legal status of a location. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s annual nude beach guide, the actual legality of getting naked at Bare Cove and the areas listed below may be in question. While the amateur nudist was not arrested or even hassled during the course of researching this story, there are no guarantees that some grumpy law enforcement type won’t be offended by your nudity, particularly if some textile-wearing nitwit complains about you. Warning and user fee aside, the amateur nudist thinks that Bare Cove, with its clean, sandy beach and easily accessible yet private location, has the potential of being one of the best nude spots in Sacramento.)

Ooh, those rocks feel soooo good!

Courtesy Of R.V. Scheide

Perhaps the most frequented nude beach in the area is located on the American River near Auburn. Take I-80 to the Elm Street exit in Auburn, turn right and follow the road down into the American River Canyon toward Cool. After crossing the bridge over the North Fork of the American River, park on the other side of the river. A path follows the river downstream and crosses a pedestrian footbridge. Keep walking around the bend until both bridges are out of sight. You’ll see various steep trails heading down to the water, where you’ll find the naked people lounging on rocks or the pebbly beach.

Here, the amateur nudist had his first encounter with lookie-loos. A couple of naked gay guys were stretched out in the sun on the pebbly beach. Across the way on a rocky outcropping, two fully clothed men sat staring at the gay guys from a mere 25 yards away. One of the fully clothed men was smiling like a Cheshire cat.

They began throwing rocks into the river. “They seem dangerous,” the amateur nudist said to the gay guys. “They’re harmless,” responded one of the gay guys, so the amateur nudist shed his clothes and joined the naked gay guys on the beach. The smiling fully clothed guy smiled even wider. Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any weirder, the smiling guy’s friend ripped all of his clothes off and jumped in the water. “Go figure,” said the other gay guy.

Slightly weirder was the man who came down to the river after the gay guys left. The amateur nudist was now sunning himself on a rock. The new guy took off his pants, revealing a fairly rigid member. Some people get turned on being naked in the outdoors, the amateur nudist observed. The new guy noticed the amateur nudist observing him, and his erection grew even firmer. He sidled over, rock-hard penis swaying back and forth like a cattle prod.

“Got a smoke?” he said in a masculine voice.

“Don’t smoke,” the amateur nudist lied.

Sometimes, a cigarette is just a cigarette. Sometimes it isn’t. The point is, things like this are bound to happen every once in a while at the nude beach. Try not to worry about it. It’s only natural.

Those seeking a more private situation may want to check out the nude beaches north of Auburn on the South Yuba River. There are three such spots in the Grass Valley/Nevada City area; the amateur nudist only had time to check out one of them, on the South Yuba River near Bridgeport.

To get there, follow Highway 49 north to Grass Valley, then travel eight miles west on Highway 20 until you get to Pleasant Valley Road. Hang a right and head north for about 10 miles until you get to the old covered bridge at Bridgeport. Park in the parking lot on the north side of the river, and follow the trail upriver for approximately 20 minutes, or until you get to a sign that says, “Trail ends in 10 feet.” There are several paths down to the river, where you’ll find the naked people.

The amateur nudist found one naked guy panning for gold in the river. How do you tell where the nude beach is, the amateur nudist asked the naked gold-panning man. The man seemed perturbed that the amateur nudist was still fully clothed. He explained that they were on federal land, and that clothing is optional on federal land (the amateur nudist has not been able to verify this information). He then warned the amateur nudist not to take pictures of anyone without asking them first. The naked gold-panning man was much more friendly once the amateur nudist took off his clothes. He even introduced the amateur nudist to his naked wife, who was camped out underneath an umbrella.

That umbrella brings up an important point. There’s not all that much shade at any of the public nude beaches listed here, nor is there potable water. The amateur nudist once met a man with third-degree sunburned genitals (he’d fallen asleep on a nude beach), and it was not a pretty sight. With the scorching summers we have around here, it’s highly recommended that you bring umbrellas for shade, high-SPF sunblock to prevent overexposure and plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

And remember: the amateur nudist only said getting naked in public was fun. He didn’t say it was legal.