Nude Hiking in a National Park – Know Before You Go!

Nude Hiking in a National Park – Coronado National Forest

National Parks may have secluded areas where nude hiking is totally possible – even frequently occurring. Of course, one must be cautious not to offend visitors that do not appreciate nudity or who might even dial 9-1-1 to report your activity. But if you chose areas where nude hiking typically occurs, the hikers you encounter will probably be as nude as you.

If you are among the many that like to get-back-to-nature by finding a remote (spelled private) area where you can take your clothes off and meander au naturel through the outdoors, there are many hidden places around America where you can make this happen.

Unlike Europe, our American Puritan instincts make outdoor nudity more difficult in the United States, but one of my favorite spots for nude hiking is located at Tanque Verde Falls. It’s been a popular naturist area for many years.

Tanque Verde is just east of the city of Tucson, Arizona in the Coronado National Forest. After leaving the pavement, a dusty road takes you into the park and to an area where naturists take it all off. Although I don’t recommend it, some visitors do hike nude from the parking area to the popular spots.

A note of caution: Tanque Verde Falls is situated in a narrow canyon. At the north end of the canyon, the rocky terrain flattens out and becomes a giant funnel that feeds sudden rainfall into the canyon. After a heavy rain (which may seldom occur at Tanque Verde itself), the water levels can rise rapidly, and few people have the strength to swim in the currents. There are reports of several hikers who have been swept to their deaths in an unexpected surge. So have a quick exit route planned out before you become sleepy in the day’s sunshine.

As you hike into the canyon, the first naturist area will be found where the falls is located. In a dry season, the cliffs are about 30 feet tall. These become the location of waterfalls when water rises as mountain snows melt or heavy rain falls upstream. Otherwise, typically there is a sandy beach or large flat rocks to sunbathe on. This area is the easiest to access and is frequented by straight singles and couples.

Gays and lesbians generally hike about half a mile further up the canyon following well-beaten paths to an area above Tanque Verde Falls itself. Descending the main path is not difficult, but it’s a steep climb down, and presents a more demanding climb out of the canyon after hikers are tired from exposure to the hot sun.

Once you have reached the riverbed, off with the clothes – keeping your hiking boots on. (I recommend you take an old pair of canvas walking shoes since you may have to wade through some pools of water a foot deep.)

This area is like a Garden of Eden in the middle of the desert. Just be sure to pack water and perhaps some beer or wine. And don’t forget a sandwich or snacks. There are no services nearby.

Enjoy yourself. But beware of nature’s dangers. I’ve been watched by a rattling rattlesnake, and I once almost stepped on a hissing gila monster. You will observe white frogs, beautiful song birds and birds of prey, and of course many saguaro cactus among other desert plants and flowers.

Have a naked hike!

Budget Backpacking to Arrow Lake in Glacier National Park

Arrow Lake is located in Glacier National Park. As your drive to Glacier you travel through rolling foothills only to suddenly see this geological wonder of huge mountains jutting out of the landscape. Known for its pristine forests, alpine lakes and meadows, rugged mountains, and diverse wildlife, Glacier is truly a unique place. I’ve known people who have traveled the world over and still say that it is their favorite outdoor place on earth. With over 700 miles of trails, mountains and lakes, Glacier is an adventurers paradise.

The trail to Arrow Lake begins to climb immediately at a moderate rate and continues to the top of the ridge (2.5 miles). There are only a few view spots where you can see Lake McDonald. At the top of the ridge there is a sign indicating an old fire lookout. The trail to this lookout is old and nearly gone.

The trail moves through a wide saddle and then drops steeply using switchbacks to the Camas Creek Valley. At a bit more than 3 miles the trail forks, going left to Rodger Lake and right to Trout, Arrow, Camas, Evangeline, and Ruger Lakes. Go right. An old campsite sits .25 miles up the trail along Trout Lake. There is a large logjam across Trout Lake that is useful for fishing. Bears cross on this logjam also. One of the first recorded kills of a visitor to the park by a bear happened at this spot. There is no longer a campsite at Trout Lake.

The main backcountry campsite is 3.5 miles up the trail at Arrow Lake. This is a small campground with a good food prep area; bear pole, privy and 2 hitching rails. The trail to the head of the lake requires a crossing of the stream at the foot of the lake. There are stepping stones, but they are slick and some are slightly submerged. The stream is only a foot deep at the crossing and feels good on tired feet.

The trail from Arrow Lake to Camas Lake is well maintained and provides spectacular views. There is a campsite at Camas Lake. The food prep area is very exposed to the wind off the Lake. Lake Evangeline and Ruger Lake are located farther up the valley and require much bushwhacking to reach. There are large damp meadows above Camas lake with a lot of elk and deer sign. There are a lot of exposed slopes in this valley and it is a damp location making it ideal for berry bushes. This also means that this is serious bear country.

For current regulations and directions see Park website:

Glacier National Park National Park Service

P.O. Box 128 West Glacier, MT 59936

(406) 888-7800

(406) 8887808 fax

http://www.nps.gov/glac/ website