The wind, the sun, the skin, and an open trail; it’s all about naked hiking. This is an adventure where all the clothes come off and for a day, you trek in the nude. The activity calls for you to overcome your fears and become one with nature.
Hiking in the nude has been liberating and thrilling for the few who have embraced it. Over time, this intimate outdoor activity has evolved to attract even more enthusiasts. The mounting popularity has actually born a National Naked Hiking Day observed during summertime.
So, how comfortable are you in your skin? To give you the nudge, I have prepared a complete guide to nude hiking. Read on to know more about its legality, how to take the plunge, tips for comfort, trails to conquer, and so much more.
*Warning* If bare butts and boobs offend you, this is where you stop scrolling. If not, here is everything you need to know about hiking without clothes.
Is it Legal to Hike Naked?
Here is a little known fact; hiking while naked in national parks is actually legal. Well, it’s all about how you interpret the law. See, in legal speak “nudity is legal in US national parks”.
This is not to say that hiking au naturel won’t earn you weird glances, but luckily, the federal law will be on your side. Specifically, the U.S Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have laws banning nudity within the land under their jurisdiction.
Mostly, if you are naked without the intention to “incite or satisfy sexual arousal”, then you are not breaking any law. However, this cannot be said of all the local or county-level laws.
In some places, the laws may shun nudity and deem it to “present a nuisance or hazard to public land users”. A good example takes us back to 2017 when the BLM together with Colorado Park and Wildlife (CPAW) warned against hiking nude in the state’s parks and trails.
At such times, you may be issued with a ticket. Most cases of nudity are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The state’s regional Forest Service advised that “Before heading outdoors, visitors need to contact the national forest or grassland they plan to visit to check conditions and restrictions.”
There you have it: Nude hiking is not illegal according to federal law, but it may not be embraced by the different state authorities. To be on the safe side, call ahead.
I have some good news though; There are specific places that you can hike and roam naked, including trails in Colorado… I’ll discuss that later on in this article.
National Naked Hiking Day
June 21st is known as Summer Solstice and in the hiking calendar, the National Naked Hiking Day. The day is also known as “midsummer” and is the longest day of the whole year. With over 16 hours of daylight to burn, daring hikers take the opportunity to ditch their clothes and hike in the nude.
In most cultures, the day has been a special one for many centuries. Celebrations take place around the globe including gypsy rituals and a summertime ritual for nude hikers. This is the day to get initiated into this special community of nature explorers.
The Day is also referred to as The Nude Hiking Day. It is meant for thrill-seekers to shed off their clothes and re-discover nature, away from the general public.
What can you Expect on this Day?
To begin with, this is an unofficial holiday, so don’t expect the day to be very publicized. You can partake in the exercise either solo or by joining a group of like-minded people.
This lesser-known holiday is bound to change dates depending on the day 21st June falls on. This is what I mean; if the holiday happens to fall on a weekend, you may have to postpone and opt for a weekday.
See, weekends are common with ‘clothed hikers’ and vacationing families. As such, the management would feel more comfortable permitting nude hikers on a day when there is a lesser chance of ‘offending others’.
How To Hike Nude
Naked hiking may just be a matter of stripping and setting off especially for veterans or for those who have done it at least once. However, if your nude time amounts to the few minutes you spend in the shower or with your partner in a secluded place, this is easier said than done.
Remember if done wrong, nude hiking may offend others or leave you too embarrassed to ever try it again.
So, how do you get naked and hike away into the best adventure of your life? Here are pointers that can help you:
Practice Being Naked away from your Normal Private Zone
How do you prepare for normal hiking? Exercise, endurance training, shopping for what to carry? Well, with nude hiking, you will be required to do a little extra. You can start right at home by roaming the house or compound naked. It is even better if you have a partner; he/she will be your first audience for social nudity.
Next, graduate to a nudist experience away from your home but in secluded places. These are places where you will find other nudists because either clothing is prohibited or nudity is promoted.
They may range from saunas, spas, wellness centers, nudist hotels, nudist beaches, and naturist clubs among other places. While at, be sure you do your research well; being the only naked person in the company of textiles is not the kind of thrill you are looking for.
Consider Joining a Naked-Hiking Group
One of the reasons why people are so conscious of their nakedness is the fear of being judged, especially by the people they know. A bunch of complete strangers, on the other hand, may boost your confidence a little.
A group that is well versed in the art of naked-hiking is great not just for beginners but also for pros looking for hiking companions. Popular online platforms where you can hook up with nude-hiking groups include:
Prepare for your Comfort
When you feel ready to give it a go, your own comfort will determine how well your escapade turns out. The key is to enjoy yourself, not to get stressed.
With this in mind remember to prepare enough:
- Sunscreen (whether it is sunny or cloudy)
- Relevant hiking gear
- Bug spray
- Enough food and water
- Other personal supplies
Remember to keep an open mind too; naked hiking can present lots of exciting moments!
Additionally, hiking unclothed doesn’t necessarily mean, barefoot. Arm yourself with a pair of sturdy and comfortable hiking boots to protect your feet from thorns, sharp sticks, and rocks.
Tips for Nude Hiking
Are you all set?
The following tips will help you stay in harmony with yourself and the environment around you:
- Keep off days that most people are likely to go hiking like weekends and holidays and opt for weekdays.
- Avoid trails that are popular with most hikers and head for secluded ones or those rarely hiked.
- To shield your body from harsh weather and especially during summer, hike early in the morning
- Don’t be in a hurry to get naked; you have a whole hike ahead of you. First, ensure that the trailhead and frequently used roads are way behind you.
- As mentioned above, ensure that you will not be breaking any laws on nudity in the area that you are hiking
- Have you ever been on the receiving end of thigh chafing? It can turn your adventure into a nightmare. Avoid this by smearing some petroleum jelly on your inner thighs
- Just because you concluded that you have enough privacy doesn’t keep other people from using the trail; have something handy to cover up just in case you realize that you are not alone
- There’s more to clothes than covering nakedness and you can certainly find this out if you happen to slip or fall over rocks, boulders, or spiky undergrowths in the nude- save yourself the trouble and chose a trail where you can have ‘nude friendly falls’.
- Be ready for an off-chance that you might run into people unprepared and start practicing on how not to freak out- How about a quick ‘hello’ and proceeding with your hike?
Are you hiking in the company of others?
- Avoid staring at others, seriously, it’s hard not to look but don’t linger
- Respect other people’s nudity and swallow comments or opinions
- Don’t take people’s photos without their permission
Benefits of Nude Hiking
Before I share some of the best places for nude hiking, is there any benefit in hiking with no barrier between your skin and nature?
- To begin with, without any clothes, your skin absorbs Vitamin D better and faster. And it so happens that this is an essential nutrient in reducing the chances of a heart attack.
- Clothes increase friction and constrict your skin. One of the disadvantages of hiking is rashes and irritations, which become less when you hike completely naked.
- Hiking au naturel has also been found to improve self-esteem. When naked, and in the open, you get to appreciate your body and nature- especially in the company of fellow nudists.
- Hiking with no clothes helps you to connect with nature on a whole new level. Think of how liberating it is to take a bath. Now, imagine the wind and sun touching all parts of your body.
- Going naked helps your skin in eliminating toxins. Without clothes, your skin pores are better exposed to get rid of waste and sweat that can be reintroduced by clothes.
- Lastly, nude hiking beats a day in the spa. Going out butt-naked in the wild helps to relieve stress and keep you relaxed. Even typing that statement has made me so peaceful!
The Best Places to go Nude Hiking
Now that you know what nude hiking is all about, and how to prepare for it, here are some trails and parks that welcome nude hikers. This list includes nude hiking spots in the US, Canada, and in Europe.
1.The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
This is a 2650 mile trail that extends from Mexico to Canada via California, Oregon, and Washington. It is one of the longest trails in North America. What makes this a great nudist hiking ground is the vastness of the trail.
Away from the densely populated areas, there are parts of the trail that are remote and less hiked. The PCT is one of the most popular trails for naturists from all over the world. Actually, it is thought that nude hiking may have originated from this trail.
The trail is open to the public and the Oregon section is particularly popular with nude hikers. However, permits are required for all hikers- nude or not.
To the nudist community, South Carolina is best known for the Bare at the Creek Run & Walk. Apart from this ‘clothing-optional’ event, there are many nude hiking trails in the state.
The state actually boasts over one million acres of nudist’s recreation land. This massive swath of wilderness is home several to several nude hiking trails.
Joshua Tree and Death Valley are some of these favorite hiking spots. The area also hosts the Sea Mountain Luxury nudist resort in Desert Hot Springs.
California is sun-lit for most months, making it popular with nude hikers.
3.The Cascade Mountains- Washington
The Cascade Mountains are located just off the busy city life in Seattle, Washington. Here, hundreds of nudists have been hiking in the cascades for years.
The best parts of the trails for naked hiking are located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Apart from great scenery, the area is remote and there is a dedicated naturist group that romps the area.
This informal group is made of over a dozen guys who hike throughout summer. The group falls under the larger Sun Lovers Under Gray Skies naturists.
Other trails to try out in the Cascades include Mount Rainier, eastern Washington, and around the privately owned Scenic Hot Springs.
4.Olive Dell Ranch- California
One of the top spots for naked hiking in California is the Olive Dell Ranch. Here nudists can hike in the desert, camp, and even compete in different sports.
The ranch also accommodates RVs (recreational vehicles) and rental cabins for those who would prefer to spend the night in private.
You can plan your hike around the annual 5K Bare Burro Race. The event is common with naturist revelers who also come to compete in the Naked Beer Mile race.
What’s more, California has many attractions including Hollywood studios; you can be clothed in the morning as you visit the ‘normal’ attractions, and be stark naked in the ranch’s trails in the evening.
5.The Appalachian Trail (AT)
The Appalachian Trail is another trail whose fans also claim was the starting point of nude hiking. Simply known as the AT, the trail spans from Georgia to Maine. It covers about 2,200 miles and passes through 14 states.
Along the way, the trail passes through both touristy and very secluded areas. As such, before getting rid of your textiles and heading to the wilderness, check with local nude hikers.
That said, the AT is popular with the nudist community. Other nudist activities along the trail include cycling, skydiving, jogging and whitewater rafting.
6.Green Valley Nudist Camp- Ohio
Green Valley Nudist Camp is one of America’s oldest romping ground for nudists and naturists. Located in Ohio, it has all your vacation needs; swimming pool, spa, sports, RV hook-ups, campsite, and cabins.
The camp is surrounded by several nude hiking trails. Green Valley is popular so expect a little crowding of naked bodies on the trails.
Would-be hikers are also encouraged to join in the fun and learn the ropes from some of America’s veteran naked hikers. Would you rather walk than hike? The camp hosts a secure nude forest just for you!
Most importantly, the camp screens all visitors. So, you are unlikely to run into sex offenders. Furthermore, photography is prohibited in the camp.
7.Gymno-Vita Park- Alabama
Gymno-Vita Park is a 110-acre nudists’ haven with a mile-long trail for hiking. The park is located in Alabama, a state not known for nudists groups, making this a one-of-kind park.
The park is exclusive for couples and families; lone hikers are not allowed. Here, the trail passes through forests with the central area hosting facilities.
In the evenings, couples pass the time playing indoor games such as ping pong and pool. Outdoor activities include horseshoes, swimming, and camping. The park is accessible to members, with non-members paying a higher daily fee.
Like in most other nudist establishments, members of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) enjoy a discount during their visit to the park.
8.Bluebonnet Park- Texas
Hiking in Texas is one of the state’s best attractions. There are large uninhabited backlands where free-spirited hikers can ditch their clothes and trek for miles on end.
Bluebonnet Park is one such Texan resort area with nudist trails. The resort also offers camping, accommodation, and outdoor games for visitors and members. Activities are well distributed to cater for both first time and experienced nudists.
The 66.5-acre park is just but a small representation of what Texas has to offer nude hikers. Other trails to try in the area can be found in the Lone Star Resort, Sandpipers Resort, and at the Star Ranch.
If a sea-side trail is your kind of nude hiking experience, head to the Hippie Hollow Park in Austin, TX. The park hosts steep and rocky shorelines on Lake Travis.
What’s more appealing is that, after a long walk, you can jump into the lake for skinny dipping.
Canada is among the biggest countries in the world, and over 90% of its population concentrated in the south, it is a hikers’ haven. Nudists have always favored the country with Vancouver’s Beach being one such place since the 1960s.
When it comes to exploring while naked, Yukon Province is the place to be. The area’s Marsh Lake and Lake Bennett have trails that attract more and more nude hikers every year.
Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is another place to hike in your birthday suit. It is near Toronto with a natural wilderness for you to explore. The park comes with forests, streams, ponds, plus a lake. There is also a clubhouse and an expansive campsite.
To get in touch with other nude hikers and naturists in Canada, the Federation of Canadian Naturists is a good place to start.
Hiking naked in Europe is an age-old practice. You, however, need to be aware of the right trails and not end up like the Irish naked hiker who wandered into a nunnery. Awkward!
Here are a few places in Europe that allow nudists and naturists:
Germany leads the rest in having an environment best suited for a nudist’s lifestyle; few mosquitos, no huge predators, and no poisonous crawlies such as snakes or spiders.
The German Society for Nudists organizes hikes and outings to the best and secluded trails in the country. One such place is an 11-mile long trail in the Harz mountains. Another nudist trail is the 6-mile long trail in Undeloh, northern Germany.
Despite the snow, Switzerland’s Appenzell Alps is known for nude hiking. Here, the trails are frozen cold, a fact that does not seem to keep off thrill-seekers.
In France, the Ile du Levant island is a naturist’s haven. Apart from resorts and endless seaside trails, the island has hills and steep climbs for avid naked hikers to explore.
With all this information at your fingertips, nothing stands between you and your nude hiking exploits. Whether you are just starting out or have been doing it for a while, I bet that you found something helpful for your appointments with nature.
The best part about this kind of venture is that the outcomes are limitless. However, you will never find out the kind of thrill that awaits until you take the first step!