Garrapata Nude Beach: Info, Map, and Reviews

Garrapata Beach is a nice beach noted for its scenic beauty. Most of it is used by clothed visitors, but some sections are used for clothing optional or nude recreation.

Rangers have been given discretion to cite nudists if anyone complains. With a lot of families here on weekends, the likelihood of complaints increases, and the beach sees only infrequent use by nudists.

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Garrapata Nude Beach

Path to Garrapata Beach
Marie/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Garrapata Beach is located in Monterey County, south of Monterey and Carmel and north of Big Sur.


The beach is a mile of clean sand, lagoon, coves, and caves. There are wildflowers in spring and early summer. The central part of the beach can be cooler than the ends because of the wind.

Who's There

Clothed and unclothed. Singles, families, locals, tourists, gays, and straights.




Sunbathing. Swimming is not recommended because the waves are very hazardous.

More Nude Beaches Within 25 Miles

Nudity Laws and Garrapata Beach

Laws regarding nudity at the naturist beach vary by location and fines are stiff in some places. The responsibility for knowing the law at Garrapata Beach is yours.

Nude or naturist beach neophytes, please be respectful of others and understand nude beach and topless beach etiquette before you go to a nude beach.

This beach is in a state park. In recent years, enforcement of anti-nudity regulations has varied. While park rangers haven't been issuing citations often, nudists could be cited if complaints are received.

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Reviews and Rating

View from the Cliffs Above Garrapata Beach
Brian Fox/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Bay Guardian newspaper gives Garrapata a grade of "B" and our readers seem to agree, with about half rating it excellent.

Rating for Clothing Optional Recreation

More than 5,000 of our readers voted for their favorite Monterey County nude beach. 52% voted for Garrapata, 24% for Marina State Beach, 12% for North Marina, and 11% for Pfeiffer.

When we asked our readers to rate Garrapata Beach for nude recreation, 49% said it was excellent and 11% said it was good but with a few flaws.

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Getting There

Monterey County Nude Beach Map
Adapted from Google Maps

If you want an interactive version of the map, would like to convert to a close-up satellite map that shows the beaches and trails or need driving directions, use our Monterey County Beach map at Google.

Driving Directions

Garrapata Beach is south of Carmel on CA Hwy 1.

You can find Garrapata Beach by watching the highway mileage markers if you know how.

  • On CA Hwy 1, 19.6 miles south of the Rio Road traffic light in Carmel
  • Near milepost 63.1
  • Shortly past the Garrapata State Beach sign if you're driving south


There's a large parking area along the highway.

Walking From Parking Lot to the Beach

The nude area is on the far north end of the beach. The obvious trail leads to the middle of the beach. Near the beach, it forks. The left trail goes down to the middle of the beach and the right one follows the edge of the cliffs, eventually descending to a creek and the beach. This path could be dangerous when the creek is flowing strongly.

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