Humboldt County is one of California's most laid back places in terms of alternative lifestyles, but it seems a bit far north for much serious sunbathing. That doesn't keep people there from enjoying a little nude recreation on days when it's warm enough.
Humboldt County has only a couple of beaches frequented by locals:
Sometimes called Baker's Beach, this nude beach is not to be confused with a beach of the same name in San Francisco.
Humboldt County's Baker's Beach is in a secluded cove just south of the town of Trinidad and you won't find any signs pointing to it.
The road leading to this small beach was closed due to a washout for several years and you might read elsewhere about that, but don't get the wrong idea. The road re-opened in early 2010. The beach is between the towns of Trinidad and Moonstone, near the Cher-Ae Heights Casino.
To get there, set your GPS to 1183 Trinidad Scenic Drive, Trinidad CA. That's the address of a house near the beach, but please don't go driving in and pestering those poor homeowners.
You can also follow these directions: Take the Trinidad exit off US Hwy 101 (exit 728). Go west, then south on Trinidad Scenic Drive, which is very close to the highway. Park on the wide shoulder of the road, just after you pass Baker Ranch Road on the left. A steep, overgrown-looking trail descends to the beach from there.
You can see some photos and get more information about it on the Baker Beach Facebook page.
College Cove is two areas with one name. The north section, which is easier to reach, has more clothed visitors than the south. A rock wall on the beach separates the two sections. Both locations are popular with young singles and have some gawkers.
To get there from the town of Eureka, take US Hwy 101 north to the Exit 728 for the town of Trinidad and go toward the ocean on Main Street.
Where the road curves left, turn right onto Stage Coach Road. Go past the entrance to Trinidad State Beach, past Anderson Lane and look for a small sign (that says College Cove) at the entrance to a dirt parking lot. That's where you turn left to park.
You can find some reviews of College Cove at Tripadvisor, where most people rave about how beautiful it is.
Nudity Laws in Humboldt County
As far as we have been able to determine, Humboldt County has no laws prohibiting public nudity, although some towns have ordinances that apply within their city limits. In 2015, a proposed nudity ban was being discussed. Before you go, you might want to search for Humboldt County nudity laws to find out whether that law was passed.
More Places for Clothing Optional Recreation
If you're in Humboldt, you can also go to a nude beach in Marin County, which is the closest place in California that has nude beaches. They're all listed in the Marin County nude beach guide.
Northern California also has several clothing optional resorts that cater to people who enjoy the clothing optional lifestyle.
Some of them are centered on natural hot springs and offer overnight accommodations. They're all listed in the Guide to Clothing Optional Resorts in California