COBC: Clothing-optional Opportunities in B.C. (and beyond)
Copyright ©1991-2011 --- Page updated: 2011 Jun 2
"British Columbia's best guide to nudist clubs and clothing-optional beaches."

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Vancouver Area.

Locations Listed.
Usage changes over time. I encourage you to use discretion in locating and using the locations listed.


Vancouver.

VANCOUVER: Wreck Beach. [Photos] [FCN Photo] [Map]
Wreck Beach, located below the University of BC campus in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, has the distinction of being Canada's first official clothing-optional beach. To get there, head west on 4th, 10th, 16th, or 41st Avenue, or on Southwest Marine Drive. When you reach the campus, locate Gate 6 on Marine Drive and park in the visitor (pay) lot. (Check the campus information maps or ask for directions if necessary.) Gate 4 also leads to public (pay) parking and is suitable if you are going to use trail 4.

The main section of Wreck is accessed by Trail 6 (GPS: N49 15.808 W123 15.55) which starts across the road from Gate 6. On a hot weekend day, the people at the bottom of this long steep trail will number in the thousands. Food and drink (and many other items) are amply available, including a wide selection of beer despite the fact that its sale and consumption are illegal here. When crowded, the atmosphere is quite festive. On cooler days, and especially during the week, it is more subdued.

Heading south (left) and continuing past the breakwater, through the trees at the water's edge, leads to many small, secluded patches of sand. This section is largely used by gays, but can be a good spot to go early in the season when the main beach is mostly partying university students. Two other trails lead to this area: one starts from an old section of Marine Drive which loops around the backside of the botanical garden; the other starts from the lookout point halfway through the park on Southwest Marine Drive.

Turning right at the foot of Trail 6 will lead you around the point to the Trail 4/Tower Beach area.

Comment: "Visited this place for the first time this year. It has much going for it: great scenery, great waves, eagles gliding along the cliffs, and ice-cold lemonade sold by a pretty person wearing only a straw hat. But a family beach it is not. No children among the thousand or so people on the day we were there, but plenty of people high on this, that or the other, to judge by their loud and incoherent blather. And I found the atmosphere somehow less than friendly." [Escoville, Jul 2007]

VANCOUVER: Tower Beach. [Photos] [Map]
The Tower Beach area is named after the two concrete searchlight towers built during WWII. The best access is by Trail 4, which can be located by heading into the trees across the road from Gate 4, by the Museum of Anthropology and the Parking and Security building. Like Trail 6, this trail is steep and tiring to climb back up. The Towers area is immediately at the foot of the trail and extends to the left. This area is much smaller (especially at high tide) and much quieter than the main section by Trail 6. It is mostly couples here. No food or drink is available. Turning right at the foot of the trail will lead you past the western tower eventually leads to the foot of Trail 3 which ascends at a gentler slope from beside the eastern tower. Although all this area is CO, "erosion-control" methods have eroded most of the sand between the towers so CO use is minimal.

Beyond Trail 3, the beach becomes quite overgrown and difficult to travel. CO use is legal, but minimal, all the way to Acadia Beach.

VANCOUVER: Acadia Beach (Spanish Banks West). [Photos] [Map]
Heading west from Spanish Banks Beach to a point below the cliffs takes you to the limit of the Wreck Beach CO area, known as Acadia Beach. This is, by far, the most accessible part of Wreck Beach as the road in this area is almost at sea level. Just as NW Marine Drive starts uphill to the UBC campus there is a small parking lot at the roadside. From this lot follow the trail west along the beach. A short walk takes you across a tiny bridge to the CO section, marked by signs. It is possible to walk all the way to Trail 6 from here, but it is quite a long distance under the cover of trees. This beach suffers from being in the shade all morning and the fact that there are many rocks, but not much sand. Note: if the parking lot is full, there is usually ample parking back by the textile beach.

VANCOUVER: Wreck Beach Preservation Society (FCN).
P.O. Box 602, Delta, BC, V4K 4J7. Phone/FAX (24-hour): (604) 273-6950. Email: judyw(a)wreckbeach.org.

VANCOUVER: Wreck Beach Swim Club.
The WBSC meets the 3rd Saturday of each month from September to June (usually) except December.
Location: Lord Byng Pool in Vancouver from 7:30 to 9:30 pm (3990 W. 14th Ave).
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
Facilities: swimming pool, water volleyball, sauna, and a great hot tub.
Cost: $6.00 members; $8.00 non-members. A membership card is $5.00 for the season. Children (18 years & younger) are admitted free when accompanied by their parents.
Note: There will be no swim in December (or it may be rescheduled).
Following each swim night there is usually a get together for snacks at a local restaurant. Check with the front desk for location.
Nudity is mandatory. See schedule for specific dates. [Last info: Jan 2009]

VANCOUVER: Third Beach Topfree. (GPS: N49 18.294 W123 9.39)
In 2008, three women chose the North End of Third Beach in Stanley Park for topfree use. By 2009, they noticed that others had joined them. Women may legally be topfree on any beach (and almost anywhere) in BC (and Ontario), but most women will feel more comfortable if they are not alone. This is a good start. [Apr 2010]

VANCOUVER: Totems Travel Club (AANR) --- CLOSED.
I haven't seen anything recently for this club, so I presume they are long gone. 3841 Arbutus St., Vancouver, V5J 3Z9.

VANCOUVER: Pacific-Canadian Association of Nudists (P-CAN)
"For gay and bi-sexual men. . . . All male nudists are welcome." Adults only.
Parties in Vancouver-area nightclubs, homes, bowling alleys, camping, river floating, etc. Nude only, unless otherwise stated. Sometimes underwear, etc. is allowed. Some events are for members only; some ask you to RSVP.

EAST VANCOUVER: NIFTY.
NIFTY (an acronym for Naked Iconoclasts Fighting The Yoke) has been working since 1992 to "promote clothing-optional rights and educate the public about the damaging effects of our society's censure of the natural human body." For information, email <korkyday(a)yahoo.com>. [Last update: Apr 2003]

EAST VANCOUVER: NIFTY Swim Night.
NIFTY's swimsuit-optional swim and sauna nights are held on the last Saturday of each month from September until June, but sometimes not in December.
Location: Templeton Pool (700 Templeton Drive) in East Vancouver.
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
Cost: $5.00 per person. Children (18 years & younger) are admitted free when accompanied by their parents.
Following each swim night there is usually a get together for snacks at a local restaurant. Check with the front desk for location.
Nudity is optional. See schedule for specific dates. For information, email Korky Day at <korkyday(a)yahoo.com>. [Last info: Jan 2009]


Howe Sound.

BOWEN ISLAND: September Morn Beach. [Photo]
September Morn is an excellent, small beach area at the end of a cul-de-sac. After a bit of a steep hike down you will find a beach with fairly calm winds and lots of sun when it is out. Everybody who lives here says it is the only clothing-optional beach on Bowen. A couple of houses overlook the beach. [Terry, Jun 2011]
Directions: From the ferry docks, head inland and take the first left turn, ontp Dorman Rd. Follow that winding road until it turns into Hummingbird Lane. Continue to the end of the road and park. Head down the path towards the beach. The best place for CO is at the far end on your right, over a long log which reaches the water. There is alot of driftwood on shore but also some nice areas to lay out as well.


North Vancouver.

NORTH VANCOUVER: Cabin Lake.
During mid- to late summer, skinny-dipping is not uncommon at this small alpine lake. Located in the Cypress Provincial Park ski area, Cabin Lake is easily accessible from the top of the Black Mountain chairlift. Park in the Cypress Bowl (downhill skiing) parking lot and locate the Black Mountain lift. You can pay to ride the lift to the top or, if you wish to hike, follow the switchback road up the mountain to the left side of the lift. Either way, you can ride back for free. From the top of the lift, a well-marked trail heads into the forest, emerging about 30 minutes later at Cabin Lake. To the right a trail heads up a ridge, leading to some spectacular ledges suitable for suntanning. To the left a trail circles most of the lake, giving access to all parts of it. In late summer there are lots of wild blueberries just waiting to be picked. [Last info1994]
Note: Cypress Bowl has been trying to charge hikers for using the park, so be prepared to pay a few bucks each.

NORTH VANCOUVER: Van Tan Club (FCN, AANR).
Established in 1939, Canada's oldest nudist club is located on the side of Mount Fromme (beside Grouse Mountain), offering a spectacular view of Vancouver and Burnaby. A solar heated pool and wood-fired sauna are available. PO Box 37120, RPO Lonsdale, North Vancouver, BC, V7N 4M4. (604) 980-2400. Email: info(a)vantan.ca

NORTH VANCOUVER: Van Tan Swim Nights.
Van Tan Club Swim nights are held from October through June on the First Saturday of each month.
Location: William Griffin Pool, 851 W. Queens Rd., North Vancouver.
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
Cost: $6.00 members; $8.00 non-members. A membership card is $5.00 for the calendar year. Children (18 years & younger) are admitted free when accompanied by their parents.
Facilities: Pool, hot tub, sauna, water volleyball. Lockers are $0.50, non-refundable.
Following each swim night there is usually a get together for snacks at a local restaurant. Check with the front desk for location.
Nudity is mandatory. See schedule for specific dates. [Last info: Jan 2009]

NORTH VANCOUVER: Seymour Demonstration Forest. [Photo]
"There is an 11 km paved road from Rice lake to the Seymour Dam in the Demonstration Forest. No cars are allowed on this road, so you must walk, ride a bicycle, or use roller blades. At the 9 km sign, there is a gravel road down to the river about 500m long. When you get down there is a nice grassy area to the right (downstream) by a big bend wide bend in the river. About a third of the beach is sandy, the rest has small rocks. There are several nice big swimming holes. The GVRD patrols this area regularly, but they ignore the nudity.
"Most of the time you will see no one else for hours at a time. Maybe on a hot busy weekend a few people will come down. If you feel uncomfortable about being nude with the group that is there (or if you are nervous about being spotted), just move south (downstream) past a small island where there is more sand and it is usually warmer. The view and swimming holes are not as nice however. And at times, because it is warmer, there can be bugs." The parks department occasionally brings tour buses down on weekends, but the guides have been seen to avoid the beach when nudists were present. [Anonymous, Aug 1997]
Directions: From Hwy 1, take exit 22 (Seymour Parkway/Lillooet Road) and follow Lillooet Road as far as is permitted. Park here, at the Rice Lake parking lot, and continue up the "Seymour Mainline". Or you can start from Lynn Canyon, near the top of Lynn Valley Road, at the cost of adding an extra 2km to the trip.
Caution: The currents here can be strong enough to sweep you downstream at a good pace if you are unprepared for them. You won't go far, but you may be swept over top of submerged logs.

NORTH VANCOUVER: Lynn Headwaters Park. [Photo]
Located at the southern boundary of the park, this site offers large rocks to lay on and deep pools to cool off in. (Sorry, no beach.) During the week, this area is usually frequented by 'locals'. But on the weekend you might see a few (4 or 5 people a day) who are trying to 'walk' the canyon from top to bottom. Many of the 'walkers', though, will join you in being nude when they see you are.
Directions: From Hwy 1, take Lynn Valley Road (exit 19) east for 4km to Lynn Headwaters Park. (Or take Mountain Hwy north and turn right onto Lynn Valley Road.) Park in the first parking lot (overflow lot #2) and walk down the trail at the end of the lot. The nearest section of the creek is used by teenagers. Continue downstream for about 50m to a branch in the creek. The right arm is dry in the summer, so follow the main arm to the left of the island. About 100m further, a series of deep pools (the deepest is about 1.5m) are at the heart of the clothing-optional area which extends basically from the tip of the island to the tip of the next island and a bit beyond. [First listing Aug 1997; Last info Jun 2001]

NORTH VANCOUVER: Indian Arm.
Dozens (hundreds?) of small coves offer ample CO opportunities in this large and virtually unpopulated inlet north of Burrard Inlet. Access by boat is possible from Deep Cove, Burnaby, or Ioco. Kayaking is possible from Deep Cove.


Richmond.

RICHMOND: Iona Beach Park. [Photo] (GPS: N49 13.682 W123 13.869)
"Iona Beach Park is one of the best-kept secrets in the Vancouver area. Probably because it is out by the water treatment facility. The water however is cleaner than at Wreck Beach. When the tide is out you can literally walk for miles out to the water. The location has great views and sunsets. Note that families use the main area and there will be the odd dog walker. You need to walk about 1 km to the nude areas. You can find plenty of private spots between logs if you're shy or grab a spot on the sand or sand bar. Find a spot by the nude beach sign (no longer there) if you like to socialize (about a 1 km walk). The further out you walk, the nicer it gets." [Steve, Aug 2006]
The area to the right (west) of the picnic area is extremely popular with dog walkers. Although it is not officially an off-leash area, most people will have their dogs off-leash once they are past the picnic area. Most will walk 500m or more, with only a small number of dog walkers (and other walkers) passing the 1 km mark. I'm told that the people who venture that past the trees are seldom upset by nude sunbathers.
This is one nude beach where it is the nudists who carry binoculars! Most of the regulars use them to check who they are approaching and who is approaching them. This is for safety, but mostly to know if they should cover up or not. Many nudists head out onto the tidal flats and walk parallel to the beach so they can stay nude longer. By looking at the people in the distance they can find a "safe" path.
Directions: Head towards Vancouver International Airport (main terminal) along Grant McConachie Way. At the first light, turn right onto Templeton Street (which changes to Grauer Rd, then Ferguson Rd, then Iona Island Causeway). Drive for about 7 km to the end of the road and park in the last parking lot. From the picnic area, follow the beach to the right past the log salvage facility. People are sometimes nude by the treed section, just past the salvage facility, or occasionally even beside it, but most wait until they are past the trees (1.5 km). At about 3.0 km, the sandy shore disappears, but you walk over the berm to the north side, which has great sand and a steeper slope into the river.
Comment: "Just last weekend I went to Iona Beach. I tried to get to the 'nude beach' sign, but I walked over 2km and saw nothing. Is it confirmed to be a clothing optional beach, or is it kinda a hidden secret?" [R.M., Jun 2007] -- (Perhaps the "nude beach" sign was removed. This is definitely an unofficial nude beach. --Ed.)
Comment: "I walked out there for the first time on Wednesday evening. The only nude person I found was about 1.5km out, near the end of the densely treed area. Everybody before that was clothed." [B.A., Jul 2009]
Comment: "I am happy to report that this weekend I did encounter several nudist sunbathers. Couples and singles, but not congregating in any particular area. Spaced quite far apart from each other. You do need to walk about 2km (past all the clothed people) to find the naturists. There's no 'nude beach' sign, neither on the beach nor on the trail that cuts through the recycling business. I'm not sure if nudists watch the tides because that time I encountered two couples and the three singles was during high tide. During low tide, I usually only encounter one fellow - I think he builds all those wind shelters. I guess the 'regulars' know that high tide keeps all the walkers away. Just my theory." [T.C., Jul 2009]
Comment: "Warm, sunny April weather has given me the opportunity to visit this beach a few times recently. Dog walkers are quite common up to the densely treed area (1.0km to 1.5km ?). It is *usually* possible to strip off somewhere in this area and continue without clothing, but on weekends you will probably need to go to the end of the treed section (1.5 km). There are still occasional walkers who continue past here, even to 2.0 km or more, but they are usually easy to avoid. On weekends the number of people is probably higher. The beach goes on for a long way, narrowing at about the 3.0km mark, but I haven't made it that far." [B.A., Apr 2010]
Comment: "I was here last Sunday--hot and sunny! There were quite a few clothed people sunbathing alongside the treed area and beyond. And quite a few walkers continuing on well past this point. I stayed clothed until I was past some clothed people and could see that the next people ahead were naked. A regular here told me that he treats the end of the trees as the start of the nude section and nobody seems to mind--most of them are used to it. I continued until the spit began to narrow. Then I crossed to the other side where there was soft, dry sand and easy water access for my dog. (I never went in.) When I decided to head home, I crossed back to the south side of the berm and continued about 500m out onto the tidal flats. Because I was 500m from dry land and any people, I didn't get dressed when I passed the treed section. I finally dressed as started to approach another dog walker. All told, I saw about 6 other nudists, but there were other people who were well-hidden behind logs, so there may have been more." [B.A., July 21/2010]
Note: There is a lot of garbage on this beach. Please try to pick up a few pieces on each trip, especially broken glass.

RICHMOND: Swishwash Island --- Unlikely. [Map]
It has been suggested that Swishwash Island, by the airport, might be good for nude use. You would need a small boat to reach the island, but would have a great deal of privacy. This would be a good location if you like watching planes take off, but a bad location if you want peace and quiet. [Oct 2006]
Directions: Not sure where the best access point would be. Maybe from the North end of #1 Road.
Comment:
"The island is a nature reserve and NOT accessible to the public. It is subject to tides, it has a seaplane flight path on one side and access channel for the Coast Guard, including their hovercrafts on the other. Its shores are muddy and extremely soft. A person would sink into the soil at least up to the knees. There is wildlife present on this island and should not be disturbed. It is not suitable for recreation of any kind." [Note: since the correspondent offered no official source for the information, I have no way of knowing if any of this is true.]

RICHMOND: Steveston Island. [Map]
Known to locals as "Shady Island", Steveston Island, in the Fraser River close to Steveston Village, is a beautiful island with 3 km of sandy beach. The island doesn't get a lot of visitors, so nude use is possible. It is possible to wade to the east end of the island at low tide, but you might be stranded until the next low tide. Access by boat is recommended. [Oct 2006]
Directions: A good starting point would be anywhere between Garry Point Park and the south end of #2 Road.


Surrey.

SURREY: Hyperion Club --- CLOSED.
Hyperion is no longer in existence.

SURREY: Vancouver Sunbathing Association --- CLOSED.
VSA is permanently closed. [Gord, May 2003]

SURREY: Fraser Valley Naturist Club (AANR).
Formed in 2000/2001, FVNC is a travel club based in the Surrey/Langley area. #404-19567 Fraser Hwy., Surrey, BC, V3S 9A4. (604) 813-1899. Email: <Info(a)fvnc.ca>. [Last info: May 2007]

SURREY: Skinnydippers Recreation Club.
The Skinnydippers are a non-landed club that hosts various events including swim nights at the Newton Wave Pool, cruises to Indian Arm, and bowling in New Westminster.

SURREY: Skinnydippers swims at Newton Wave Pool.
The Skinnydippers nude swims have returned to the Newton Wave Pool and now host a swim night year-round, on the second Saturday of each month.
Location: Newton Wave Pool, 13730 72 Ave, Surrey, B.C.
Membership is mandatory, application forms are available on-line or at the swim.
Annual membership dues $10.00.
Time: 9:30pm to 11:00pm
Cost: $10.00 per person. Children (18years & younger) are admitted free when accompanied by their parent(s).
Lockers are available for $0.25 rental (coin-op). Bring quarters, please.
We have a small number of rental locks available if we run out of coin lockers.
Because these swims run so late, we have a restaurant social before the swim instead of after. We have made arrangements to have our own area set aside at the Boston Pizza restaurant just north of the pool. We will be getting together there starting at about 7:00pm. The address is: 600-7488 King George Hwy, Surrey. This is on the east side of King George Hwy, in the same parking lot as the Superstore.
All Skinnydipper swims are nude only. See schedule for specific dates and times.

SURREY: Bare Creek Bed & Breakfast.
Owned by Paul and Lauren Andreassen, Bare Creek Bed & Breakfast is currently the only nudist accommodation in Surrey. . The home is clothing-optional, with nudity acceptable in all indoor areas and in privacy-screened areas outside. Smoking is permitted only in a designated, outdoor smoking area. Amenities include hot tub and a games room with a pool table. 12216 New McLellan Rd., Surrey, B.C. V3X 2Y1. 778-565-7637. [Last info, Apr 2010]

SURREY: Bridgeview Reach Nude Beach.
Located on the North bank of the Fraser River just East of the Amix salvage yard at 12301 Musqueum, Surrey (upstream from the Patullo Bridge. It is quite private, and has about 150' of fine sandy beach concealed from view of the street by a field of blackberries and scrub. The folks I met there said they'd been going to this spot for years and that the nude salmon fishing at the end of the summer was a lot of fun! The shore is rather muddy and the water quality questionable, so plan on tanning, not swimming.
Directions: "To get there, take the King George Highway North towards the Patullo Bridge, veering to the right before the bridge onto 112th Ave. in front of the Turf Hotel. Follow this road straight ahead and it will go under the train trestle, turning right on Musqueum at Ritchie Brothers, and after an S-bend will pass the Amix Salvage yard. The beach is located at the East end of the fenced blackberry field upstream from the Amix compound. There is a large cement block on which someone has painted "Bridgeview Reach" pointing the way to the access trail.   " [D.P., Jun 2008]
Update: "The vegetation bulldozed by Amix at Bridgeview Reach Nude Beach has regrown and this area is once again private and quite suitable for nude-recreation." [D.P., Jul 2008]
Update: "We visited Bridgeview Beach today and found that there is a large wharf and crane just offshore. I'm assuming it was built by Amix Salvage. The wharf is probably 50-75 feet high, just offshore and completely overlooks the beach. Unless you are an exhibitionist, I doubt you will be comfortable here. There were a number of construction guys walking on the wharf and anyone laying on the beach would be in plain view." [R.M., Jun 2010]

SURREY: Barnston Island. [Photo] [Map] (GPS: N49 11.582 W122 40.357)
Known as Barnston Bare Beach, "Metro Vancouver purchased this prime piece of naturist real estate in 2009, ensuring public access once again to this historic nude beach found at the eastern point of Barnston Island in the Fraser River across from Port Kells. The sandy beach changes with the height of the Fraser but during most of the year a flat expanse of sand is ringed with a mound of sand, making it popular for playing nude volleyball. Enjoy the view of the new Golden Ears bridge which is far enough away not to be a distraction for motorists. If possible, plan on leaving your car on the mainland and taking your bike for this very scenic 9.8 km ride around the entire island." [D.P., Apr 2010]
Directions: From Hwy 1, take exit 53 (Hwy 15) and follow 176 St. north to 104 Ave and turn right. The road will end at the Barnston Island Ferry dock. "Take the 5 minute ride on this free tugboat ferry across Parsons Channel to Barnston and then turn right and head east on the Dike road. Pass through the Katzie First Nation Reserve and continue driving until you reach the far eastern end of the island where the road will curve to the left following the shore. There is a metal gate you pass through on the right side of the road with parking on either side of the dirt road heading into the forest. An abandoned farm is located directly across the street from the gate where you can also park. Depending on weather and conditions you might be able to drive to the beach allowing access to those who are mobility challenged." [D.P., Apr 2010]

SOUTH SURREY: Surrey's United Naturist Association (S.U.N. Assn).
Formed to preserve and promote clothing-optional use of Crescent Rock Beach and Surrey's other nude beaches. To become a member of S.U.N. Assn,. email your name, age, and home town to S.U.N. Assn. for updates and event info. Email: sun-a ssn(a)hotmail.com  [May 2007]
Also, check out founder Tom Pitcairn's column "The Naked Truth" in the White Rock Sun.

SOUTH SURREY: Crescent Rock Beach (Ocean Park Bluffs). [Photos] [WikiMapia]
Known as Crescent Rock Beach or Ocean Park Bluffs, the whole 6.5 km stretch of beach between White Rock Beach and Crescent Beach has been used sporadically, but three areas in particular have been used for nude sunbathing and swimming for more than 50 years. Surrey's United Naturist's Association (S.U.N. Assn.) has posted signs marking the beach limits and designating the beach clothing-optional from May 15 to Sept 15 to coincide with the dog-free period. Click the WikiMapia link above for an annotated map. [Last info Jan 2007]
1) Crescent Rock (GPS: 49°2'40"N 122°53'4"W). Just South of Crescent Beach at the beginning of Crescent Rock Beach is a 200m strip of shoreline protected by bluffs and hidden from view of the train tracks and main beach. The view is west across Mud Bay towards Tsawwassen, making for beautiful sunsets. The water gets deeper much faster than at Crescent Beach and is more suitable for swimming. While pebbly, the beach has nice sandy patches for lying on, plus lots of wildlife and tranquility. The huge boulder, for which Crescent Rock Beach is named, marks the starting point of this beach section and the beginning of Crescent Rock Beach. From here it is about 0.5 km to the next good section of beach, Mile 126.
2) Crescent Rock West Beach/Mile 126 (GPS: 49°2'9"N 122°52'46"W). At the Mile 126 marker on the railway (and out of sight from the trains), raised beach beds have been constructed above the high-tide mark. Naturists have been coming to this spot for years to nude sunbathe and for skinny-dipping.
3) Mile 124/125. Another highly utilized area is from just before Mile 124 to Mile 125 (as measured by the railway markers). The best area is near the Mile 124, where there is a little sandy area and couple of little sun shelters built from logs. You can sit there nude without being seen from the tracks... but not, of course, if you are nude out in the water. There can be anywhere up to 20 people at one time. Non-nudists walking on the tracks and the beach do not make an issue of the nudity, but this probably isn't the best place to go for people who worry about being seen by non-nudists. This area is easily accessible from White Rock Beach.
Directions (from Crescent Beach): Follow Crescent Road from King George Hwy or Hwy 99 to the Crescent Beach area. Parking is at a premium here when the weather is nice; you may have to search for a spot (but at least its free). From the main part of the beach, head south (left) until the lawn and gravel pathway ends and the more natural beach begins. Continue past the tall metal stairway (101 steps) to Crescent Rock. This 120 tonne boulder is impossible to miss. Suitable areas start just past the rock and continue for 200 meters until it becomes rockier and it becomes visible from the train tracks above.
Directions (from 24th Avenue/101 Steps) (GPS: 49°2'44"N 122°53'1"W): At the west end of 24th Ave, there is a stairway called "101 steps" leading down to the beach. There is plenty of free parking throughout this hilltop neighbourhood. The steps are wooden on the bluffs, then metal with a catwalk that goes over the B.N.R. train tracks. When you get to the bottom, turn left and follow above directions. Please note the stairs are locked at the entrance every night.
Directions (from Ocean Park/1001 Steps) (GPS: 49°1'49"N 122°52'27"W): From 16th Ave, go a half block south on either128th St. or 126A St., turn right (west) on 15A Ave., drive to the end of the Avenue, and look for the park entrance to 1001 Steps Park. (Despite the name there are only about 300 steps!) You can park freely throughout this neighbourhood except near the top of the stairs. From here it takes about 5 minutes to walk to the beach. Once you get to the beach (Mile 125.6 on the railway sign) turn right (north) to find Mile 126, or turn left (south) and walk past Kwomais point to the 125.0 mile sign on the tracks. You can go nude from there for about another 2 km (just past the sign for Mile 124). Some people park at Ocean Park shopping Mall on the corner of 128th St. and 16th Ave. You can walk from Ocean Park Mall and be nude on the beach in 15 or 20 minutes.
Directions (from 140th Street/Coldicutt Trail): Go south on 140th St. in S. Surrey till it crosses the White Rock border at 16th Ave/North Bluff Rd. and becomes Nichol St. Continue south on Nichol, crossing Marine Drive, and turn left onto Terry Rd. Take this one block east to the end of the road to find the stairs leading to the Coldicutt Trail. At the bottom turn west (right) to mile 124. It's an easy 20 minute walk to the beach, hidden from the tracks above. The Coldicutt Trail can also be accessed from Marine Drive but the entrance is not marked.
Directions (from White Rock Beach): Park in the western-most parking lot or on Marine Drive where Marine heads uphill. Then follow the tracks west, preferably to mile 124--a 20 to 25 min hike. Parking costs $2 per hour (for up to 3 hours) and you can add additional time with your cell phone from the beach if you keep your stub.
Caution (for all directions): These are active railway tracks with fast moving trains! Walking on the tracks is illegal and dangerous. For safety's sake, walk beside the tracks and keep your eyes and ears open for signs of approaching trains. You'll probably have less than a minute to get off the tracks (a lot less if you rely on sight, or if they don't blast the horn). Also note that the wires along the side of the tracks are probably live---they aren't meant as a fence.
Comment: "I have been to Cresent Rock Beach a few times, and it is a wonderful beach to get an all over tan. You can usually find a nice spot to stretch out and get the rays. As with other beaches, some days there is hardly anybody on it, and other days it is very busy. For the most part people are very friendly. Once in a while there are the guys that just want to talk as an effort to look at you, and some guys try and pick me up, but for the most part it is a wonderful beach, and we should thank the people working to keep it that way." [Susie, July 2006]
Comment: "Great area, few looky-loos. Rocky shoreline with great little pockets to relax and stretch out. Lots of friendly people about. Some families passing by (cover-up for the children) cool clear water when the tide is in." [Kevin Ingram, Pho-Graphic photography <Pho-graphic(a)gmail.com> /<kevin-ingr am(a)shaw.ca> , Aug 2008]
Comment: "I walked several kilometers south from Crescent Beach. Sometimes I had to get up to the tracks, finding it easier than some of the rocky sections. I didn't walk all the way to the White Rock beach. There were a few nude sunbathers. The first couple I encountered was just around the corner from the public beach. There didn't seem to be any sections per se. I'd say than anything out of sight of the public beach is fair game. Most of it seemed to be pretty rocky, with a few isolated sandy spots. I have a feeling that even at low tide, the beach would be quite narrow." [M.T., June 1998]
Comment: "I would not go nude on the north (Crescent Beach) side of 1001 Steps (even though some people do) because at low tide the people on the beach can be seen from the houses on the cliff above. There are no houses on the south side of the park. This area is particularly good on 'weather marginal' days. The sun can be out down there when it is cloudy in Vancouver. The water is also cleaner and warmer than any other area in Vancouver. There is some sand at low tide, but most of the beach is covered with rocks. On nice days, a fair number of people walk the tracks between White Rock and Crescent Beach. They don't seem to pay any attention to the nudes, and hot days some women like to take this walk topless. Sunbathers not comfortable with people seeing them from the tracks can lay near the top of the beach, where they can't be seen from the tracks." [D.G., June 1998]
Comment: "My wife and I visited on the hottest day in July, but found no naturists sunbathing. We walked south along the tracks a considerable distance to no avail. There were a number of families, etc enjoying the beach near the entrance at 1001 steps, and fewer people to the south. There aren't many access points from the railroad tracks, but we sat in front of a large rock and enjoyed the sun. The day was so quiet, you could hear people walking along the railroad tracks and we would cover up a bit before they reached us. Saw several eagles, etc. Recommend you definitely bring aqua shoes or something other than sandals as the beach is rocky. If other naturists go there, we didn't see them, but hope to go back another day and try again." [M.C., Aug 1998]
Comment: "My wife and I have often gone naked about 200 yards down from the overpass that was built about 2 years ago. However we prefer to go much further down. We have often gone walkabout naked at low tide for quite a distance out and have had no complaints." [B.C., June 2001]
Comment: "Mecca for walkers and galkers. Boulders, seaweed sludge, razor sharp clam shells. No need to worry about getting sand in your shoes - there ain't none. Tanning area is narrow strip of rocks, pebbles, and BROKEN razor-sharp clamshells. Blankets are parallel-parking - unless you are under 5'5". All foot traffic (about 50 people per hour on a Wednesday) routes right over you because it's the only safe path through. Ideal for sadomasochistic exhibitionists. Worst beach ever!" [Gadget, July 2009]