San Onofre State Beach is a 3000-acre park located just south of the Orange County boundary in San Diego County, California. It is one of the most visited state parks in California, receiving about 2.5 million visitors each year. Among the activities that can be enjoyed at the park include swimming, sunbathing, surfing, beach sports, kayaking, biking, and even camping.
Before 2010, the park featured a clothing-optional area frequented by naturists and nudists. Today, nudity is prohibited in the area and park rangers can give visitors tickets when found in their birthday suits on the beach. Now, people still go nude at San Onofre State Beach, but cross the fenced area into the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.
Although nudity has been outlawed in what was formerly one of the most popular and most visited nude beaches in the state, certain naturist groups have continued to fight for their rights to go bare in the park’s former nude area.
Trail 6: San Onofre’s Nude Beach
There are several trails that lead to the state park, which range from 1 to 6. The farthest trail with a dead end road is Trail 6, and down the cliffs of this trail is a secluded 1000-feet beach that used to be a popular clothing-optional area.
During its heyday, the area averaged 500 visitors with 80% of this number donning zero clothing. The area is also known as Trail 6. When talking about the nude area of the San Onofre State Beach, Trail 6 is always used to refer to the area.
Location and Accessibility
The San Onofre State Park is located 1 hour north of San Diego and about 1.5 hours south of LA, the park is a 90-minute drive south. The nude area is located on the southern most part, where one needs to drive to Trail 6, and hike down a half mile through a cliff to reach the beach. The area is covered by bluffs and no other route or trail can take you to and back other than Trail 6, which make for the perfect characteristics of a secluded nude beach with very little risk of gawkers and creeps.
The beach can be found right on the city limits of San Clemente, and is a perfect spot for privacy and relaxation since it is sheltered by the Camp Pendleton Marine Base and the bluffs of the state park.
Amenities and Facilities
There are no facilities at Trail 6, sans for a paid parking area at the base of the trail. A fee of $15 is to be paid once you park a vehicle. Restrooms can be found in the main area of the state park.
The only time lifeguards are provided in the area is during the summer. Otherwise, swimming or surfing must be at your own risk since lifeguards are nowhere in sight during the rest of the year.
Other Important Details:
- No dogs are allowed at Trail 6
- No alcoholic beverages allowed
- No glass beverages are allowed
- Since the beach is close to the marine base, it is common to witness helicopters and jets flying around the area.
A sanctuary for naturists since then governor Ronald Raegan established the beach in 1971, nudity has become banned at the San Onofre State Park. A community of nudists, however, are continuing to fight for their freedom to go full monty on the beach. Trail 6 also used to have a strong and lively community with many events right on the beach.
To join the fight to keep San Onofre State Beach Trail 6 clothing-optional, please visit the Naturist Action Committee.