With the exception of Wreck Beach, the following are not officially recognized nude areas. They are spots where you can practise nudism if you are reasonably discreet.
Click here to find out how the Canadian Criminal Code affects Canadian Nudists.
WRECK BEACH PRESERVATION SOCIETY P.O. BOX 602 STN. MAIN,DELTA, BC V4K 4J7 (604) 946-7545; fax (604) 273-6950
From the United States take I-5 northward, past the airport entrance, and immediately get off at the river's far side into Marine Drive. You'll have to exit going east and double back, passing under I-5 and threading through some small streets until you're on Southwest Marine Drive going west. Continue for several miles; once at Wreck, you'll have a choice of several parking areas and access trails.
If you park near the green sign with white letters announcing Wreck Beach, take the macadamed path off to your left from the sign and follow a brook. At the bottom of the bluff, walk right at the huge rock partly painted red and continue along the shore for two city blocks until you reach a small beach. Turn inland at the large fallen pine tree hanging out over the water and take the trail at the foot of the bluff that Gerhard Schulz constructed a decade ago to ease your walking on otherwise difficult terrain.
If you drive on past the first sign, you'll enter the UBC campus. The next beach access is at the intersection of Marine Drive and University Boulevard. Gate 6 of UBC (known as Trail 6), Gate 3 (Trail 3) and Trail 4 (directly south of the Museum of Anthropology) will lead through the woods to the beach. Finding trails going back up can be difficult. Trail 3 goes up at the more northerly of two WWII searchlight towers on the beach. Trail 6 goes up about a mile down the coast at Coward Cove, which faces the stone breakwater, just east of an outleaning spar pine.
Access to Wreck Beach from the north is by way of the Spanish Banks Public Beach. This access is recommended for those wanting to avoid the strenuous climbs required for the various trails. From downtown Vancouver, take I-5, turn off into Fourth Avenue, head west into Northwest Marine Drive. Follow it west several miles onto the university grounds. Where the road begins to climb, get off and park; you're 90 meters (100 yd.) or so from Spanish Banks Beach. Walk left a couple hundred meters.
From North Vancouver, northwest on I-5 (the road to Squamish) to 1.6 km (1 mi.) north of lIons Bay. Take trails towards Brunswick Point, go to clothed public beach (150 m/165 yd. long) on south (Howe Sound) side of point, then walk east, cross 1.5 meter-high rock groin to 300 m (330 yd.) nude beach, a mellow place.
British Columbia has a wealth of hot springs for the intrepid skinny-dipper to enjoy. Though most of the easily accessible springs have been commercially developedto the dismay of many naturists and naturalist soakers a number of springs in the backcountry are well worth the trek. Of note in the Vancouver area are the Meager Creek and Skooumchuck hot springs along the Lillooet River.
From Vancouver take Route 99 north to Pemberton; for Meager Creek follow the logging road northwest along the Lillooet to where it meets Meager Creek; the springs are a 10 km (6 mi.) hike up the creek bed. For Skookumchuck continue on Route 99 to Mount Currie, then south along the forest road for 54 km (33.5 mi.) until you see the BC Hydro tower #682. The spring is located between markers 22 and 21.
From Chilliwack, east of Vancouver, follow signs 50 km (31 mi.) to Chilliwack Lake. Parking is beside the road with many private beaches in coves around the perimeter. Nearby Vedder has food and lodging. The outstanding scenery draws canuders, hikers/backpackers, campers. Clad and unclad share without offense.
The lake beach is rocky into the shallows. Used by a mix of families, couples, and gays. Because many trees were cleared from behind the beach, nude use has shifted further north. From Route 97 (Harvey Avenue) turn south on Pandosy Street. This becomes Lakeshore Road. At the intersection with Swamp Road turn right (which is still Lakeshore Road), go exactly 3.2 km (2 mi.), turn right and park in the lot above the beach. Walk well past a small white building to the nude area.
The high-class resort at Fairmont Hot Springs has long serviced the needs of those people who enjoy hot soaking best when accompanied by all the comforts of home. We've discovered a way for free spirits to enjoy the use of these same springs in a more natural setting. Above the hotel on Indian Reserve land, the Native People have built a stone bathhouse that is both charming and free. Four separate rooms, each 1.2 m x 1.8 m (4' x 6') with a concrete bathtub, give ample opportunity to enjoy the 50° (ca. 120°F) waters.
From Cranbrook take Route 93/95 north to Farimont Hot Springs. Once in town park at the resort and walk upstream along Fairmont Creek to the bathhouse. Show respect for others and enjoy.
For centuries access to the "Great Medicine Waters" of the Halcyon Hot Springs has been contested. The Washington and Kootenay Indians periodically fought over them; then the white man came to develop the springs, charging admission to anyone who would use them. At last the springs flow free for all to enjoy. The bathhouses have long since burned down, leaving the small concrete retaining walls open to the skies.
From Nakusp take Route 23 north for 33.6 km (20.9 mi.) until you reach lot #100, a large open meadow. The retaining walls are visible from the road. The temperature ranges from 46° to 50° (115° to 122°F). All pools provide excellent naturist enjoyment.
The capital of British Columbia, Victoria, is a charming city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Victorians (at least those who do not live up to their name) established a free beachhead at Prior Lake in Thetis Lake Park. In July 1978 city officials conceded it would be pointless to enforce laws against nude bathing.
"Due to highway reconstruction, there's a brand-new access to the main entrance to Thetis Lake Park (the main beach is NOT clothing-optional). Take the trails around the lake to find secluded coves. Directions: Take Hwy 1 out of Victoria and take the highway exit to Colwood and Western Communities. Follow the signs to Thetis Lake Park (i.e., turn right at the traffic-light by the gas station on the right side). Bring $2.00 in coins for the pay parking." [Anonymous, 1997].
From Victoria, Route 1 to Parksville, then Route 4 past Port Alberni to Pacific Rim National Park. North end of Long Beach is used nudepast the camping towards Schooner Cove. Couples, gays on a beach backed by tall trees.
From Victoria, Route 19 north. From Denman Island, take the ferry to Hornby Island. Drive to Little Tribute Bay, where nude use has been established.
The Sooke River Potholes are well known to clothed visitors, especially for the waterfalls. The hike along the river involves scaling rocks and wading waist-deep in chilly water. Skinny-dippers just go a bit further along before stripping down.
About 30 km (18.5 mi.) from Victoria. Drive west on Route 14 almost to the town of Sooke; turn right on Sooke River Road and then into the parking area. Hike 1 km (0.6 mi.) beyond the clothed beach to the nude zone.
Accessed off Metchosin Road. Take the footpath and wooded stairway to the beach. Turn right and proceed west along the beach beyond the overhanging trees which delineate the boundary between the clothed and clothing-optional areas. Walking distance is about 500 m (0.3 mi.); the water is cold and there are no facilities.
Less than 30 minutes from Victoria, Albert Head Beach is accessed from Farhill Road off Metchosin Road. Park at the Albert Head Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary and walk north along the beach toward the gravel loading dock. Best area is about halfway, where gravel turns to sand. Walking distance is about 90 m (100 yd.).
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The Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération québécoise de naturisme (FQN) share the Canadian membership in the International Naturist Federation (INF), which has its world headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.