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Nude beach / natural hot springs
100 Chuckanut Drive, Bow, WA 98232, USA
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Bellingham nudists seem to have been migrating a few miles south every few years in order to safely sunbathe in the nude. Teddy Bear Cove, which is located about 6.5 miles north of Dogfish Beach, was for years the best established nude beach in western Washington. That all changed in the early 90's when Whatcom County purchased the beach and surrounding land to create a county park. Conservative church groups took advantage of this situation and pressured the county to ban nudity in the newly created park, and the county caved in to their demands. So, naturists began to colonize Clayton Beach, located in Larrabee State Park about 3.5 miles south of Teddy Bear Cove (and about 3 miles north of Dogfish Beach). Because this beach was rather difficult to access, there were a few years of hassle-free nude use—until the state decided to improve the parking lot and trail, making Clayton more accessible. With the improvements came more textiles. Some of them complained about nudity, and park rangers began ticketing nude bathers.

In the late 90's, a few local nudists began to colonize yet another beach. Dogfish Beach is privately owned by a shellfish company. Apparently, the owners know about nude use and do not mind so long as visitors do not trash the beach or remove any shellfish. So far it seems that Bellingham finally has a nude beach free from interference. Dogfish remains a bit of a secret and is lightly visited by a handful of nudists, with a few textiles showing up occasionally. In the early years of the beach, a small group of nudists seemed hellbent on keeping the beach a secret and often treated newcomers with covert (or sometimes overt) hostility. That sort of behavior seems to have diminished over the years.

Dogfish Beach actually consists of two small beaches that are separated by a small rock outcropping. The southern is the smaller of the two, but it seems to be the preferred gathering area for beach regulars since it is more sheltered from northern winds. There is more room to spread out on the north beach. The two beaches together cover an expanse of less than 500 feet. Both beaches are rocky, with little sand and lots of crushed shells, so bring appropriate footwear. Be extremely cautious on your hike to the beach since you have to walk alongside train tracks. Turn around very frequently to look for trains. Even light winds can make trains difficult to hear. Once you are on the beach, be sure to cover up when a train passes if you are in view of the tracks. Some passenger trains run along the tracks, and discretion will help prevent complaints about nudity.

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GPS: 48.6258N, 122.4637W

city, county, state, country  Bellingham*, Skagit, Washington, U.S.A.
* Bellingham is the nearest town of any significant size, but it is in neighboring Whatcom County, not in Skagit County.

classification  2 (traditionally nude)

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Listed in www.nakedplaces.net, category NUDE BEACHES & NATURAL HOT SPRINGS. Uploaded 10 years ago.

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