Myriad sun bathers -- adults and children -- flock in summer to the sandy stretch of Wreck Beach that is accessed from Trail 6 near the Museum of Anthropology. The water is invigorating and the views of mountains and distant islands, lovely. But the big attraction for many is the opportunity to go " natural" at this clothing-optional beach. When I've been there in summer, I estimate that at least 60 percent of the people have shed their clothes.
This part of Wreck Beach is too crowded for me. In addition to those sprawled on the sand or testing the water, there are vendors at small stands, selling a variety of items, from souvenirs to ice cream. Loud music sometimes rides the air and can become annoying. Dogs, however, do not contribute to the ambiance. They are prohibited from May 1-Sep. 30.
Access to this stretch involves a steep descent through a dense rainforest via about 500 wooden steps, which may be unsuitable for some children and anyone with mobility problems. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the beach. Returning can be a strenuous climb. Take it slowly and be sure to bring water in the summer; but leave your camera at home. And be sure to heed "Clothes Beyond This Point" signs. Clothing optional does not extend to trails in the area, though I have run into a few people near other Wreck Beach areas, who chose to ignore that regulation.
Parking is almost impossible to find near the Trail 6 area of Wreck Beach. I recommend taking a public bus. The beach is about 25 minutes from Downtown Vancouver.
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