National Nude Hiking Day: What you need to know

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 16:34:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - If you have plans to celebrate National Nude Hiking Day today, you may want to reconsider the birthday suit.

Those choosing to bare all and get closer to nature on this unofficial holiday could face citations at parks and trails in San Diego County, and across the state.

California's Department of Parks and Recreation outlines rules and regulations for state parks on its website. The section on nudity reads:

4322. Nudity.
No person shall appear nude while in any unit except in authorized areas set aside for that purpose by the Department. The word nude as used herein means unclothed or in such a state of undress as to expose any part of portion of the pubic or anal region or genitalia of any person or any portion of the breast at or below the areola thereof of any female person.

Tim Graham, public information officer with the city of San Diego, informed 10News that anyone hiking in the nude at city parks "would most likely be cited for either public nudity and/or indecent exposure per local laws."

Jessica Geiszler, spokesperson for the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation said, "While we love sharing the 'upside of outside' with all park patrons, and we encourage people to create new memories and experiences along the trail, there are some policies in place for the safety and security of all.

Chapter 10 of the County of San Diego Code of Regulatory Ordinances in Public Nudity states that it is unlawful for any person on County property to appear nude in a public place.

It's also the first full day of summer and a hot one at that… We encourage you to protect your skin with layers of breathable clothing, a hat and plenty of sunscreen."

Sarah Webster, spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management's California office, told 10News BLM-managed parks or trails follow California state law when it comes to public nudity.

Webster said, "However, the public is advised to check with the local BLM office for the location they wish to hike, because there are some areas where hiking in the nude on public lands is prohibited, for example, in the Imperial Sand Dunes near El Centro.

Failure to follow California state rules or the local BLM Field Offices' rules and regulations for hiking in the nude on BLM-managed public lands can result in a verbal or written warning, a citation, or arrest. The severity of the punishment will depend on the circumstances.

In most cases, the rules and regulations governing BLM-managed public hiking trails or parks can also be found posted on the park's information kiosk or in the ranger station."

U.S. Forest Service officials said that "the legality of nudity is controlled by state law."

Olivia Walker, U.S. Forest Service Public Affairs Officer at the Cleveland National Forest, added, "With an abundance of poison oak this season and increased rattlesnake sightings, we encourage hikers to use caution when recreating on the national forest. There are a great deal of health and safety concerns with any type of hiking, and a great deal more for those who are not properly clothed. We ask that hikers use good judgment when using any public trail system."