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My first experience with social nudism took place at Tanque Verde Falls near Tucson, Arizona. A longtime escape for students, families and old-timers alike, Tanque Verde Falls is hidden from view, but easy to reach if you’re even a once-per-year hiker.
Using directions that I had received from a guide to nude beaches and nude-friendly areas, I headed east out of Tucson down Redington Pass, a paved road that eventually becomes a dirt road. It’s a rather challenging but driveable path up into the mountains.
The instructions I had at the time told me to watch for a handmade sign indicating the path to the falls. I wasn’t having any luck finding any sign. However I soon came upon several cars parked on the edge of the road, as well as a very hippie-like and very naked young couple in their mid-20s.
I parked my car along the path and asked them for directions to the falls. They were very friendly and pointed at a path just up the way, which was marked with the sign I’d been looking for.
I should note here that most people don’t walk naked on the actual road. Save that for when you get to the falls. This particular couple, as I said, seemed rather set in the hippie mentality, which explained their state of undress at the time.
So began my trek down a very scenic and beautiful path down to Tanque Verde Falls, which is visible the whole way. Set in a ravine cut by millions of years of running water, the amount of water in the falls varies every year. It’s at its strongest during the early spring, when runoff from the previous winter’s snow is at its highest. This is the best time to go since, being a desert, there is virtually no water here in the summer.
The falls and the stream were running fast that day. There were already about 20 people at the falls when I arrived, all nude. Being the odd man out at that point,I stripped down and headed upstream to the falls.
Being snow runoff, the water at Tanque Verde is, in a word, cold. However, you do get used to it, especially when you stand under one of the many rushing waterfalls that feed the stream. There are also naturally-carved tubs where the water fills up and billows over on its way down the rocks. These are a lot of fun.
The area surrounding the stream consists of very flat rock, perfect for laying out and drying off. I’ve been back many times since my first visit and I always meet wonderful people there. Perhaps I’ll see you at the falls sometime, too.