Each year, the unofficial Naked Hiking Day is observed on June 21, the day of the summer solstice. It may be celebrated by naked hikers singly or in groups in the woods and mountains on that date. It falls around the date of Father’s Day (and will be on Father’s Day itself in 2020), and that leads to concerns about families encountering naked hikers.
Hiking naked is nothing new, although it is more common in Europe than in the U.S. Outdoor author Colin Fletcher wrote in his popular hiking books of enjoying hiking naked through the Grand Canyon and along the Pacific Crest Trail on hot days. You may be thinking of joining in or worried about having uncomfortable encounters. Here is some guidance on naked hiking.
Naked Hiking and the Law
It’s not illegal to be naked in public in many jurisdictions if your intent is simply to be unclothed rather than to incite or satisfy sexual arousal. If you are hiking on U.S. federal lands such as a National Forest or Bureau of Land Management area, there is no federal law against nudity, but state and local law may take precedence.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Parks and Wildlife warned potential celebrators in 2017 that naked hikers would not be tolerated on state lands and would be dealt with according to the local laws if on federal lands.
If you plan to go naked in the wilderness, know the local laws and seek out places where you are unlikely to encounter others. In some jurisdictions, hiking naked can land you in jail. In the worst case scenario, the charge may even be a sex offense, with consequences that can follow you in your career and personal life.