Bare Cottage, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico
Welcome to Meandering Mondays, where we provide brief reviews of naturist places we have visited, simply to offer our admittedly subjective thoughts about what we experienced there. With over 150 pins on our naturist travel map, we have a lot of reviews to catch up on. Once posted here, I'll move them over to the "Places" index under the main menu of our blog.
Somebody commented on a previous post that any AirBNB can be a clothing-optional B&B, but that may be a little over optimistic. We recently stayed in an AirBNB in California where we were able to negotiate nude use of the hot tub after dark, but even that felt a bit presumptuous. Thankfully, there are more and more people like Mike and Lori who are going public with their clothing-optional status, which creates something of a niche marketing cohort. In this case, there are two adjacent cabins, with a tiny house on the property as well, creating a space for up to three different tenants. Nobody is required to get naked during their stay, but at the very least, you have to be tolerant of the fact that your neighbors may very well exercise the option not to wear clothes. Given their remote location, sizable plot of land, and the plethora of remote hiking trails in the region, Bare Cottage Clothing Optional AirBNB(s) is one of the most unique and lovely naturist places we’ve visited in the entire country. If you’re hell-bent on nude hiking, you need to do your homework to find the right trails, and you’re best off to plan your stay in May or September, when it’s warm enough to naked, but the region isn’t overrun with textile tourists.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? Situated about about 8000′, it’s about a two-hour drive north of Santa Fe or Los Alamos, New Mexico, the last seven or so of which are on a gravel road. We had no problem in our little VW, but if you decided to go in the winter, I’m sure you’d need a 4×4. They are explicit in their notes that the nearest store is about 45 minutes away and there are no options for food, gas, or much of anything else in the immediate vicinity. Those are words to live by! (Or at least, not to starve by!)
WHAT’S THE FAMILY VIBE? I believe they are amenable to booking a family with children, but ask that in doing so, you book both units. (Don’t know how that works now that they’ve added the tiny house.) Given American prurient attitudes about nudity and minors, I think they simply want to avoid a potentially litigious situation. If you’re a camping family, but want to ramp it up a notch to “glamping,” this would be an excellent choice. One unit has a fabulous loft that would be every little kid’s dream space.
HOW ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS? We love, love, LOVED our stay in the unit with the loft. The kitchen was well equipped, the bed and linens were outstanding, and there was even a washer and dryer available for our use. During the day, we opened the double doors which made the inside feel like outside – perfect for al fresco dining. There’s a spacious shared deck between the two units, and a path that goes down the ravine past a fort Mike has built, a tree swing, and a couple great places simply to sit and breathe in the spectacular vistas. The design of each unit is efficient, but very tastefully decorated in a faux-rustic decor.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW? I’m more comfortable with nude hiking on public lands than my wife, Charlotte, though if you’re equipped with the All-Trails app, you can find some really stunning (and remote) hikes for all ability levels. We rarely ran into other people on the trail. To be sure, guys have the advantage of simply covering up with a basic wrap in a matter of seconds – a bit more complicated for women who need to cover top and bottom if that’s the strategy of choice. There are loads of native American ruins in the region, though keep in mind, most trails start at 8000′ and go up from there. Not for the weak of heart or the short of breath!
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