One of the better known but controversial recreation sites in Vancouver BC is Wreck Beach. Located on the North side of the University of British Columbia campus, facing downtown Vancouver, Wreck Beach is where Vancouverites of the clothing optional bent go to bare their buns for all to see. It is one of the few places other than in your home to legally go sans clothing in the Vancouver area.
Wreck Beach is accessed from above on the edge of the UBC campus. Parking is provided along the roadways and various trailheads are clearly marked. Trail 6 is the most developed and leads to the vendors row area. The trails down to the beach are long and steep ensuring that the lazy or casual beach fan does not just head on down looking for a quick sightseeing adventure. Alternative level access is possible via a long walk from Spanish Banks area to the East.
The 7.8 km long wilderness style beach is actually outside the City Limits of Vancouver on the University Endowment Lands which form part of the unincorporated portion of the Regional District of Greater Vancouver. Within the University Endowment Lands, Pacific Spirit Regional Park includes Wreck Beach. The unusual urbanized location that is just outside the grasp of city political types has allowed Wreck Beach to attract a reported 500,000 plus visitors per year seeking to bare all, or at least watch others bare all to get an all over tan.
The Wreck Beach Society is a volunteer advocacy group that lobbies for the continued freedom to go sans clothing on Wreck Beach. The Wreck Beach Society sponsors events like mass skinny dipping to set world records, an annual bare run, and other events that attract large crowds.
Food vendors appear on the beach in peak season offering a whole range of Vancouver style ethnic food. Other vendors hawk gifts and trinkets to the clothing-less and textile wearing visitors.
Lobbying efforts are underway to finally install the creature comfort needed most - a potty. This will benefit the hundreds of thousands who must plan their washroom needs around the steep climb up and down the hill above Wreck Beach.
Lots more information about Wreck Beach, complete with photos of hundreds of old fat people without clothing and more can be found over on the WreckBeach.org site. For the winter some of the die hard beachgoing activists are over at the Occupy Vancouver protest.