Orr Hot Springs and Montgomery Woods

While winter’s attempt to reinstall its reign over New York City on Monday night failed totally, with the morning rain washing down almost all snow and the afternoon sun dealing with the rest, my friends in Europe are still suffering from yet another particularly long and snowy winter. So, here is probably my last blogpost of the winter season. Well, this one is from Californian ‘winter’, so don’t expect anything like jumping in the ice hole in the Moscow River, or frolicking in the snow by the naked gym in Paris… but rather soaking in hot springs! California has lots of those, so Niko and I spent some time choosing which ones to visit on the way from Eureka to San Francisco. Orr hot springs called our attention by having a reputation of providing exquisite tranquility; it is a cute rustic resort with small cozy cabins, excellent self-service kitchen, and of course saunas and baths filled with natural thermal water.

naturist 0000 Orr springs, CA, USA

Orr hot springs are quite easy to reach from Bay Area, but seclusion is one of their key words. There is no cell phone service, no wi-fi, and actually, not even an official webpage! I don’t think there is a lack of visitors though, thanks to the word of mouth and reviews in Yelp… and websites like this one 😉 Therefore, to make sure there is a spot for you, reservations by phone are required +1 (707) 462-6277.

We arrived quite late in the evening and had the main bath for ourselves for a while.

naturist 0001 Orr springs, CA, USA

It was gorgeous full moon night, and mist gathering above the hot springs made the whole place look mysterious.

naturist 0002 Orr springs, CA, USA

In the morning, the mist highlighted sun rays peeking through bamboo.

naturist 0006 Orr springs, CA, USA

… and the mist that condensed on the grass around hot springs, provided another pretty display – hoar frost – and a proof that it did get down to freezing temperatures during the night.

naturist 0007 Orr springs, CA, USA

Not a problem though, if you are surrounded by hot springs and saunas.

naturist 0012 Orr springs, CA, USA

After absorbing the heat of thermal waters, it feels just great to walk around butt-naked despite the cold.

naturist 0004 Orr springs, CA, USA

By the way, the whole resort is clothing optional except for registration desk.

naturist 0005 Orr springs, CA, USA

We explored the territory of Orr for a bit,

naturist 0008 Orr springs, CA, USA

and after the check out time in the cabin (noon), we decided to go for a hike.

naturist 0009 Orr springs, CA, USA

Unfortunately, there are no trails starting at the resort, but there are some in its vicinity, in the Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve.  The afternoon was getting quite warm, and as we turned away from the main trail, I felt comfortable to get unclad.

naturist 0010 Orr springs, CA, USA

This trail mostly featured young redwoods, as the area was probably still recovering after logging. One of the huge redwood stumps looked like a stage.

naturist 0011 Orr springs, CA, USA

We didn’t see much wildlife except for a few birds and a couple of these ancient-looking creatures, red-bellied newts.

red-bellied newt 0016 Orr springs, CA, USAred-bellied newt 0017 Orr springs, CA, USA

It was the first time when I saw an adult newt, as previously I only saw juvenile forms (efts) of a related species in Harriman State Park, NY. Adult forms aren’t that bright, except for the belly in this species. By the way, only preparing for this blogpost did I find out that their red belly “serves as a warning to potential predators, as [they] have enough of a neurotoxin … in their skin to easily kill an adult human”.

Speaking of warnings, soon we reached a fence with a sign saying that there was private property further up the trail and no trespassing was allowed. Why wasn’t there any warning in the beginning of the trail? We turned back and went down to the main trail, which went through old growth redwoods, including some of the tallest trees around!

naturist 0013 Orr springs, CA, USA

We didn’t have enough time to explore the whole trail, but even the trees near the beginning were impressive.

naturist 0014 Orr springs, CA, USA

In this forest of giants, we looked somewhat Lilliputian, but it made us appreciate only more the splendour of nature.

naturist 0015 Orr springs, CA, USA

6 thoughts on “Orr Hot Springs and Montgomery Woods

  1. Kirill,
    Thank you for this blog entry and the lovely pictures of Orr Hot Springs and the nearby Montgomery Woods Reserve. I’m originally from that area of California, but I’ve never been to Orr. I’ll certainly try to go there on my next trip to the area. If you like Orr you might also like Wilbur Hot Springs: http://www.wilburhotsprings.com/index.htm

    Wilbur is in Colusa County, a few hours drive from Orr and in a much drier area. Strictly speaking, Wilbur is not naturist as only the soaking pools and swimming pool areas are clothing optional, though nearly everyone there is naked. One advantage of Wilbur is its vast property and great opportunities for hiking and biking. Just a few minutes walk up the valley from the hotel there are are many trails that lead up into the hills and through oak forests. These aren’t the majestuous redwood forests of Montgomery Woods, but you can hike naked for miles and miles along ridges with beautiful views and never meet anyone.

    Thanks again.

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  2. I hope we have not seen the last of your blogs. I enjoyed specially the Paris gym which reminded me of the London Y years ago where I dared to exercise naked when no one was around and the guest house in Ft Lauderdale where I once stayed. I wish I knew your name. Are you Russian or Ukrainian by origin? Wish I could travel to the exciting beaches you find though we do have one near Exeter.

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  3. это в нью-джерси? почему меня не взял!!??? давайте туда съездим вместе!!!!!

    ________________________________

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