Friday, January 22, 2010

Beware of illicit sexual behavior!

Yep, I just may have to put that warning in the information block on the Rooster Rock Hike in my upcoming Day Hiking Columbia Gorge Book. The trail described in my book won't yield any unwanted or inappropriate imagery, but a hike down on the beach just may. Even in January. I was well aware of Rooster Rock's gorgeous Columbia River sandy beaches as being a legal clothing optional beach. However, what I wasn't aware of was that it has the reputation of a San Francisco Bathhouse. Now hear me out-I'm not anti-gay, homophobic or on the moral high-horse here. I'm just talking about good ole respect and decency on public lands-land that is supported by tax dollars and fees. Nude beach, fine-you are warned about it-continue if that doesn't bother you. But no one needs to feel threatened with unwanted sexual advances or have to witness sexual behavior, gay or straight while recreating on their public property. And people need to know that this goes on, lest a family goes for a hike on this beautiful beach and walks into an uncensored scene from broke back beach! Not cool! Anyhow-you've now been warned if you weren't aware of this place's reputation. And why aren't other books and guide warning you about this? Feel free to hike Rooster Rock's forested trails with peace of mind. Hike its beaches without snooping around to see what is making the rustling in the willows. Enjoy the views up the Columbia instead and reflect; isn't it a tad bit ironic that Rooster Rock's original name was Cock Rock. Except it was in reference to its phallic shape not to male chickens. Talk about what's in a name!


Mark said...

Glad you posted your hike at Rooster Rock, Craig. It is gorgeous.
Sorry if you saw something inappropriate. Please report it to the
park rangers at Rooster.

While it's true that some people use the beach for the wrong reasons,
that kind of behavior is on the way out, and families are returning.
A big reason for this is that the American Association for Nude
Recreation (AANR), has adopted Rooster Rock's nude beach as part of
SOLV and Columbia Riverkeeper's "Adopt A River" program.

My local beach group, the Rooster-Sauvie Volunteers, is working with
AANR, the park rangers and Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Dept. to raise
awareness and crack down on troublemakers. We are passing out beach
cards that advise people of Oregon's indecency laws, and where to
report problems. These cards are also available at the park office
near the entrance. I always carry one with me. Park staff responds in
a timely manner when I report problems, and they will go to court to
testify against lawbreakers. The bottom line is--if you are at one of
Portland's nude beaches for the wrong reasons, sooner or later you
WILL get busted.

In addition, we are hosting several beach cleanup and social events,
which are listed on our new
Facebook page. You can also contact us at

I hope you'll consider re-visiting Rooster in July or August when you
can walk out to Sand Island and hike on miles of wide sandy beaches,
and climb up the huge sand dunes for really stunning views of the
Gorge. We would be happy to show you around.

ShirleyG said...


I would like to add to Marks comment. I have also worked with volunteers, Oregon State Police, Multnomah County Sheriffs, and the park staff to address inappropriate behaviors.

I can assure you that inappropriate behavior is not limited to any one group of visitors. Inappropriate behavior at Rooster Rock is not limited to the clothing optional area. We have a very diverse group of volunteers who are aggressively working to educate and raise awareness about reporting incidents at Rooster Rock.

One of the problems we volunteers have is that when a visitor has a negative encounter or visit they do not take the time to report it so that the issue can be addressed. If visitors would take the time to report it to the park staff we at least can monitor the incidents and perhaps confront the people involved.

We volunteers know that the more people who use the clothing optional area the incidents decrease. The more beach cards get passed out the less likely people choosing to participate in illegal behavior will do so at Rooster Rock.

I hope you will consider posting another post about the current work that is being done to provide a safe, fun and memorable place to recreate nude at Rooster Rock. One of the road blocks we face is getting the message out that informational beach cards can be picked up at the park office. The cards include phone numbers to report incidents. The message we want people to know is that all of us can contribute to the success of Rooster Rock. If you would like to learn more about our efforts at Rooster Rock simply call 1-800-TRY-Nude and ask them to forward your contact information to me.

Thank You,
Shirley Gauthier

Craig said...

Hi Mark and Shirley-

Thanks very much for commenting and I hope that my readers refer to your comments for what they need to do in case of stumbling upon something inappropriate. I am aware that things at Rooster Rock have gotten better-and I commend your efforts-the place truly is beautiful and folks shouldn't have to shun from visiting because of a few sexual scafflows.