Being naked in National Parks/Forest Service land?
Forest service land, as long as you are camped off in the woods you have a legal expectation of privacy, generally, unless there's been a specifically no-nudity "closure order" because some kind of crowd / special event is happening. Your campsite is your house, and you can be naked in and around it. But off in the woods really means that - not within sight of a trail, and not anywhere *near* where somebody can drive to.
Hiking trails not really legally, but certainly lots of people on here have identified particular places they feel comfortable. I certainly have, in the orbit of the Rainbow Gatherings.
((National Park Land, generally no. Local conditions off remotely might let you get by.)) Edit: I'll defer to wildwilly on this one; my experience is in the forests.
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I cannot speak for western states specifically, but I have read (and know that it has been some time since I researched this topic online) that nudism in America's national parks is not prohibited as long as the nude individual is not being rude or acting in a lewd manner that would annoy or upset other park patrons. And if that upset park goer has an issue with the nudist they can complain to the authorities then the case goes into arbitration, not the court system. I couldn't find the piece I'd read a few years ago which I refer to here - sorry about that.
Here is an article from four years ago about the issue of national park nudity, and which does include the clause which pertains to this stuff:
which is about the most up-to-date thing I'm seeing in my startpage.com search. This nudist does not ever use Google, but being paranoid doesn't mean everyone ISN'T out to get me.
Here are the pertinent words:
A person commits disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public alarm, nuisance [emphasis added], jeopardy or violence, or knowingly or recklessly creating a risk thereof Uses language, an utterance, or gesture, or engages in a display or act that is obscene, physically threatening or menacing [Or] Creates or maintains a hazardous or physically offensive condition.
Specific parks do prohibit nudism or partial nudity, so be aware! My favorite place to go nude in a National Park is Gunnison Beach in New Jersey (Sandy Hook National Park) where if the weather is good you could be sharing the sand with a thousand other people who don't like clothes! It is federally-sanctioned nudism and I support that every time.
Here is some relevant info on being nude on Bureau of Land Management lands
Although the legalities are pretty murky, there are some practicalities that one contemplating free-hiking on federal property should consider.
The authorities probably do not want to deal with complaints of naked hikers, and will try to resolve them as simply as possible, which would involve only a request that the offender cover up and be a good boy or girl.
In the back country there may be no cellphone service, so reporting a naked hiker would be difficult.
Very few people choose to be offended by simple nudity on remote trails. Most dont care as long as they dont feel threatened.
Be contrite if confronted by a jerk and move on.
Take comfort in knowing that this must be a very small problem because you almost never hear of anyone getting in trouble for hiking nude in the wild.
Nudity aside, the US legal system is complex and difficult to navigate. Federal rules supersede state rules which in turn supersede local rules, but the strictest rules apply and they're not always easy to identify. The second question is enforcement, which can be selective. The third and most complex issue is liability. Companies and people have to go to extraordinary lengths not to be sued. Lawsuits don't follow or logic, but one thing only: money.
As far as nudity in wilderness areas, common sense should prevail and your biggest concern should be your personal safety. But no one can claim much common sense in the US!
I have wilderness (dry) camped for many years-tents, trucks, motor homes, trailers.......In the western US we have the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regions in addition to the vast National Park System. On BLM/open range land the rule of law is that nudity is acceptable providing you are not near families with young children, parking lots, or others that have issued a complaint. I have spent many days hiking nude and camping nude without problem. Once near the Grand Canyon, a dirt road passed by my camping area. It had not been used in a long time. About a week after I set up a Ranger pulled up in a truck, I was laying on a lounge in the sun, half asleep. The Ranger asked if all was okay and if I needed anything, I said no then asked if I was breaking the law by being nude. I was informed that legally as long as nobody complained and I was off the main highway, I was perfectly legal. The Ranger left but did return 2 or 3 more times, taking me up on a cold drink and chatting a bit. I have spoken with a County Deputy up in the mountains and he stated the same thing. So it all boils down to common sense about going where there is a bit of privacy and respecting others.
Okay, so Ive done some research and found this from the USDA and USFS (US Forest Service) regarding nude camping as it applies in Texas. Here is a link to the research.
It basically stated in 261.10 that public nudity is prohibited in all grasslands and forests in Texas. It is posted at all parks and trails in Texas but if not you are advised to call the governing ranger station and get clarification. And you dont have to be doing anything but being naked and get seen.
First offense is up to $500 fine and/or jail time. Yes this will go in your permanent legal history and seen by all law enforcement officers in Texas every time its accessed for whatever reason. Practice good judgement as you live your nude life. Enjoy but be smart about it.