The far western edge of Weaselhead Flats in Calgary has been openly used for nude recreation for over 2 decades. Nestled between Glenmore Reservoir and Tsuu T'ina Nation (Treaty 7) land, this spot is well off the beaten path. On a nice sunny day a few dozen people may be enjoying the area.
It takes approximately 30-40 minutes to hike from the parking lot to the beach. Hummingbird Trail is the dirt trail to the clothing optional area. Naked Hiking is encouraged on Hummingbird Trail at the far end, after passing the bald hillside (see map).
The trail somewhat regularly washes out into the Elbow River, so some trail splits may lead you to where the trail abruptly ends at a drop off to the water. New routes were made around these areas, so simply take the other fork. You really can't get lost due to the fence line to the north and the river to the south.
A considerable amount of dexterity is required to complete the hike due to poor trail conditions. Stay away from the drop offs into the river, as they are often scooped out at the water line, leaving an overhang of dirt that is unsupported. These conditions change every spring and throughout the summer.
This area is open to people of all body types, sizes, all genders, all sexualities, young or old, and clothed or naked. Nudity is not required. Common sense, respectful conduct, and adherence to naturist values is required to ensure the long-term viability of the area. Air patrols (HAWCS) are a regular occurrence.
Feel free to also check out Calgary's newest clothing optional recreation area, Hidden Beach, located in Fish Creek Park.
DO NOT PARK ON TSUU T'INA LAND ON GREY EAGLE DRIVE TO SHORTEN YOUR HIKE.
ACCESSING INDIGENOUS LAND WITHOUT PERMISSION IS TRESPASSING.
How to get there:
Parking Area: Weaselhead Natural Area parking lot (66 Ave & 37 St SW) MAP
It is 2 km from the parking lot to gravel bar.
Parking lot to dirt trail: Take the paved path out of the parking lot until the paved path makes a hard left turn down the hill. Instead of following the paved path to the left, take a slight right onto the dirt trail in the middle of the bend.
Dirt trail to nude area boundary: Hummingbird trail has quite a few open areas that are visible to families and people that are on the gravel bars on the other side of the river. There are many paths in this area, but they all go mostly the same direction. The path nearest the river is easiest to hike. Some splits may have more or less difficult obstacles to navigate.
Nude area boundary to the beach: Once in the trees past the bald hillside (see map), you'll be out of view and everyone past this point is likely coming from or going to the nude area. Follow the river to the Weaselhead clothing optional area, at the very edge of the park. You may encounter some trail splits, but they all go the same direction (unless they drop into the river). When leaving, please get dressed before hiking the parts of the trail that are highly visible to the opposite side of the river.
Q: Is this area sanctioned?
A: There are only two beaches in Canada that are officially designated as clothing optional, located in Vancouver and Toronto. Every other nude area in Canada is "unofficial". This location has been used for decades without issue, and its location and use for non-sexual naturism is well known to the authorities. For a more detailed explanation of why official designation is not needed check out our legal blog.Legal Blog
Q: What do I do if the police show up and ask or demand people get dressed?
A: Follow all instructions from the police. Do not argue with the police. When police crack down on nude areas it is almost always because they respond to a complaint, and are then met with an argumentative crowd.
Q: What makes the hike difficult?
A: Hummingbird trail is unmaintained. There is a 5' deep mini-ravine to climb through with steep sides. Depending on which trail split you end up on, there may be steep hills, logs to step over or under, overgrown vegetation, and other hazards.
Q: Why can't we park on the road near the clothing optional area and only walk a fraction of the distance?
A: Grey Eagle Drive is on Tsuu T'ina Nation land. Accessing that road without permission is trespassing and tribal police are very likely to come looking for the individual who owns the vehicle. This brings negative attention onto the clothing optional beach.
Q: What do I do if I come across someone who is angry or upset over nudity?
A: One of the perks of this area being in a city park is that it is against bylaw to disturb someone's use or enjoyment of the park. If someone is interfering with your peaceful enjoyment of the park you may call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. If there is a threat or actual use of violence call 911. We recommend de-escalating if possible, and moving along if not. The most likely scenario is that the person who is offended will leave the area without issue.
Reference: Calgary Bylaw Number 11M2019, Section 7 (page #5), Calgary Parks and Pathways Bylaw
7. A person must not engage in any conduct or activity in a park which:
(b) unreasonably disturbs the use or enjoyment of the park by any other user of a park;
Q: Is sexual activity REALLY not allowed? Isn't that why everyone is naked?
A: Anyone engaging in any sort of sexual activity (sex, masturbation, showing off an erection, etc.) can be charged and convicted of indecent exposure. There are many clubs, apps, and events that cater to those who are interested in these activities and we suggest you seek them out to minimize your legal risk. Open displays of sexuality are highly likely to constitute a "problem" and necessitate a crackdown by the authorities.
Q: Is swimming allowed in the Elbow River in Weaselhead Flats?
A: Likely not. The City of Calgary considers this portion of the river to be part of the Glenmore Reservoir which is where Calgary's drinking water comes from. Swimming in Glenmore Reservoir is not allowed and only limited boating activities are authorized.
Q: Is the new ring road going to be an issue with this location?
A: Likely not, unless people are going out of their way to display themselves to the cars driving by or parking on the shoulder of the freeway to access the area. Simply use the area as you normally would.
Enjoy your visit!