Lupin Lodge: More Than Just Nudists in Nature

Lupin Lodge

Situated on 110 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains is Lupin Lodge, a clothing-optional, family-friendly resort.

“Lupinites” are socially responsible lovers of body freedom who seek an escape from the stresses of society. The dress code is specifically “clothing-optional,” instead of the traditional “nude” to escape the rigid inflexibility and authoritarianism of mandatory nudity. The only area of the resort where nudity is required is the pool, sauna and hot tub area.

Lupin Lodge chairs

A trip to Lupin offers a uniquely human experience free from mainstream societal pressures that surround the body. Nude recreation includes swimming, hot tub and sauna, hiking, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Many enjoy staying in yurts or sleeping under the stars or in tents, though different membership options to the resort include just day-access.

History of Lupin Lodge

By the mid-1930s, social nudity had developed into a strong philosophical movement across the globe. Social nudity distinguishes the natural, bare body from pornographic objectification by removing the Victorian feelings of shame and guilt that surround the body. However, nudity in mainstream culture was censored and practically nonexistent during this time.

Lupin Lodge group tree photoDesiring to create a retreat center that was perfectly situated from San Jose as a day-trip on the “Sunshine Special” train over the Santa Cruz Mountains, founder George Marcellus Spray established the nude retreat in 1936. He named it the “Elysium Foundation,” and marketed it with classical Greek imagery and mythical, dream-like perfection.

The center’s image and name was

changed several times over the years before its identity as Lupin Lodge finally emerged in 1949. It enjoyed an on-again-off-again relationship with the American Sunbathing Association as their stated ideals and policies changed and evolved through the next decade before they finally severed ties in 1961. During the culturally turbulent years in the 1960s and 1970s, Lupin became an idyllic escape from the political and social unrest that marked the times.

With the advent of the internet, Lupin Lodge was able to promote awareness of the social nudist lifestyle and reach previously unimagined marketing opportunities. Although nudity is clearly more acceptable than it was in the past, guests still flock to the resort to escape the hyper-sexualized view of nudity in the media and society.

Clothes-Free Lifestyle

The nudist lifestyle embraces a mentality of body acceptance and social respect. Lupin offers visitors the chance to escape from the ingrained social self-consciousness surrounding the body that people are faced with on a daily basis. The vibe is friendly and non-erotic, making it a safe place for children and adults to relax in the private nature park and improve their relationship with their body and body image.
“Nudist colonies” often stir up negative connotations of crazy, backwoods orgies, or social “lepers” that huddle together sharing some affliction in a “colony.” However, this is an entirely misguided and antiquated view of social nudity.

While certainly there is some frolicking in the buff, the atmosphere at Lupin is decidedly friendly and designed to battle the commercialized, mainstream view that media projects about the body. Insecurity about weight, shape, age, and genitals are left behind as many visitors feel empowered and accepted.

lupin lodge yurt  Lupin Lodge room  Lupin Lodge Pool

Vibrant Event and Music Scene

Not only is Lupin Lodge a relaxing nudist retreat center, it hosts numerous music events and other parties. Visitors enjoy music from nude guitarists and other musicians, dressing up in heels or ties for “black tie” balls or masquerades, and various electronic DJ music parties. The events are all clothing-optional, so many people who aren’t nudists, but who just enjoy the music, show up for the events.

In 2008, Lupin was selected to be the Bay Area site of Earthdance Global Festival for Peace, a simultaneous peace consciousness-raising event in 300 locations in 60 countries. Lupin has become an active contributor to global creative arts and consciousness evolvement with the addition the Lupin Cultural Center. Lupin also features a growing sculpture garden that features Bay Area artists, securing its place hold as a mecca for art, creativity, evolving global consciousness, and body awareness.

Lupin Lodge
20600 Aldercroft Heights Road
Los Gatos CA 95033
Phone: 408-353-9200 – office

About Elizabeth Coleman

Elizabeth Coleman is an attorney-turned-writer born and raised in the Santa Cruz mountains. Her mom reads her blog,

  • Birthday Greeting 4 Amy says:

    Happy April 3rd Birthday Amy.- Going on 11 years, now!
    Go to the restaurant for your free birthday cake and ice cream on your birthday. After swimming in your birthday suit regularly for the last 10 years in the Lupin warm water pool, you deserve it! Its no wonder you are such an excellent swimmer!

  • April 3rd says:

    Happy Birthday Amy – April 3rd! (Now going on 11 years) Go to the Restaurant for your free birthday cake and ice cream on your birthday! After swimming in the warm water pool at Lupin for the last 10 years, you deserve it. No wonder you are such a good swimmer!

    • April 3rd says:

      You can go to the Restaurant for free birthday cake and ice cream on Saturday, April 1ar, LAO!

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