One of the biggest urban legends in Utah is that of a nudist ranch in Samak, just East of Kamas. We “stripped down” the information we had to find out if this “no clothes allowed” place really does exist.
While driving to the Fairy Forest along the Mirror Lake Highway just East of Kamas, I told my kids to help me watch the road for deer, as I usually do along mountain roads, but this time I added on to watch for bear. “Bare” bums, that is. They found it odd that I would add that, until I explained to them about the “Nudist Ranch” in the area.
They giggled and joked about watching for deer and “bares”, until I turned right onto Nudist Road, and stopped in front of the Beaver Creek Nudist Ranch sign.
Knowing I was now serious about visiting a nudist ranch, they were a little nervous about actually running into a naked person, and didn’t want to stick around to see if we would spot one. My cousin got out and posed for a picture, we laughed about the weather vane, and then up the road we went to find the fairy forest.
After visiting the Beaver Creek Nudist Ranch, I wondered what the origin of it was. Some people say that it really is a nudist ranch, and others say it is just a joke. We didn’t see any naked people running around, nor was there a gated community in the area for the nudist to run free.
Nudist Ranch: Fact or Fiction?
After talking to many sources, and getting first-hand accounts of local Utahns, we finally uncovered the truth behind this nudist ranch.
Many people tell accounts of hiking in the area and spotting nude fisherman and hikers. While these accounts may be true, the existence of an actual nudist ranch is false. Many people have made it their own personal quest to bring the legend of the nudist ranch to life.
The sign was stolen as a joke from a company in the area. The people who stole it painted “Beaver Creek Nudist Ranch” on it, put it up in Samak, and sat back and watched the people stop and wonder. More than thirty years later, people still stop to take a picture, and try to spot somebody running around in the buff.
“Only people goofing off running around naked has happened. It isn't an actual Nudist Camp, just some Samak residence having some fun,” said Samantha Simon, author of the Utah 4 Kids Adventure Guidebook, and former owner of the Samak Smoke House and Country Store. “The sign has been up for over 30 years.”
I was a little bit disappointed when doing my research of this “nudist ranch” how little information there is out there. I was hoping to find out who put the sign up, why they did it, and their reaction to how big of a myth it has become thirty years later. Sadly, I was not able to uncover that information, and would love to have any additional information or resources that I could follow up on. If you have more information, please leave a comment in this post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then, while traveling along the Mirror Lake Highway, make sure to watch for deer and “bares”. Even though an actual nudist ranch doesn’t exist, you just might spot some!
To Get There:
- From Salt Lake City, head East on I-80 and go up Parley's Canyon.
- Go past Park City, and watch for the Heber turnoff. Take that road South.
- Watch for the Kamas exit. Take that exit, then turn left (East).
- Continue on that road until you reach Kamas. At the first light, turn left (North).
- When you see the Chevron gas station, make a right hand turn and head up the Mirror Lake Highway.
- Nudist Road is going to be on your right hand side, not far up the Mirror Lake Highway. Turn there, and you can't miss it!