Ruby Beach on the Olympic National Park: Washington’s Coastal Jewel
If you’ve ever dreamt of a destination where the land, sea, and sky converge in a mesmerizing spectacle, then let me introduce you to the enchanting Ruby Beach at Kalaloch Lodge.
- The Unique Landscape of Ruby Beach
- Things to Do at Ruby Beach on Olympic Peninsula: Popular Activities
- Sunset at Ruby Beach in Washington
- Tidepools at Ruby Beach
- Swimming at Ruby Beach
This slice of coastal wonder, located on the rugged and rain-drenched Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, offers an escape into nature like no other. With its reddish sand, Ruby Beach is a canvas where Mother Nature paints her most breathtaking pictures.
Known for its sparkling grey sand, dramatic rock formations, and a shoreline adorned with a labyrinth of driftwood, Ruby Beach is a place where starfish nest and the Hoh River meets the sea, creating a unique natural environment.
With each wave lapping at the shore, the beach whispers the tales of Pacific Northwest’s wild charm. If you’re longing for a place that offers tranquility and awe-inspiring beauty in equal measure, coupled with the mellow atmosphere of a secluded paradise, Ruby Beach, accessible year-round, should undoubtedly be on your travel list.
The Unique Landscape of Ruby Beach
Stepping onto Ruby Beach, you’ll be awestruck by its distinct and dramatic landscape. Towering sea stacks, remnants of headlands eroded over millennia by erosion, jut out from the ocean near Port Angeles and the Hoh Rainforest.
They create an otherworldly backdrop that sparks the imagination – you could be looking at ancient, petrified giants frozen in time, where eagles soar above in a dance with the winds.
Another striking feature of Ruby Beach is the labyrinth of driftwood strewn across the beach. These ghostly timber remnants are both a testament to the power of nature and a playground for the creative soul.
Whether you use them as impromptu benches for a sunset picnic or elements in your photography, they’re sure to leave an impression on your itinerary.
Things to Do at Ruby Beach on Olympic Peninsula: Popular Activities
Venturing to Ruby Beach offers more than just breathtaking views. This natural playground is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty to keep you entertained.
- From exploring the vast expanse of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary to taking a leisurely stroll along Second Beach, Beach 4, or South Beach, the area is a treasure trove for mellow beach goers.
- The Olympic Peninsula road trip itself is an adventure, offering glimpses of national wildlife and the ever-changing seascape.
- Here, you can indulge in beachcombing, finding treasures like seashells, sea glass, and perhaps even a precious ‘ruby.’
- You might also discover agates and driftwood, creating special memories as you comb the shoreline.
- The tidepools are a fascinating world of their own, teeming with sea urchins and limpets, while offshore islands beckon the more adventurous.
- Wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to spot seals, otters, and a plethora of bird species, including murres and tufted puffins. Migratory birds also grace the skies, adding to the rich tapestry of nature.
- Meanwhile, photographers can’t resist the dramatic landscapes that change with the tides and the light. However, visitors should be aware of rip tides and local regulations on drone usage to ensure a safe and respectful experience.
- Just a short hike away, you’ll find Cedar Creek, where you can dip your feet in the cool, crystal-clear water or picnic by the banks. Here, the rhythmic sound of the creek blends with the distant ocean waves, inviting you to swim sideways in its gentle currents or simply relax and soak in the serene environment.
Sunset at Ruby Beach in Washington
No trip to Ruby Beach is complete without basking in the glory of a Pacific sunset. As the day gives way to dusk, the beach undergoes a magical transformation, it’s the whole experience.
The sun, a fiery orb, slowly descends, casting a warm, golden hue over the landscape. The sea stacks become dramatic silhouettes against the glowing horizon, and the ‘ruby’ specks in the sand seem to light up with an inner fire. Beautiful beach in Washington isn’t just its sand.
Watching the sunset at Ruby Beach is more than just a visual delight; it’s a symphony of the senses. High tide adds to the drama, with waves gently lapping at the shoreline, providing a serene backdrop.
The rhythmic lull of the waves, the salty sea breeze, and the call of distant seabirds – they all come together in a harmonious serenade.
Be sure to bring your camera, but don’t forget to take a moment to soak it all in, the memories will last a lifetime.
Tidepools at Ruby Beach
There’s a hidden world waiting to be discovered at Ruby Beach — the enchanting tidepools! These miniature ecosystems, left behind in the rocky nooks and crannies when the tide recedes, are brimming with a fascinating array of marine life, including the spiny sea urchins and the hard-shelled limpet.
Walking among the tidepools at Ruby Beach is like flipping through a live storybook of the Pacific Ocean’s biodiversity. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the adorable sea otters that call this area home, adding to the charm of this marine haven.
You’ll come face-to-face with vibrant sea stars in hues of purple and orange, hardy hermit crabs shuffling about, and sea anemones waving their tentacles in the water.
Don’t be surprised if you spot a scuttling shore crab, or a snail slowly making its way across the seaweed.
For the keen-eyed observer, there are even more hidden treasures to discover. Look out for the tiny, colorful nudibranchs or sea slugs, and the elusive chitons clinging to the rocks.
Swimming at Ruby Beach
You may be tempted to take a dip in the expansive Pacific Ocean during your visit to Ruby Beach, but it’s crucial to be aware of the conditions before diving in.
The waters along the Washington coast are known for being quite cold, even during the summer months. The temperature rarely exceeds 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius), which can be a shock to the system if you’re not accustomed to such chilly waters.
Additionally, the Pacific Ocean’s beauty hides a dangerous side — rip tides. These fast-moving, narrow channels of water can quickly carry even the strongest swimmers away from the shore.
They’re particularly prevalent around Ruby Beach, given its location and the presence of various offshore sea stacks.
If you do decide to brave the chilly water and swim, please be cautious and never underestimate the ocean. In case you get caught in a rip tide, remember to swim sideways to escape its pull.
Always inform someone about your plans, keep a close eye on the changing tides, and make sure you’re well within your depth.
Exploring the Nearby Attractions and Kalaloch Beach
While Ruby Beach itself is a mesmerizing locale, the surrounding areas are brimming with attractions that warrant exploration.
- Just a short drive north, you’ll find the Hoh Rain Forest in the heart of Olympic National Park, famous for its moss-laden trees and diverse wildlife. Here, nature trails weave through emerald green landscapes, promising an unforgettable hiking experience.
- For another taste of the Pacific Northwest’s raw beauty, head to the Quinault Rainforest, home to a gorgeous lake and some of the largest trees in the United States.
- Nearby, the Quinault River offers opportunities for fishing and scenic river walks. Don’t forget to prepare for the heavy rainforest downpours that this region is known for; they’re part of the charm and contribute to the lushness of the environment.
- Also, don’t miss the chance to explore Kalaloch Beach, another coastal gem dotted with rustic cabins and prime spots for bird-watching.
- A little further along the coast, the Kalaloch campground provides a perfect spot for an overnight stay, with its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
- Across from Kalaloch, the mysterious Abbey Island is visible, a small, uninhabited island that adds to the scenic beauty of the area.
Essential Tips for Visiting Ruby Beach
To make the most of your trip to Ruby Beach, keep these handy tips in mind.
- Firstly, the beach is most accessible at low tide, allowing for easier exploration of tide pools and sea stacks. Therefore, checking the tide table before your visit is advisable. When exploring the tide pools, bring a pair of water shoes to protect your feet from sharp rocks and sea creatures.
- Remember, the Pacific Northwest is known for its rainy weather. Pack your rain gear, especially if you’re visiting during the fall and winter months. Even in summer, the evenings can be cool, so a warm layer is a good idea. Additionally, dogs are allowed at Ruby Beach, so feel free to bring your furry friend along, but ensure they are under control at all times.
- Lastly, Ruby Beach is a marvel of nature, and it’s our responsibility to keep it that way. Practice “Leave No Trace” principles: dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors. Remember, it is important to keep the use of bleach and other harmful chemicals away from the natural environment. Also, be aware of the law to fly drones in the area to avoid disturbing wildlife and other visitors.
Places to Stay Near Ruby Beach
Staying near Ruby Beach is as rewarding as the visit to the beach itself. There’s a variety of accommodations available to suit every type of traveler.
From comfortable hotels and charming bed-and-breakfasts in Forks to the rustic cabins and campsites within the areas of Olympic National Park, there’s a place for everyone to rest after a day full of adventures. The Kalaloch campground and other places to camp in the area offer an immersive experience for those who love being close to nature.
As for dining, the nearby towns, especially Forks, offer a decent selection of eateries. Here, you can savor local delicacies like freshly caught salmon or hearty clam chowder, perfect for warming up after a cool day on the beach.
And, if you’re planning a picnic, local markets are stocked with fresh produce and essentials.
How to Get There: Trip to Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach is located on the southwestern coast of the Olympic Peninsula, about 27 miles south of the town of Forks, Washington. Formed over hundreds of years, its stunning landscape is a testament to the natural forces shaping the region.
It’s easily accessible via U.S. Highway 101, making it a fantastic road trip destination. Located in the southern part of Washington, it’s a must-see for anyone embarking on an Olympic Peninsula road trip.
Whether you’re coming from Seattle, Tacoma, or Portland, follow the U.S. Highway 101, and you’ll reach this coastal haven without any hassle. The route takes you along the famous sea, offering breathtaking views and a serene escape from city life.
If you’re starting from Seattle, the drive to Ruby Beach takes around four hours. You’ll be cruising along scenic roads and through lush forests, transforming the journey itself into a memorable experience.
For those who prefer public transportation, several bus services run from major cities to Forks, where you can hire a cab or rent a car for the final stretch to the beach.
At the end of the day, a visit to Ruby Beach, Washington, is more than just a destination; it’s an immersive journey into a realm where nature’s majesty reigns supreme.
From the moment you step onto the sand and hear the symphony of the waves, you’ll be swept into an awe-inspiring coastal tableau.
And even when you leave, the impressions of Ruby Beach, both physical and emotional, linger on, beckoning you to return.