HikingOlympic National Park

Exploring Ruby Beach on the Olympic Coast – Amazing Photography Spot

Ruby Beach
  • Total Distance: 1 Mile
  • Required Passes: National Park Pass
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re on the hunt for an exceptional photography spot, Ruby Beach on the Olympic Coast is a must-visit. Nestled within Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach boasts a vast expanse of shoreline, towering sea stacks, captivating tide pools, and stunning scenic beauty. Unlike other locations, Ruby Beach doesn’t have a specific hiking trail; instead, you are free to explore the beach. If you are looking to get a great beach hike in, I would suggest hiking to Hole-in-the-Wall on Rialto Beach.

Getting to Ruby Beach

The Trailhead for Ruby Beach is located along Highway 101 south of Forks, Washington. It’s about a 30 minute drive from the town of Forks.

Best Time to Visit Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach is extremely accessible, making it a favorite among visitors to the Olympic Coast. With its generally mild climate, Ruby Beach welcomes visitors nearly all year round. While the prime visiting season stretches from April to October, I recommend planning a visit during the off-peak times to dodge the crowds. My own visit in early March was enjoyable due to the sparse number of people, which made taking photos much easier.

Tides at Ruby Beach

Understanding the tide schedule is crucial, particularly if you’re aiming to explore the tide pools at Ruby Beach. However, if timing your visit to coincide with low tide isn’t a priority, you’ll find that Ruby Beach still offers plenty to experience and enjoy. Ideally, you’ll wan to explore Ruby Beach during lower tides.

You can find detailed info on low and high tide here. The Olympic Coast experiences two high and low tides each day so you can easily plan around being there for low or high tide.

Exploring Ruby Beach

As someone who loves photography, I found Ruby Beach the perfect spot to take really awesome photos. When you first arrive at the trailhead, you overlook the entire beach. It provides a really great perspective of the coast, sea stacks, and driftwood – all in one shot.

You then descend down a path to the beach. To your right is Cedar Creek which flows into the Pacific Ocean. This is another really great place for photos.

Ruby Beach has some sea stacks worth exploring. These sea stacks are formed over time by the relentless pounding of the ocean waves, which erode the mainland cliff line, leaving behind the hardest rock in isolated columns. They provide habitats for seabirds and plants to thrive and make from some really cool photos!

One of the coolest things about Ruby Beach is the massive fields of driftwood left behind by the ocean. These huge logs come from dense forests along the Pacific coast or are carried downriver into the ocean. They are pretty slick, especially if it’s been raining, so take your time crossing them.

Can You Have Campfires on Ruby Beach?

Campfires are NOT allowed on Ruby Beach. If you really want to have a campfire on the beach you might want to check out Rialto Beach.

Wildlife at Ruby Beach

The rugged coast of Olympic National Park provides the perfect habitat for wildlife such as bald eagles, seabirds, and marine mammals like seals and whales offshore. I unfortunately did see a seal that did not make it among the driftwood.

You also might find sea anemones, starfish, crabs, mussels, barnacles, sea urchins, small fish, snails, octopuses, and squid in tide pools during low tide.

Safety Tips for Ruby Beach

  • Check the Tide Schedule: If you are looking to explore tide pool, then you’ll want to check the tide schedule before you visit.
  • Wear Boots: Ideally you’ll want to have some sturdy boots to climb over driftwood and along the rocky shore. Those logs and rocks can get really slippery!
  • Be Cautious of Logs and Surf: Large driftwood logs can shift unexpectedly with the surf, posing a risk of injury. Also, avoid turning your back on the ocean to prevent being caught off guard by rogue waves.
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Tides for Ruby BeachDirections to Ruby BeachRuby Beach Map

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