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Ruby Beach

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Consider Ruby Beach to be Olympic wilderness coast lite. You'll get the same great wilderness taste as Cape Alava, Shi Shi Beach, and Third Beach, but for a lot less calories. The hike to Ruby Beach is a mere 0.25 mile, but it's a glorious 0.25 mile. Through a wind-blasted maritime forest, follow a well-groomed trail lined with salt-sprayed shrubs to the mighty Pacific. Emerge behind a barrier of surf-tossed logs and consider your options: south to Beach 6 or 3 lonely miles north to the mouth of the Hoh River

Make the 0.25-mile jaunt to the sea. Most hikers might be content right where the short trail meets the sea. They'll wander a bit and photograph the contorted sea stacks that greet them. Perhaps they'll comb the beach looking for treasure or try to capture the beauty of offshore Abbey Island on a memory card, whiling away the afternoon at this spectacular spot. But if the tide's low and your ambitions are high, consider hiking north for nearly 3 miles to the mouth of the Hoh River.

Check your tide chart. You'll need a low one to rock-hop across Cedar Creek and to safely round the small headland just north of it. After that it's an easy, straightforward hike to the mouth of one of the peninsula's most famous rivers. On a wide sandy beach beneath bluffs rising 150 feet, hike all the way to where the rain- and glacier-fed Hoh River empties into the world's largest ocean.

En route you're sure to see bald eagles perched in high snags hanging precariously above the eroding bluffs. You may even encounter a deer or two out on the deserted beach. At the river you're likely to meet anglers in pursuit of a prize salmon.

Spend some time exploring the mouth of the river (which lies within the small Hoh Indian Reservation), and then plan for your return. Don't forget about the tides. Let Abbey Island act like a beacon to guide you back to Ruby Beach. Early settlers to the area thought that the imposing block of an island resembled a cathedral, hence the name. Whether the island looks like a house of worship to you, like an abbey this island and coastline are indeed sacred. And despite easy access, Ruby Beach is as beautiful and wild as any of the Olympic Peninsula's famed wilderness beaches.
Driving Directions:

From Hoquiam follow US 101 north for 77 miles, 7 miles beyond Kalaloch. (From Forks travel 27 miles south on US 101.) Turn left (west; signed "Ruby Beach") and proceed 0.1 mile to a large parking area and the trailhead. Privy available.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 13 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Ruby Beach — Apr 01, 2014 — austineats
Day hike
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The weather was gorgeous and the surf stunning. Sea stacks tower ominously over the scene. From the ...
The weather was gorgeous and the surf stunning. Sea stacks tower ominously over the scene. From the parking lot just off of Highway 101 it is a short walk down to the beach.

Don't expect sand though. This is a straight up rock beach. Our plan had been to head north 3 miles to the Hoh River. Several years ago I had walked the beach south form La Push to the Hoh and I wanted to finish off this section of the coast.

The little lagoon and tides had another plan though. We waited an hour for the tide to start heading out before going thigh deep to cross the river. Once across we managed <1/2 mile before being turned back by high water and cliffs which didn't seem very appetizing with the huge surf.

I would advise monitoring the tides very closely to take on this stretch of beach.
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Ruby Beach — Dec 24, 2013 — mooreattitude
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail
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Walking along this part of the coast was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Day. Last time I went on...
Walking along this part of the coast was a wonderful way to spend Christmas Day. Last time I went on this hike WTA was there fixing the trail and I have to say it looks great! No water on the main trail down to the beach. I hit the beach just before low tide. Cedar Creek was running pretty hard and it has made it impossible to go North without getting soaked. But as always, Ruby Beach offered great photo opportunities and I look forward to heading back the next chance I get.
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Ruby Beach — Dec 18, 2013 — abertino
Day hike
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It was too cold to wade across the water to explore the sea stacks, but Ruby Beach is still a beauti...
It was too cold to wade across the water to explore the sea stacks, but Ruby Beach is still a beautiful playground.
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Ruby Beach — Sep 21, 2013 — GingerB85
Day hike
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This was our last hike of our Olympic Peninsula camping trip and, boy, did we save the best for last...
This was our last hike of our Olympic Peninsula camping trip and, boy, did we save the best for last! We had timed it to arrive in plenty of time to watch the sunset. Timing was perfect. We arrived at low tide and enjoyed seeing all the things the tide pools had to offer including numerous starfish and beautifully colored sea anemones. The dogs thoroughly enjoyed the beach as well, with the exception of the off-leash dog that thoroughly ignored his master when he was called.
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Ruby Beach — Jul 27, 2013 — wrong way Jim
Day hike
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Needed a road trip and Ruby Beach was our last stop. Had coastal fog that wanted to hover over the b...
Needed a road trip and Ruby Beach was our last stop. Had coastal fog that wanted to hover over the beach but still came out with wonderfully beautiful views to end our day.
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Ruby Beach.jpg
Looking north from the trail down to the beach. Photo by Scott&Lucy.
Location
Ruby Beach (#14)
Olympics -- Coast
Olymic National Park, Wilderness Information Center
Statistics
Roundtrip 6.0 miles
Elevation Gain 80 ft
Highest Point 80 ft
Features
Coast
User info
Good for kids
Dogs allowed on leash
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails La Push No. 163S
Custom Correct South Olympic Coast

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerRuby Beach
47.70985 -124.4136
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