Along the Olympic Peninsula of the state of Washington lies Ruby Beach. This area is named for the rose-colored ruby gemstone fragments found in the coarse grey sand. As part of the Olympic National Park, the often foggy shoreline boasts a backdrop of mountains, glaciers, rain forests, and lots of wilderness and is one of the most diverse parks in the entire nation. Ruby Beach is located along the southwest coastal portion of the Olympic Park and is accessible directly off Highway 101.
Although the area is called a beach, it is in no way fit for sun, surf, or outdoor sports. Swimming in this location is not allowed or desired. There are piles of bleached driftwood that have been carried on the shore by storms and waves and assemble a shore lined with pick-up sticks. The forests located up river periodically become flooded which cause trees to fall, and deliver the fallen debris and trees into the ocean. There is an overflow of tidal pools along the rocky shoreline where visitors can examine numerous marine creatures struggling to survive in the ebb and flow of the tides. Offshore rocks jet out of the water with their tops covered with the barest vegetation. Here you will find birds galore.
Ruby Beach is located off the beaten track and as a result, the crowds are never huge. If visitors are looking for a quiet place to explore, this beach is the place. While wandering along the shoreline, explorers may come upon cliff caves that are open for discovery. The caves and rock formations or yesteryear are the backdrop for the rugged and rigid coastline. Today, large nesting colonies of birds, such as murres and tufted puffins make their dwellings in the rocks.
Aside from swimming, there are so many activities to choose from in and around the park. Visitors could explore for two weeks straight and not discover all that can be investigated among Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Although, all of the eco-zones within the park can easily be experienced in just one day. From the coast, visitors can ascend nearly a mile high to Hurricane Ridge, which offers a visitor center and nature trails. From Hurricane Ridge, a three-hour drive to the west will bring you to the Hoh Rain Forest, which also has a visitor center, picnic area, and short nature trails leading through the tropical forest.
Sunset at Ruby Beach is extraordinary as the entire sky lights up and reflects off the garnet fragments in the sand. Photographers and tourists gaze for hours collecting the perfect shot. When the lowering sun glints off the crushed garnets the sand is turned to a magnificent shade of rose. The area is known to be the place for romance. The backdrop of ember hues makes the entire sky reflect a fire tone that is unable to be duplicated. Nature at its finest dimension is found in this location.