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Old 04-25-2011, 03:47 PM
 
39 posts, read 62,819 times
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Default Low tides on Pacific Coast-Ruby Beach

I found a low tide chart for the LaPush area of Washington. Would that be the same chart I would use for Ruby Beach? We are traveling to Washington in September and wanted to know when low tides would be there. The chart says low tide is a 7am, high tide at 1:16pm. My question is how much time do you actually have to walk on the beach to photograph the tide pools, see the star fish, etc. before the tide gets too high. Coming from upper michigan, with no tides, I don't know if they are a gradual thing or what? Can anyone help me?
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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The tides are very gradual. You'll usually have an hour at the lowest tide to look at the pools. Most rocky tide pool areas are big enough that you can spend 4-5 hours before they were inaccessible.

Your biggest threats are going to be sneaker waves and driftwood. If you see ocean spray, stay away. If it's gentle waves then have fun!
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Near Sequim, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopergurl
I found a low tide chart for the LaPush area of Washington. Would that be the same chart I would use for Ruby Beach?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopergurl
My question is how much time do you actually have to walk on the beach to photograph the tide pools, see the star fish, etc. before the tide gets too high?
Plenty. The walk down the trail from the parking area to the beach is short- probably 1/4 to 1/3 of a mile at most. Mildly steep in a couple of spots but overall very manageable. If you get there at about 7 or 7:30 AM, you'll have 2 or 3 hours (maybe more) to explore before the incoming tide covers up most things.

FWIW, if you're exploring the peninsula along the coast and have the spare time, I think the tide pools down at Beach 4 (south side) are better than those at Ruby Beach. If you can get a map of the park/forest (Olympic National) before your trip you'll be able to "see" where these beaches are.

My personal preference for tide pools: I like the tide pools over at Salt Creek/Tongue Point (outside of Port Angeles) the best- the rocks there are more extensive than at Ruby Beach (and somewhat more than at Beach 4), so there are usually more "critters" to see at the Salt Creek park.

Salt Creek Recreation Area | Olympic Peninsula

Enjoy!
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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Hi Yoopergurl,
About the tides here along the Oregon-Washington coast: when the tide gets to the actual low tide (or high tide) times listed in tidebooks, the change in tides is very slow. So for example, one hour before or after "low tide" (or "high tide"), the tide will still be close to the "low tide" (or "high tide") levels. Probably by about 9 or 930am, most of the tidepools will be covered by the incoming tide, but there will still be plenty of sandy beach to walk on. Tides here along the coast change slowly, if you get to Ruby Beach at 7am (near sunrise), you should have a good 90 minutes to explore tidepools. I don't remember there being a lot of tidepools at Ruby, but there are seastacks and it's a pretty beach. Nearby parking makes for easy access. Sometimes there are bald eagles hanging out on the trees on the cliffs.
If you have not been to the beaches here, a few simple tips for safety: Large pieces of driftwood (sometimes entire trees) easily float in shallow water; it is good to stay away from logs that are floating or in the process of washing up on the sand.
Sneaker waves: the name gives the impression that a wave comes out of nowhere and gobbles you up. I have been to the beaches here 100s of times- surfing, looking for agates, hiking, backpacking, beachcombing, camping, photography. I have never seen a "sneaker wave". What typically happens is Uncle Pete wanders off along the beach, and Uncle Pete is not paying attention to the waves. A large set, or waves from different directions combine, and water comes in further than most of the other waves. Uncle Pete gets wet, or swept off a rock. Pay attention to the ocean (this is important), and you will be fine. If you have never been here, I would sit and watch the ocean for a few minutes before exploring.
Rocks at the ocean can be slippery, especially if wet and covered with seaweed. Sometimes a hiking stick makes it a little easier walking on the rocks.
Sea spray was mentioned in a post above. I think the poster was referring to going out swimming in the ocean (?) The water will probably be too cold to swim in for very long without a wetsuit. But the point would be if the waves are big (if in doubt, don't go out as they say in Hawaii), one can find themself wishing they hadn't swam out. I have seen this happen.
September is an excellent time to visit here in the Northwest. Usually the weather is nice, trees are beginning to change, the air is clear. Just exercise some basic safety tips, and you will experience some very cool scenery :-)
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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Hawaiians also say, "Never turn your back to the ocean." Have a great trip!
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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Default tide pools

thanks for all your help
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