Ruby Beach – Olympic National Park

Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington were on tap for day two of our late March trip to Olympic National Park. Exploring, photographing, walking the trails and beaches and camping out at night. We drove from Graves Creek Campground through Queets to Beach 1. It started out a nice sunny day, not so good for waterfall images, but I was hoping for some good color in the sky for sunset.

Beach 1

We stopped at Beach 1, because I had seen some pictures of the spruce tree burls. Not particularly photogenic, but interesting non the less. These trees were right off the highway at the start of the beach trail.

Burls on the spruce trees at Beach 1, Olympic National Park

The next view is from the bluff above the beach.

Spruce burls on the bluff above Beach 1, Olympic National Park

Looking north toward Kalaloch, notice all the drift logs on the beach. You get to climb over them after you zigzag your way to the beach.

The view from the bluff above Beach 1

Beach 1 is littered with colorful rocks, mostly agates, and some jasper.

The colorful stones that litter Beach 1 on the Olympiic Peninsula

We left Beach 1, drove past Kalaloch Beach and the Lodge, once we got to Ruby Beach we pulled over for a quick look. Then we drove to the Hoh Rain Forest Ranger Station to get our National Park pass. One of the Olympic mountains showed up between the clouds.

Mt Olympus from the Upper Hoh River Road

More elk were spotted less than 1/2 mile from the Hoh Rain Forest Campground. The bulls were on one side of the road and the cows on the other.

Elk in the Hoh rain forest on a sunny day

The Hoh Ranger Station is the only one open this time of year, and it is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We purchased our pass and drove back to Kalaloch Campground to pick out a spot. We found our camp spot for the night, gathered some firewood from abandoned campsites and ate a late lunch. As sunset got closer we drove north to Ruby Beach for some photo opportunities. The day started off sunny with blue sky and no clouds, by early evening, the clouds were rolling in.

Ruby Beach

I put on my chest waders and crossed Cedar Creek walking north on Ruby Beach to capture these images.

Ruby Beach near sunset as storm clouds rolled through

Ruby Beach Black & White, taken early evening as a storm rolled through

Ruby Beach in late afternoon as a storm passes through

After it got dark we headed back to Kalaloch Campground, built a campfire and cooked up some dinner. We sat around the campfire for a bit sharing a beer and eating dinner. The wind started picking up and I knew we were going to get the rain that was in the forecast. Tomorrow we are headed to the Upper Queets River.


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