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Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park

Details

  • Beaches, Hiking, Recreation Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Kalaloch, located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park. The marine environment and offshore islands are protected by three national wildlife refuges. For thousands of marine species, the coastal waters provide a safe haven, which is why Kalaloch is such a draw for birders. Western gulls, bald eagles and other coastal birds can be seen nesting and feeding along the southern coast. Large nesting colonies of birds, like common murres and tufted puffins, love the rocky outposts. Visitors also commonly see harbor seals and harbor porpoises. Reviewers call the scenery "beyond beautiful" and "picture perfect."

The mile-long Kalaloch Nature Trail is an easy loop through coastal forest. There are also seven beach trails that lead to the ocean from Highway 101. Ruby Beach and Beach Trail 4 have accessible viewpoints and accessible vault toilets. What's more, Beach 4 is an excellent place to look for sea stars and anemones in the tide pools.

Kalaloch and Ruby Beach are accessible directly off of Highway 101. The Kalaloch Ranger Station is open daily in summer only, with information, exhibits, books and maps. The Kalaloch Lodge is open year-round, with cabins, lodge rooms, a restaurant, gift shop and a camp store. When hiking the coast, always check the tides (current charts are available at the Kalaloch Ranger Station). Certain areas may become impassable during high tides and overland trails must be used. For more information, consult the NPS website.

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#1 Hoh Rain Forest With an annual rainfall ranging from 140 to 170 inches, the Hoh Rain Forest is a lush, green wonderland, with mosses and ferns covering every tree and surface. According to ... Read more » James Randklev / Getty Images

#2 Hurricane Ridge Hurricane Ridge is located 17 miles south of Port Angeles and is the most easily accessed mountain area within the park. In clear weather, it offers amazing views. In fact ... Read more » Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

#3 Kalaloch and Ruby Beach Kalaloch, located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park. The marine environment and offshore islands are protected by ... Read more » Steve Johnson / Getty Images

#4 Lake Crescent Formed thousands of years ago, this crystal-clear, glacially carved lake has depths of up to 624 feet in places. As the ice retreated, it left behind a steep valley that ... Read more » Jeff Kendall / EyeEm / Getty Images

#5 Mora and Rialto Beach Rialto Beach, which sits about 40 miles southwest of Lake Crescent and about 70 miles from Port Angeles, offers dramatic coastal scenery and is a great place to look for ... Read more » Image by David Gregg / Getty Images

#6 Sol Duc Valley The Sol Duc Valley, located in the northwest region of the park, offers several trails to explore, but probably the most popular is the mile-long hike to the Sol Duc ... Read more » Michael Riffle / Getty Images

#7 Olympic National Park Main Visitor Center and Wilderness Information Center According to recent visitors, this should be your first stop in the park. Found in Port Angeles, Washington, the center houses exhibits about Olympic National Park's natural and cultural ... Read more » Jasperdo / Flickr

#8 Staircase Staircase, located in the southeastern corner of Olympic National Park, is dominated by enormous Douglas firs. You'll find a variety of hiking trails along the Skokomish River and the ... Read more » Cory Maccarrone / Getty Images

Hoh Rain Forest picture in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent picture in Olympic National Park
Rialto Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Valley picture in Olympic National Park
Visitor Center picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park
Hoh Rain Forest picture in Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge picture in Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Lake Crescent picture in Olympic National Park
Rialto Beach picture in Olympic National Park
Sol Duc Valley picture in Olympic National Park
Visitor Center picture in Olympic National Park
Staircase picture in Olympic National Park

The Hoh Rain Forest is an enchanting place to explore. James Randklev / Getty Images

The visitor center at Hurricane Ridge offers stunning views. Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

Kalaloch is one of the most visited areas of the park. And after taking one look at the coastal scenery, it's easy to see why. Steve Johnson / Getty Images

Lake Crescent is crystal clear and has depths of up to 624 feet. Jeff Kendall / EyeEm / Getty Images

Rialto Beach offers dramatic coastal views. Image by David Gregg / Getty Images

A spawning salmon jumps into the rapids of the Sol Duc River. Michael Riffle / Getty Images

Jasperdo / Flickr

Several hiking trails in the Staircase area of the park take travelers along the picturesque Skokomish River. Cory Maccarrone / Getty Images

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