Olympic National Park – Beaches

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by lcampbell on February 8, 2002

When I think of the beach, I think sunshine, sunbathing, and soft sand. These are not the kind of beaches that you will find in Washington. The Washington beaches are made of rock and driftwood, and are very cool. I wore a fleece jacket, hat, and mittens on one very cool day – and it was July! I actually prefer this type of beach now that I’ve visited one – the scenery is more rugged and wild, with seastacks covered with birds and other wildlife. The cool, damp weather makes for smaller crowds and more solitude. And the periodic fog gives an air of mystery.

The beaches that we visited are Klaloch and Ruby Beach. Klaloch was an area that we had heard about from friends. While we weren’t as impressed with it as our friends, we did enjoy a long walk on the beach – I even built a sand castle decorated with empty crab shells! There was a really interesting tree growing on the embankment at the back of the beach – part of the bank had washed away, so the tree was hanging on to the sides with roots hanging down into the cave below. The campground was nice, but the sites we very close together. The campground is very popular, so I recommend an early arrival. We did not get to the nearby Visitor Center, but I imagine it is worth a visit. I have always been impressed by the Ranger Programs that I’ve seen at other National Parks – you always get a wealth of information about what you are seeing or will see soon. I highly recommend Ranger Programs – and most of them are free!

We really liked Ruby Beach. From the parking area, there is a short walk down to the beach that winds through a berry patch. Needless to say, it took us longer than it should have to get down because we were berry-eatin’ fools! At the bottom of the trail we had to crawl over some washed up beach logs – not sure if they are washed up onto the beach as a result of natural causes or from the extensive logging industry in the area. The beach itself is made of rock and driftwood, and there are great view of the cliffs and seastacks. We spent a long time hanging out watching the waves and some sea lions swimming around near some rocks just off the shore.

There are some other beaches near Klaloch and Ruby Beach – Second Beach and Third Beach - that are only accessible by hiking at low tide. Backpacking permits are available at the Visitor Center at Klaloch – you can camp on these backcountry beaches, just make sure your tent is above high tide line! This is definitely on my To Do list for my next visit to the area.

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Olympic Peninsula, Washington, 98362
(360) 565-3130


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