Ruby Beach is about as iconic as it gets when it comes to the Washington coast. Bonus? It’s dog-friendly too! So, when I made a recent trip to the coast, I obviously needed to give it my dog friendly review for Tails and Trails. Read on for my realistic take on this often blogged-about spot, Ruby Beach on the Olympic Peninsula.
If you’re new to my blog, let me tell you about how I review these hikes. This review is NOT for the experienced backpacker who is already meticulously prepared for any situation. Nor is this written exclusively for people whose dog loves everyone, obediently listens, and plays off-leash like a Boss.
I’m writing to those of us who often feel like a hot mess with an unruly pile of fur and still show up anyway. If you’re genuinely interested in grabbing your dog and heading outdoors, and tackling it as it comes, then this is for you!
What I Loved About Ruby Beach on the Olympic Peninsula
First, the obvious, Ruby Beach is a dog-friendly oasis amidst the Olympic Peninsula. While most beaches allow pups, the Olympic National Park has a shortlist of dog-friendly hikes. Here is a list in case you’re interested. If you’re heading to this part of the state, Ruby beach should be on your list for merely this fact alone.
Rugged landscapes make this location photo-worthy for even the most amateur iPhone users. There is a reason it shows up on many magazines, blogs, and postcards. On our adventure that day, we showed up at the WORST time of day to shoot. However, I think we still got some great memories captured.
Another thing I love is that there is a creek to captivate young explorers. One of my beach hacks with kids is to look for anything with a stream running into the ocean. Without a doubt, children will want to play in the water in the ocean. Given the temperamental nature of the waves, I don’t recommend that without CLOSE observation. A creek, however, provides for a much safer place to explore while still experiencing the coastline.
Where Ruby Beach Stumbled For Me
OK, real talk here, there were some drawbacks. PLEASE don’t hate on me. Just know these things ahead of time and all will be fine.
- Parking is tough. We went during the off-season, middle of the week, and the lot was packed. The google map image actually shows parking well down the side of the road, so be prepared.
- We never encountered the red sand often mentioned. It was all rocks without any sand in sight. While that was fun for us, I think some people might be disappointed after reading reviews on “red sand”. I probably need to research this further. Maybe it’s only a certain time of the year.
- There isn’t any cell coverage. Not a huge deal, but if you don’t check your tide schedule ahead of time, it’s too late once you get there.
- It’s busy, busy, busy. If I had a more reactive dog or wanted photos without other people in them, I’d choose one of the many beaches we saw just down the road.
A few details for planning a trip to Ruby Beach on the Olympic Peninsula
If you’re looking for all the technical information on Ruby Beach, check out this link from the National Park Service. Plan ahead on this one for tide schedules and parking on busy days. Or at least mentally prepare yourself for the crowds. If you can time it right, I bet sunset here would be amazing!!
Overall, if you have the time, make sure to include a pitstop to Ruby beach for you and your pup. If for nothing else, the photographic proof you’ve checked this off the Washington bucket list. However, alter your expectations for a rocky, crowded beach (both people and pups).
Have you been to Ruby beach yourself? Let me know what you loved about this place below.
MB – A Spokane photographer serving the Northwest with lifestyle photography and inspiration to get your outdoors today!
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