Not all hikes have to be through the woods, up a mountain, or to a waterfall. One of the best ways to hike is to follow a secluded beach and see what you can find. There is something peaceful in the waves crashing on the shore and occasionally splashing your feet.
Ruby Beach is on the coast of Washington state and part of Olympic National Park. Rather than sand, you have rocks of every color and vistas of haystack rocks and fir trees. When I was there last August, I took the short hike with a couple of switchbacks through the forest down from the parking area at Ruby Beach. Once you get to the beach area, there is a tremendous quantity of sun bleached trees that have washed up on the shore. It is amazing to think that these trees were once up somewhere near Mount Olympus, fell, washed to the sea via rivers of melted snow and glacier, floated in the ocean, and then eventually deposited up on the beach.
It was great fun to balance on and travel down to the water jumping from tree to tree. I went north following the shore to explore and see what all Ruby Beach had to offer. I probably went about a mile following the beach before turning back. During that short time, I collected rocks of many colors to show my wife who waited patiently for me to return. There was a great haystack rock that I walked around and was amazed to see. You just don’t see haystack rocks on the east coast and I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to see this one up close. Amazingly, there was a rock formation with a really cool passageway through it. The waves and the sun shining through this portal was amazing and made me very glad I took this hike.
Washington state is amazingly beautiful and Olympic National Park showcases much of that beauty within. I hope to get to come back soon and see more of this amazing National Park. rk