La Push, Olympic Peninsula, Washington – Part 3

Part 3 – Kalaloch, Beach 4, The Big Tree, and Ruby Beach

Where is the best place to watch a Pacific storm blow in?  Kalaloch Lodge, hands down.  From the comfort of your cabin, hotel room, or in our case, the restaurant, Kalaloch Lodge has great views from every direction.

During our trip to the coast, the weather was a roller coaster ride.  To ride out one of the storms, we drove down to Kalaloch Lodge and had a nice long lunch from their great menu and watched the waves crash against the shore.Kalaloch

Kalaloch Campground is just north of the lodge with access to the beach.  Campsites are nestled among a lush coastal forest.  There are 168 dry camping spots to choose from each equipped with a picnic table and fire ring.  A dump station is located at the campground for your convenience for a $5 fee.  You can make your reservations for the campground at Recreation.gov.  Be sure to reserve early.  Sites, especially with beach views, are reserved quickly.  Several walks surround Kalaloch including The Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail, which is a mile long trail along Kalaloch Creek though the forest.

Big TreeAs soon as the weather cleared we went exploring.  We headed north on US 101 and stopped at Beach 4 overlook  for more beautiful ocean views.  Next stop – The BIG Cedar Tree.  The Big Cedar Tree died some time ago.  It is actually the remains of a huge tree which is now home to several new trees and plants as it serves as a vertical nurse log.  It is quite amazing to see how nature recycles and perseveres.  Cedar Trees were very important to the native tribes that lived here.  Every part of the cedar trees were used by the native people.

Last, but definitely not least, was Ruby Beach.  I don’t know how many times we have been here, but it is still one of my favorite places.  When daydreaming about our time on the peninsula, I always see Ruby Beach in my mind’s eye.  It is a special place.  After parking in the small lot, you take a short hike down to the beach.  You will first encounter Cedar Creek, a shallow creek which empties into the Pacific Ocean.  Look up and follow the millions of smooth beach pebbles graduating in size down to the sand.  You can find the perfect driftwood bench to relax while the kids play and watch the ocean circle around the sea stacks, the largest known as Abbey Island.  And the sunsets here – WOW!  Make sure you know the tide times.  Low tides offer tide pools brimming over with sea life.  If you are really ambitious, and have a really low tide, you can hike for almost three miles north along the beach to the mouth of the Hoh river and see where the river meets the ocean.  Just cross the Cedar Creek and the small headland north of Ruby Beach and find yourself on a peaceful and solitary beach walk to the Hoh River.

Ruby Beach Ruby Beach 1

Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to comment or add your special memories.  I always love learning how others enjoy their travels.

 

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