A slew of infrastructure and access improvements mean the Olympic National Park must-see destination is now far safer – and more accommodating – to visitors.
Featured near the top of our Top 10 Things to Do in Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach is a Pacific Northwest gem that can’t be missed when visiting the park. But visitors over the summer of 2022 had to do just that. The popular destination would close for three months during construction. From June to September of this year, the beach was void of any human traffic.
Today, however, is the day Ruby Beach reopens to the public. On Wednesday, September 14, Olympic National Park announced the reopening of the Ruby Beach parking area and access road. In their media release to Outsider, the park cites that the reopened Ruby Beach features significant improvements to accessibility. This will allow visitors of all abilities to better access and use parking areas, overlooks, and facilities.”
This is excellent news for Olympic National Park visitors. The Ruby Beach parking area and access road are all graded and re-paved as part of the project. In addition, the area now has curbs, sidewalks, crosswalks, and steps to aid foot traffic.
New signs, bike racks, and pavement markings also make this area far easier to navigate. The park also had a storm drainage system installed to help prevent severe bluff erosion. The restrooms located just outside the parking lot were also painted and repaired (which this Outsider can attest to as sorely needed).
Olympic National Park’s Ruby Beach is Now Far Safer for Visitors
These enhancements not only make accessing Ruby Beach far safer for visitors, but also bring it up to code/compliance with Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards.
“We are so happy to welcome visitors back to Ruby Beach. And we appreciate their patience during the summer closure,” offers Olympic Facility Manager Lisa Turecek in kind. “Olympic National Park is a place for everyone to experience and connect with nature. These new improvements to the Ruby Beach parking area, overlooks, and trailhead will improve accessibility and help preserve this beautiful area,” she adds.
The area’s outdated infrastructure was in dire need of updating, too. With 225,000 visitors annually, the trailhead and the parking area became a top priority for park officials in recent years, leading to the project’s completion in September of 2022.
To carry out these momentous improvements, Olympic National Park awarded the contract to 2Grade Excavation & Development, LLC. Just shy of $1 million would go to the Port Angeles, Washington company’s contract, totaling $910,985.
To access Ruby Beach yourself, head to the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula within the boundaries of Olympic National Park. For more details, see our Top 10 Things to Do in Olympic National Park next.