Ruby Beach is certainly one of the most photographed beaches along the Olympic coastline, and for good reason. From the parking area it is only a short jaunt through salmonberry hedges down to the pebbly beach where numerous stacks and the larger Abbey Island create a dramatic coastline.
For those with wanderlust ambitions, it is a small ford to cross Cedar Creek and explore the beach around Abbey Island (which was thought to resemble a cathedral by early settlers). A 2.9-mile one-way jaunt all the way to the Hoh River estuary lies even further to the north.
Look off shore to the southwest and you'll notice the tall spire of the Destruction Island Lighthouse. Built in 1889, the 94-foot tall lighthouse assisted mariners until its automated Vega Rotating Beacon was shut off in 1995. At one point, the 33-acre island was staffed with four keepers and equipped not only with the light, but two six-room keeper's dwellings, a barn, and numerous utility buildings. Isolated, the island became a virtually autonomous community for the keepers that included cows, chickens, a vegetable garden, and its own school for the children. Today the island is protected as a marine preserve and completely abandoned. The lighthouse's original Fresnel lens is housed and on display at the Westport Maritime Museum.