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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 8:52 am 
Wednesday September 14, 2022 09:20 PDT Olympic National Park News Release PORT ANGELES, Wash. – On September 14, 2022, the Ruby Beach parking area and access road at Olympic National Park will reopen after a three-month closure. Ruby Beach closed to the public in June 2022 to allow construction work to take place. The reopened Ruby Beach features significant improvements to accessibility, allowing visitors of all abilities to better access and use parking areas, overlooks, and facilities. As part of this project, the Ruby Beach parking area and its access road were graded and paved. Curbs, sidewalks, crosswalks, and steps were installed, making this popular beach access area safer for visitors and in compliance with Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards. New signs, bike racks, and pavement markings make this area easier to navigate. A newly installed storm drainage system will reduce bluff erosion. Additionally, nearby restrooms were painted and repaired. Said Facility Manager Lisa Turecek, “We are so happy to welcome visitors back to Ruby Beach, and we appreciate their patience during the summer closure. 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.” The contract for this work was awarded to 2Grade Excavation & Development, LLC, of Port Angeles, Washington, in the amount of $910,985. Ruby Beach is located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, within the boundaries of Olympic National Park, and receives approximately 225,000 visitors annually. A trailhead near the parking area leads to a scenic beach. Learn more at https://go.nps.gov/rubybeach More information and photographs: https://go.nps.gov/rubybeachreopens -NPS-

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

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PostWed Sep 14, 2022 9:11 am 
Very glad to see that ONP posted adequate signage on both the north and southbound approaches to Ruby Beach. With the other road construction projects going on at the same time all summer - one of them the completion of a two-year project constructing a new bridge over Steamboat Creek (at Beach #6) - traffic and parking along the Kalaloch Coastal Strip have been challenging, to say the least. This is what the parking pull-out looked like at Beach #3 Saturday at 1:00 pm:
Kalaloch Beach #3 parking area Saturday Sep 10 2022 12:57 PDT
Kalaloch Beach #3 parking area Saturday Sep 10 2022 12:57 PDT
It should be noted that was just before high tide, and several of those vehicles in the photo were driven by the fishermen who came out for the smelt runs. The closure of Ruby Beach redirected most of that traffic to Beach #4. I didn't even bother to pull into the parking lot at #4 this season - just looking at all the cars jamming the parking lot (as well as the entrance) was enough for me. There were a few days this season when the pull-out at #5 was jammed! Who could have imagined? I'll check out Ruby when I'm back up there in a few weeks. One issue that ONP needs to address is beach access for those with limited mobility. Only at #2 and Ruby have people who are unable to climb over the piles of driftwood been able to get down on the beach. This isn't a new problem. About 20 years ago, when I was brushing out the beach trails down at South Beach, I walked back up to my truck to make a cup of tea and a woman pulled up in a huge van. She wanted to know if it was possible for a kid in a wheelchair to get down to the beach. I helped her navigate the electric wheelchair down the gravel road to where the power box is at the southern end of the South Beach parking lot, where the three of us spent the better part of an hour watching a mother whale and her baby playing in the breakers. The kid was ecstatic. Probably has a memory that will last a lifetime. The bottom end of #1 was a bitch, and I've been climbing around on logjams my entire life. While I fully understand the challenges of trying to maintain a "trail" to the Pacific Ocean, which clearly has other ideas about where trails should be, this is an issue that ONP needs to get on top of. More than a couple times over the last week I heard it asked "Which is the easiest beach for <insert favorite euphemism for old people> to get to?"

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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