Are you ready for some whale watching on the stunning and scenic Oregon Coast? If so, now is the time to do it, as approximately 18,000 gray whales pass close to the Oregon coast as they migrate north to Alaska each year from March to June.
Gray Whales And Orcas Along The Oregon Coast
During the spring whale migration around 18,000 gray whales travel slowly up the Oregon coast and within a half mile of shore. Some of these migrating gray whales don't travel all the way back to Alaska, and instead about 200 each year choose to stay off the Oregon coast between June and November. A great place to spot gray whales is between Lincoln City and Newport, where around 40 of them feed every year.
Just a few days ago Oregon State Troopers were surprised as a few gray whales surfaced near their boat off the Oregon coast.
Recently a pod of Orcas was also seen heading south towards Oregon, though it isn't known if these were transient Orcas or Puget Sound Orcas. It's common for transient Orcas to come to the Oregon coast in April and May to chase newborn gray whales.
The Best Spots To Whale Watch On The Oregon Coast
While it's possible to see whales at any spot along the Oregon coast, here are the best viewing locations to increase your chance of seeing whales:
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- Cape Kiwanda
- Ecola State Park
- The Highway 101 Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Turnout
- 10th floor Inn at Spanish Head Lobby
- Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
- Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
- Cape Lookout State Park at the tip of the cape (which is a 2.5 mile hike. Check to see that the trail is open before going, as weather damage can close this trail on occasion).
- The Depoe Bay Sea Wall
- The Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center (May be closed due to Covid-19)
- Cape Foulweather
- Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
- Don Davis City Park
- Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area
- Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center (May be closed due to Covid-19)
- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
- Cape Ferrelo
- Harris Beach State Park
- Shore Acres State Park
- The Umpqua Lighthouse
- Cook's Chasm Turnout
Tips For Whale Watching On The Oregon Coast
When you go whale watching, dress in warm layers and bring waterproof hats and coats in case of bad weather.
A hot drink like coffee or hot cocoa is a great idea to keep you warm on your whale watching excursion, and don't forget a delicious snack!
Bring a pair of binoculars for every friend and family member who comes with you. The more eyes you can get turned towards the ocean, the better chance you'll have at spotting a whale.
Have you ever been whale watching along the Oregon coast? Tag the friends and family you want to go whale watching with this spring!