Visitor Guide

Visitor Guide

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  • Whale Tail on Oregon Coast by Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center
  • Whale Watch Spoken Here by the Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center
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Whale Watching

Thinking of heading to the Oregon Coast for some wildlife viewing? Pack your binoculars and a sense of adventure, and go in search of migrating Gray whales.  
Oregon Coast Hotels

When To Go
Approximately 18,000 whales cruise along the Oregon coast with prime whale watching in March, April, May, June and mid-December to mid-January. Smaller numbers can be spotted during the summer months and early fall. 

Travel to Florence to learn about these amazing creatures from trained volunteers during the Winter and Spring Watch Weeks organized by the state Whale Watching Spoken Here program.

Winter Whale Watch Week: December 26 - 31, 2013
Spring Whale Watch Week: March 22- 29, 2014

Whale Watching courtsey of Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center   Catch a glimpse of Gray whales blowing, breaching and fluking as they pass by on their 12,000-mile (19,300-km) annual migration from the Arctic Ocean to the warm, calm bays of Mexico in the winter to birth their young. In the spring, come again for their return journey north, where most spend the summer feeding in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
There are about 200 whales that enjoy Oregon's mild weather so much they stay all summer long, feeding just off shore. Excellent whale watching can be had all along Oregon's 363-mile (584-km) coastline, so check out some of these great places to watch anytime of year.
Where to Go
The Oregon Whale Watching Spoken Here program puts volunteers at 26 different view points from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily during the winter and spring watch weeks. These friendly whale-watchers will help you spot Gray whales and other wildlife while you learn a bit about them. Local watch sites include Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center, Cook's Chasm, and the Sea Lion Caves Turnout.

At the Sea Lion Caves take an elevator down into a cavernous sea cave to view a herd of approximately 200 Stellar Sea Lions lounging on the rocks. During the spring and summer they are mostly on outside ledges, clustered in family units consisting of a bull and harems of 15 to 30 cows and their young. Occasional and infrequently seen Killer Whales patrol the edges of the Sea Lion territory.

Other great lookouts include Cape Perpetua Overlook, the Devil's Churn Viewpoint, and Heceta Head Lighthouse. Or scout for whales from above on a whale watching air tour!

Tips from the Oregon Whale Watching Center
Morning light (with the sun at your back) is often helpful for spotting blows. Afternoon light reflects off the water and makes viewing difficult.

Any spot with an ocean view may yield whale sightings, but higher locations are better than sandy beaches.

Anytime you are along the ocean shoreline, stay a safe distance from the shore break and be alert for sneaker waves, which may come in farther then expected.