Photos by Cheryl Landes
It’s that time of year again when more than 20,000 gray whales travel to their breeding grounds off the Baja Peninsula, and it’s possible to see them on the Oregon Coast. Look for water spouts from their blowholes and their long bodies arching as they surface and dive. And, if you’re lucky, you might see one breach.
During this winter’s Whale Watch Week, today through New Year’s Eve, volunteers are stationed at 24 viewpoints along the Oregon Coast to answer questions and help visitors spot the whales. They explain what to look for and report when a whale spouts or surfaces.
Find whale watch stations on this map (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the map). The stations are located where you see these signs:
If you go to the central Oregon Coast, stop at the Whale Watching Center on Highway 101 in Depoe Bay. The center is located along the seawall, a prime whale watching vantage point. Staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and share tips for spotting the whales. Admission is free, and hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
Also in Depoe Bay, Tradewinds Charters offers one- and two-hour whale watching tours December-February and March-May. View details and make reservations.
Can’t make it to the Oregon Coast? Watch the live stream from the Whale Watching Center December 27-31, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pacific time.
Volunteers needed for Whale Watch Week
Oregon State Parks always need volunteers to help during the winter and spring Whale Watch Weeks. This year’s spring Whale Watch Week is March 24-31, during the gray whales’ migration from the Baja Peninsula to Alaska. If you’re interested, check dates and locations for training and sign up to volunteer.