Whale watching on the Oregon Coast

Whale watching on the Oregon Coast

Every winter, gray whales cruise the Oregon Coast on their way to warmer waters for the season. Lucky for us, these majestic giants swim near land, making it easy to spot their flipping tails and high spouts from the shoreline. Join us as we hike coastal bluffs and cruise on chartered boats for a front-row seat to their southern migration—just don’t forget your binoculars!

Though officially whale watching week doesn’t start until December (Dec. 26—Jan.1), locals are getting a jump start on the viewing right now, catching the whales migrating from north to south. You can pick any of the 26 locations along the Oregon Coast to see these imposing mammals as they journey toward Baja. While you’re there, take an excursion on nearby wooded trails that offer sweeping sea views for whale sightings. Bring your binoculars to Ecola State Park and hike along the Clatsop Loop. The two-and-a-half mile trail climbs through coastal forest and along lofty cliffs. (Bonus: take the detour at the halfway point to check out the view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse).

And at Cape Perpetua there are 26 miles of hiking trails through forest and out to the beach.
There are many coastal hikes alongside whale watching locales to explore. Find your favorite along Oregon’s scenic coastline.

Immerse yourself in whale sightings with a charter boat trip. Head out along the southern coast with Rogue River Country. Or go to Depoe Bay to ride with marine biologists on the Whale Research EcoExcursions. For more information on boat trips (and even air flights) visit the Oregon Coast site.

If you want to be more than just a spectator, consider volunteering with Whale Watching Spoken Here. They send trained volunteers to whale watching spots to help guide and inform visitors.

Learn more online  about Oregon’s year-round whale migration, or pop into the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Your comment will be the first one for this story. Some might think of this as a lot of pressure, but as a trail blazer you recognize that someone has to be first. Your fellow travelers appreciate your opinion, so thanks in advance!

Win a Pendleton Blanket


Subscribe to the Travel Oregon email newsletter and be entered to win a commemorative Crater Lake Pendleton Blanket.

Click here for terms and conditions.

You're almost there!
Click the link in the email we just sent you to confirm your subscription.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.