Amazed by the greatness of gray whales? You’re not alone. Countless people come to watch whales at the Oregon Coast every year. The best times to see the stunning sea creatures is during winter and spring, when the pods migrate in masses to the south and the north. Twice a year, Oregon State Parks & Recreation Dept. sponsors Whale Watch Week, as part of its Whale Watching Spoken Here program. It’s the perfect time to learn about these large marine mammals, which can be 40 to 50 feet long (12.2-15.2 meters) and weigh as much as 40 tons (36,287 kilograms).
During Whale Watching Week, trained volunteers are on hand at 24 locations to answer questions and help you find the best whale watching spots during the bi-annual Whale Watching Week.
Visit the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay or the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport to learn about gray whales and their habits. You can also book a whale watching tour with one of the coast’s charter companies. For a great coastal hike with majestic views of migrating gray whales, check out the Cape Lookout Whale Hike.
Winter Whale Watch Week
December 27-31, 2019
Winter is a magical time at the Oregon Coast. Nearly 20,000 gray whales swim by the coastline from mid-December through mid-January, the peak of whale migration in Oregon, on their way to the warmer waters of Baja, Mexico. They often times come close enough to the bays and shores that you not only clearly see the spouts but hear them too.
Lucky for us, temperatures are relatively mild at the Oregon Coast in the winter. And when wet weather comes through, it can make for some epic storm watching.
Spring Whale Watch Week
March 21-29, 2020
Robins are the harbingers of spring for some, but here in Oregon, our seasonal messengers are bigger, grayer and wetter.
Spring is marked by the great gray whale migration, when approximately thousands of these magnificent mammals make their way past the Oregon Coast on a 12,000-mile journey from Mexico to the their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea near Alaska. Keep your eyes peeled for 15-foot whale babies, born over the winter, swimming north with their mothers.