The Best Spots for Whale Watching in Oregon This Spring

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The spring whale migration begins in March and there are plenty of places to watch along Oregon’s shores

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s time to dust off those binoculars because March marks the start of spring whale watching in Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation says the whales’ spring migration begins in March and several sites are open in coastal parks where people can go watch them in the water.

Spring Whale Week hosted by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation and Volunteers is canceled for 2022, but the State Parks Department will once again bring back the live whale watching broadcast on its channel Youtube. Live streams are scheduled daily from March 21-25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center will reopen to visitors in late spring 2022.

Oregon Parks and Recreation reminds the public that there are designated whale watching sites along the coast that offer the best chance of spotting whales due to their location. These sites are often slightly elevated above the ocean and in areas where whales are more easily seen.

Here are the 24 sites recommended by the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation for whale watching:

  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park – Ilwaco, Wash.
  • Fort Stevens State Park – Peter Iredale Wreck – near Astoria, Ore.
  • Ecola State Park – near Seaside, Ore.
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Historical Marker
  • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Cape Lookout State Park – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Hostel in Spanish Head – Lincoln City, Oregon.
  • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint – near Lincoln City, Ore.
  • The Whale Watching Center – Depoe Bay, Ore.
  • Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint – near Newport, Ore.
  • Cape Foulweather – Otter Rock, Ore.
  • Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area – near Newport, Ore.
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area – near Newport, Ore.
  • Don Davis Park – Newport, Oregon.
  • Cape Perpetua Visitor Center – near Yachats, Ore.
  • Cook’s Chasm Turnout – near Yachats, Ore.
  • Participation in the Sea Lion Caves – near Florence, Ore.
  • Umpqua Lighthouse State Park – near Florence, Ore.
  • Shore Acres State Park – near Coos Bay, Ore.
  • Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint – near Coos Bay, Ore.
  • Battle Rock Wayside – Port Orford, Oregon.
  • Cape Ferrelo – near Brookings, Ore.
  • Harris Beach State Park – near Brookings, Ore.

Between late March and June, approximately 25,000 gray whales will pass by the Oregon coast en route to cooler waters near Alaska. Many whales will be accompanied by their young, which are born in winter in the warm waters off the coast of Baja, Mexico.

More information on whale watching is available on the Oregon Coast Visitors Association website.

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