The best spots for Oregon whale watching this spring

The spring whale migration begins in March and there are plenty of places to watch on 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 Parks and Recreation Department says the spring whale migration begins in March and there are several sites open at coastal parks where people can go to watch for them in the water.

The Spring Whale Week hosted by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and volunteers is canceled for 2022, but the state parks department will once again bring back the whale watching livestream on its YouTube channel. The livestreams are scheduled daily March 21-25 from 10 am to 2 pm

The Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay 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 chances of spotting whales because of their locations. These sites are often slightly elevated above the ocean and in areas where whales are more easily seen.

Here are the 24 sites Oregon Parks and Recreation Department recommends for whale watching:

  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park – Ilwaco, Wash.
  • Fort Stevens State Park–Peter Iredale Shipwreck–near Astoria, Ore.
  • Ecola State Park – near Seaside, Ore.
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker
  • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Cape Lookout State Park – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area – near Tillamook, Ore.
  • Inn at Spanish Head – Lincoln City, Ore.
  • 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, Ore.
  • Cape Perpetua Visitor Center – near Yachats, Ore.
  • Cook’s Chasm Turnout – near Yachats, Ore.
  • Sea Lion Caves Turnout – 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, Ore.
  • Cape Ferrelo – near Brookings, Ore.
  • Harris Beach State Park – near Brookings, Ore.

Between late March and June, about 25,000 gray whales will pass by Oregon’s shores on their way to cooler waters near Alaska. Many whales will be accompanied by their calves, which are born in the winter in the warm waters off the coast of Baja, Mexico.

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

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