Where to watch the gray whale spring migration on the Oregon Coast


A hike on Cape Lookout leads to one of the Oregon Coast’s best spots to spot migrating grey whales.
Zach Urness, Statesman Journal

If you’re looking for a way to shake off winter doldrums, consider heading to the Oregon coast for Spring Whale Watch Week.

Come gaze over the Pacific Ocean as the gray whale migration ramps up. There are trained volunteers available to help at 24 locations along the coast beginning March 23 to 31.

After enjoying warm winters off the coast of Baja, Mexico, gray whales make their way to feeding grounds near Alaska during spring, often with calves born over the winter, according to Oregon State Parks officials.

While the migration stretches from mid-March to June, volunteers will on hand 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day during the week-long event to help visitors spot whales swimming near the shore, as well as to share details on the massive mammals.

Zach’s recommended spots:Best Oregon Coast whale watching spots

Those looking for an even bigger whale experience can head to the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the event week, for interactive exhibits and even access to binoculars to use on site.

Desk bound? Oregon State Parks will offer daily livestreamed video from Depoe Bay beginning March 23 on their YouTube channel at


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Mix some camping or a hike with your whale watching?Cape Lookout hike ideal for whale watching

For more information

For the latest from Oregon’s shore, visitors can email the Whale Watching Center at, call at 541-765-3304 or check out their blog at

Top spots to catch migrating whales

Each year, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department keeps track of the number of whales spotted at each of the 24 locations where volunteers are stationed during Whale Watch Week. Here are the top results from the Spring 2018 Whale Watch Week, March 24-31:

  1. Don Davis City Park: 179
  2. Cape Perpetua: 175
  3. Cooks Chasm: 170
  4. Shore Acres: 160
  5. Fort Stevens: 151

Whale Watching Spoken Here locations

  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
  • Fort Stevens State Park
  • Ecola State Park
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker Turnout
  • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Lookout State Park
  • Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area
  • Inn at Spanish Head: Lobby on the 10th floor
  • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
  • The Whale Watching Center: Depoe Bay Seawall
  • Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Foulweather
  • Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Don Davis City Park, Newport
  • Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center
  • Cook’s Chasm Turnout
  • Sea Lion Caves Turnout
  • Umpqua Lighthouse
  • Shore Acres State Park
  • Face Rock Wayside State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Battle Rock Wayside
  • Cape Ferrelo
  • Harris Beach State Park, Brookings


David Davis is a reporter at the Statesman Journal. Contact him at, 503-399-6897 or follow on Twitter @DavidDavisSJ

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