Central Oregon DailyWinter Whale Watch week returns to Oregon Coast. Here’s where to look.

Winter Whale Watch week returns to Oregon Coast. Here’s where to look.

Winter Whale Watch week returns to Oregon Coast. Here’s where to look.

Oregon Coast Whale Crossing sign

Oregon State Parks announced Thursday it is hosting its annual Whale Watch Week Dec. 27-31 at 15 sites along the Oregon Coast. It’s your chance to catch a glimpse of the thousands of gray whales that migrate south through Oregon’s waters.

The 15 sites stretch along the entire length of the coast from Astoria to Brookings.

  • Fort Stevens State Park–Peter Iredale Shipwreck
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Overlook
  • Cape Meares Lighthouse
  • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
  • The Whale Watching Center
  • Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Foulweather
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Yachats State Recreation Area
  • Cape Perpetua Turnout
  • Heceta Head Lightouse
  • Umpqua Lighthouse
  • Shore Acres State Park
  • Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint
  • Harris Beach State Park

Here is a map of the locations.

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Here is more from Oregon Parks and Recreation about how to experience and enjoy Whale Watch Week:

Trained volunteers will be stationed at 15 sites to help visitors spot whales, share information and answer questions from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Volunteer opportunities are still available along the north and south coast if you register by Dec. 11 at 

The Whale Watch Week sites are some of the best places to spot whales on the Oregon Coast. 

“We are excitedly waiting for the migration of the gray whales to come down from Alaska,” said Park Ranger Peter McBride.

“We really enjoy sharing the experience with visitors,” he said, “It’s been a tradition at Oregon State Parks for more than 40 years.”

A map of volunteer-staffed sites is available online on the official event webpage: 

An estimated 14,500 gray whales swam past Oregon’s shores last winter, according to the most recent population estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The journey is part of their annual migration south to the calving lagoons near Baja, Mexico, and the end of December is the peak time to see their migration south. 

The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Rangers from Oregon State Parks will also be on hand to answer questions about whales.

All Whale Watch Week visitors are encouraged to dress for the weather, to bring binoculars and to follow beach safety guidelines such as remaining out of fenced areas, knowing the tide schedule and keeping an eye on the surf at all times. Go to  a list of safety tips.

For more information about coast parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org

Visitors are encouraged to share their photos and videos from Winter Whale Watch on social media using #OregonStateParks and #ORWhaleWatch23.

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