Thousands of Gray whales are migrating south through Oregon’s waters later this month and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) invites visitors to the coast for the annual Winter Whale Watch Week Dec. 27 – 31.
Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day at more than 20 of best whale watching sites on the coast, ready to help visitors spot whales and answer questions about the animals.
On the North Oregon Coast, you will find volunteers at Fort Stevens, Ecola, Neah-Kah-Nie Mtn., Cape Meares, Cape Lookout and Cape Kiwanda.
A map of volunteer-staffed sites is available on the official event webpage.
An estimated 25,000 Gray whales are expected to swim past Oregon’s shores over the next several weeks, part of their annual migration south to the warm calving lagoons near Baja, Mexico. The end of December is the peak time for their migration; roughly 30 whales pass by per hour.
The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay will be open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily. Visitors to the center can enjoy interactive whale exhibits and take in the panoramic ocean views. Binoculars are provided. Park rangers will also be on hand to answer questions about the whales.
A live stream of whale activity in Depoe Bay returns this winter too; watch it on the Oregon State Parks YouTube channel during the event.
For more information about coast state parks and campgrounds, visit oregonstateparks.org.