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No Volunteers But Oregon Coast Whale Watch Show Goes On

Published 12/16/21 at 4:19 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

No Volunteers But Oregon Coast Whale Watch Show Goes On

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(Oregon Coast) – Thanks to the pandemic there is no Whale Watch Spoken Here program coming up at the end of the month, but as they say: “the show must go on.” This won't stop the whales. (Photo courtesy OPRD)

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) would like visitors to know that.

OPRD is also touting other aspects happening New Year's Day: First Day Hikes on Oregon Coast Coming Up, Free State Park Parking 

Late December is an optimal time to head to the Oregon coast and look for gray whales, OPRD said, as they're migrating southward to their birthing waters of Baja, Mexico. Yet again, there will be no volunteers out there for Whale Watch Week, but the whales will be.

Most viewing sites managed by OPRD are open, except for Ecola State Park and the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay. However, the exterior deck on that building is open for whale viewing.

"The peak of the winter whale watching season lasts from late December through mid-January, said Park Ranger Luke Parsons, Beverly Beach Management Unit. “Watch the weather forecast for calm weather and clear skies near your favorite coastal destination, then come on over.”

Parsons added that the whales can be several miles from shore during the winter migration so bring binoculars to help scan for whale spouts. Mornings, when the sun is at your back, is also a better time than afternoons to look for whales.

Along the southern Oregon coast, Whale Watch spots are: Harris Beach, Cape Ferrelo, Battle Rock, Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint, Shore Acres near Coos Bay, and Reedsport's Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. Just north of there, there is the Sea Lion Caves Turnout, Cook's Chasm Turnout, and the Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center.

In Lincoln County, you'll find the highest number of sites: Inn at Spanish Head Lobby on 10th floor (Lincoln City), Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint (near Depoe Bay), the Whale Watching Center deck in Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint (just south of Depoe Bay), Cape Foulweather and the Devil's Punchbowl State Natural Area (both between Newport and Depoe Bay), Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport; and Don Davis City Park, also in Newport.

See Best Hotels for Whale Watching on Oregon Coast

On the Three Capes Tour there is Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint, Cape Lookout State Park (that one requires a 2.5-mile hike to the site at the tip of the Cape), and then several miles south at the top of Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.

On the north coast, view them from the Wreck of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens and Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker Turnout on Highway 101, just above Manzanita.

The very northernmost viewing spot is on the Washington coast at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Ilwaco, Washington.

These are only Oregon State Parks' usual spots, but most high vantage points will do well. The clifftops above Meyers Creek Beach or near Sisters Rocks on the south Oregon coast will be perfect, as well as the various vantage points around Port Orford. On the central Oregon coast, the high gravel pullout just south of Yachats or the concrete walls immediately south of Heceta Head will also be excellent spots for whale watching. In Lincoln City, the clifftop viewpoints at NW 26th St. and NW 21st will make for good viewing.

Along the Three Capes, Anderson's Viewpoint just south of Cape Meares State Park is also good, along with the viewpoints around Silver Point just south of Cannon Beach.

Best Hotels for Whale Watching on Oregon Coast


MORE PHOTOS BELOW









Photos above courtesy OPRD

Photo below Seaside Aquarium


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