Looking for migrating whales off the Oregon coast is a unique Oregon experience and is going on right now. There are several species of whales that pass by off the coast that can be viewed from many different viewpoints, the most often sighted whales include: Gray, Humpback, and Sperm whales that are making their annual migration between Alaska and Baja Mexico a whale breeding site. You have to keep your eyes scanning the open ocean looking for the spout exhaling a large mist of air and water into the air when the whale is breathing. On a rare occasion you may observe a breach or the tail fluke exiting and entering the water. Wait to use your binoculars after you have seen a spout and then it is much easier to narrow in on the whales and you can watch them as they travel.
There is a great organization of volunteers that are available during the peak whale watching season from 10AM to 1 PM at prominent viewing locations to help visitors spot their first whale and learn about these magnificent creatures.
Here is locations that volunteers may be present to help you out.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Ilwaco, Washington
Ecola State Park
Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker Turnout on Highway 101
Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
Cape Lookout State Park – 2.5 mile hike to site at tip of Cape
Inn at Spanish Head Lobby on 10th floor
Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
The Whale Watching Center/Depoe Bay Sea Wall
Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
Don Davis City Park
Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center
Cook’s Chasm Turnout
Sea Lion Caves Turnout – large Highway 101 turnout south of tunnel
Umpqua Lighthouse, near Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
Shore Acres State Park
Face Rock Wayside State Scenic Viewpoint
Battle Rock Wayfinding Point, Port Orford
Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon
9th Street Beach, Crescent City, California
The state of Oregon has a great website with pictures of all of these locations. Check out these spots here:http://www.whalespoken.org/OPRD/PARKS/WhaleWatchingCenter/watch_site_views.shtml
For more information about the Whale Watching Center
A favorite North Coast viewing spot up on Neahkahnie Mountain just North of Manzanita.