PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Spring Whale Watch Week will return to the coast starting Tuesday, March 28 and running through Sunday, April 2, according to an announcement from Oregon State Parks.
This is the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s second in-person Whale Watch Week since the COVID-19 pandemic. The first event was held from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1.
OPRD says that thousands of gray whales swim North, passing the Oregon Coast, throughout the spring while migrating from calving lagoons in Mexico.
There will be 17 designated spots along the Oregon Coast for visitors to watch the whales. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day, trained volunteers will be on hand to assist those who come for the annual event.
The Whale Watch sites include Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint and Harris Beach State Park. See the full list here.
OPRD predicts that 18,000 gray whales will journey past Oregon from late March to June while returning to their home in Alaska.
“Spring is a great time for whale watching because the gray whales are usually closer to shore on their return trip, typically around a mile or so out, and the weather is a little warmer for visitors,” Park Ranger Peter McBride said.
Depoe Bay’s Whale Watching Center, located at 119 US-101, will open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from that Wednesday to Sunday.
According to OPRD, people can expect interactive whale exhibits, a panoramic view of the ocean and binoculars when they visit the center. Oregon State Parks rangers will also answer any questions that visitors have about the whales.