Whales of Winter

The weather outside might be blustery—or not (you never know on the Oregon Coast!), but one phenomenon is assured—gray whales will be making their semi-annual journey along the Oregon Coast this winter. Anyone can watch the watery leviathans as they travel south to the Baja lagoons. The peak of the winter migration happens in mid to late December—just in time for the holidays!

For the first time since the winter of 2019, Oregon Whale Watch weeks will return to live, in person events. From December 28, 2022 to January 1, 2023, volunteers will be stationed at many locations along the Oregon Coast from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., counting whales and talking with visitors about these animals and their incredible journey.

According to Oregon State Parks, an average of about 30 whales per hour migrate past the Oregon Coast during the peak southbound migration. On a calm day, visitors might see several whales, but be sure to bring binoculars, warm clothing, and be on the lookout for the tell-tale whale spout.

For more information about the gray whale migration along the Oregon Coast, along with the best places to see them (during whale watch weeks or at other times), go to the Oregon Whale Watch website. You can also read more about gray whales and their migrations in the Oregon Coast magazine story, The Long Haul.

Photo caption: Spouting gray whale offshore of Yachats. Photo by Sandy Horvath-Dori, courtesy wikimedia