Many people prefer to see the great gray whale close up. Charter boat companies in Depoe Bay conduct regular whale-watching tours when weather permits.
Whale Watching from Oregon Beach Admiral’s Retreat and Depoe Bay all year ’round
Every spring and fall thousands of people flock to the Oregon coast to watch the Pacific gray whales migrating to and from Baja.
Gray whales were once an endangered species, but protection measures have resulted in their removal from the endangered species list in 1994. The whales migrate each year, about 12,000 miles (19,311 km) round-trip, from northern waters off Alaska to the Gulf of California in Mexico, and back.
The pods usually stay close to land, generally from one-half mile to three miles (.8 km – 4.8 km) offshore. In the fall and winter, the groups of two to 10 individuals are led by pregnant females on their route south. The whales winter over in shallow Mexican waters where the mother whales give birth to their young. In late winter and early spring, the whales head back north, where the young will feed and grow in the Bering and Chukchi seas.