On the Whale Trail

Spring is the best time to visit the Oregon coast and see gentle giants on their 12,000-mile journey to Alaska.

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Cannon Beach coastline
Photographer Michael Hanson

Follow the Trail

The great Pacific Ocean migration runs like clockwork for an estimated 20,000 gray whales. The mammals winter in the lagoons of Baja Mexico, mating and birthing calves. Then nearly all of them head to the Bering and Chukchi seas off Alaska to summer in the crustacean-rich Arctic. After the males journey north in February, mothers and calves travel together, swimming closer to shore to protect against deep-water threats like great white sharks and orcas. All in all, it’s a 12,000-mile convoy.

Of course, the sight is spectacular even when you see just one or two. Read on for ways to make the most of your whale-watching vacation.

 

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