Great sighting spots on ocean promontories line the West Coast. The months of the gray whale migration are especially good times to watch. In November and December, look for spouts as the giants commute south; in March and April, watch close to shore, where whales snack and rest as they head north.
Lime Kiln Point State Park, Washington
Walkers in this park on the west side of San Juan Island, Washington, may see orcas from the rocky bluffs or be treated to the hollow, rhythmic sound of whales spouting in the shallows below.
Cape Flattery Trail, Washington
Big grays swim near the boardwalk portion of this short path in the Makah Indian Reservation northwest of Washington’s Olympic National Park. The observation platforms at the end of the trail project over deep pools, providing especially good views.
Cape Lookout State Park, Oregon
The headland trail on this narrow promontory 13 miles southwest of Tillamook, Oregon, climbs several hundred feet above the sea, the perfect vantage from which to see spouting, breaching behemoths from December through June.
Cape Ferrelo, Oregon
In early January, visitors to this promontory just outside Brookings, Oregon, often spot clusters of gray whales resting among the black volcanic pyramids that thrust up from the surf.